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ON THE

LAWS OF DESCENT.

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AUTHOR OF "TREATISE ON THE LAW OF REAL PROPERTY."

SAN FRANCISCO :
BANCROFT-WHITNEY COMPANY,

Law PUBLISHERS AND LAW BOOKSELLERS.

1875.

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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and

seventy,

BY ANSON BINGHAM, in the Clerk's office of the District Court, of the Northern District of New York.

WEED, PARSONS AND COMPANY.

PRINTERS STEREOTYPERS AND BINDERS.

PREFACE.

The laws of descent were an organic part of the feudal system; and, so far as the general principle of succession is involved, have come down to us unchanged. Important alterations have been made in the order and lines of succession. The course of descent has also been subjected to be entirely defeated by the alienation of the ancestor while alive, and by his testamentary alienation to take effect at and after his death. His estate has also been made liable to the payment of his debts, and the fulfillment of his personal obligations, after the succession of the heir. Otherwise, the heir succeeds the ancestor in the ownership of the estate, precisely as he did under the feudal law, in all the States of this country; that is, his right of succession is based upon the same principle, which regulated succession under purely feudal organizations. It is, therefore, necessary to fully understand the principle and operation of the feudal succession, in order to understand the principle and operation of inheritance at the present day. This work is designed to put the student in possession of a full and familiar knowledge of the feudal law, and of feudal customs in that respect.

Having possessed himself of that general knowledge, the student has then attained a standpoint from which he can command a clear view, and a ready comprehension of the whole of this department of the law, in all its practical operations and incidents.

This work is designed, not only to place the student upon · that standpoint, but when he is there, to open up before him, a full and clear view of all the material changes made in the laws of inheritance and in the rights of heirs in the succession, either in England or in this country from the time of the first innovation to the present time.

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