Page 55 – “The original elements in the early colonial laws are great in number and import. They foreshadow and anticipate some of the most far-reaching American law reforms.

Pleading is simplified, and the intention is in many places expressed that it shall be possible for any man of ordinary intelligence to plead his own cause before the courts. This innovation supports the same conclusions that we have reached from the facts of the institution of popular courts and the absence of trained jurists.

Evidence was in many colonies given in writing, or at least taken down by the clerk and made a part of the record in the action; a practice utterly abhorrent to common law ideas, not so to the popular mind to whom the evidence is the most important part of the case.”

Please Please Please . . . Read this very short book

“English Common Law in the early American Colonies”

(specifically Chapter IV – Summary) to understand how the New England settlers molded the American Common Law system based on their beliefs, and how they otherwise did abandon the technical system of the English Common Law.


1899 p54

1899 p55