1899 Treatise (First Edition) on U.S. Bankruptcy Law

1899 Treatise (1st Edition)

By: Donald L. Swanson

Original-source documents from antiquity are always fascinating!  They provide a wealth of historical information and a wealth of insight into life in an earlier day.

It’s mind-boggling, for example, to read the words of an author, who lived in an ancient time, writing about events of “ancient days” from his/her perspective-in-time.

A treatise on U.S. bankruptcy laws, published in 1899, is one of these original-source documents from antiquity.  And it is a splendid illustration of the wealth of information and insight (and the mind-boggling historical information) that such documents can provide.

This is the 1899 treatise, with a link to an online copy:

Bush, “The National Bankruptcy Act of 1898, with Notes, Procedure and Forms,” (1st Edition, 1899), published by Banks Law Publishing Co.

This 1899 treatise explains its subject and purpose like this:

–The 1898 Act “is a departure, and, in some of its provisions, a radical departure from previous statutes upon that subject either in the United States or Great Britain.”

–“It is the purpose of this volume to give the text of the present law, and under each section syllabi of such decisions by the Supreme, Circuit and District courts of the United States as will aid in construing it. . . .  For the most part, these decisions were rendered under the Act of 1867.”

This 1899 treatise contains the following categories of information:

–45-pages (from vii to lii): “Table of Cases Cited,” with roughly 60 citations per page (that’s approximately 2,700 cases), followed by a one-page list of Abbreviations for legal authorities cited.

–Pages 3-19: Editor’s Note and Introductory, providing historical context for the 1898 Act.

–Pages 20 through 414:  A section-by-section discussion of the Act, with commentary and case annotations for each section.

–Pages 415-484: Rules of bankruptcy procedure and official bankruptcy forms adopted by the United States Supreme Court on November 28, 1898.

–Pages 485-506: Bankruptcy Act of 1800 and its 1803 repeal Act – full text of both.

–Pages 506-516: Bankruptcy Act of 1841 and its 1843 repeal Act – full text of both.

–Pages 517-872: Bankruptcy Act of 1867, its subsequent amendments, and its 1878 repeal Act – full text of all.

–Pages 873-610: The National Bankruptcy Act of 1898 – full text, without commentary or annotation.

–Pages 611-651: General Index.


Everyone reading this article should click on the link above and do a quick perusal of the treatise.  It will be well-worth the time spent.




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