This volume is the result of an attempt to put the fundamental rules governing the law of real property into a form as easy of comprehension as possible, and so arranged that investigation of any part may be made with ease, promptness, and certainty. It will be found that many of the seeming technicalities of the subject disappear with the statement of the reasons on which they are based. These reasons are in many cases historical, and therefore as much of the history of the law of real property has been given as is necessary for an understanding of these reasons; but the mere curiosities of English law, and the interesting, but useless, legal antiquities sometimes found in books on this subject, have been excluded. The effort has been to present a clear-cut picture of the English system of real property law as introduced into this country, and, with this as a basis, to explain the effect of the statutory changes which have been made in many parts of that system. To do this, it is first shown to just what kinds of "things owned" the law of real property applies, and then the "equation of estates" is taken up, and carefully worked out. This is the backbone of our whole scheme of land ownership. The black-letter text shows the principles on which estates are classified, and the relation of the various possible interests in land to each other, and to the whole ownership. In following out the discussion under the several principles of classification,-for instance, in treating of future interests,-the essential facts which distinguish the various future estates have been emphasized, and then the incidents common to all future estates treated together, for the sake of clearness and ease of comprehension. So much of the law of persons as is peculiar to real property will be found collected in one chapter. In places where the law has become unsettled from confusion in the use of terms, as in the law of fixtures and the classification of trusts, the terminology adopted has been explained, and then followed throughout. While there has been no attempt to harmonize the cases on fixtures, a classification and working theory has been suggested which it is believed will prove useful. Special attention has been paid to the latest authorities as showing what parts of the law of real property are now in process of growth. The recent "Torren's Title Act," of Illinois, has been explained at some length, because it is in all probability the forerunner of the Introduction into this country of some system of registration of title in place of our present system of the registration of conveyances.
E.P.H. St Paul, Minn., August 1, 1806.