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AS EMBODIED IN
DIPLOMATIC DISCUSSIONS, TREATIES AND
THE WRITINGS OF JURISTS,
AND ESPECIALLY IN
DOCUMENTS, PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED,
THE UNITED STATES,
JOHN BASSETT MOORE, LL. D.,
tary of State of the United States;
of American Diplomacy, etc.
By the act of Congress of February 20, 1897, a provision was made for “ revising, reindexing, and otherwise completing and perfecting by the aid of such documents as may be useful, the second edition of the Digest of the International Law of the United States.” The work thus referred to was the “ Digest of the International Law of the United States," edited by Francis Wharton, LLD., which was published in three volumes in 1886, and of which a second issue, embracing about 160 pages of new matter, added to the third volume, was made in 1887. It was my fortune to have been to some extent connected, in a contributory capacity, with the preparation of that work. In a pamphlet submitted to Congress, before the printing of his work was authorized, Doctor Wharton was so good as to say: "I am indebted to John B. Moore, esq., of the Department of State, to whose great aid in other respects I am glad to acknowledge my obligations, for a compilation of the rulings of commissions established by the United States, in connection with other powers, for the settlement of points in international dispute.” In the preface to his Digest, the learned editor repeated this acknowledgment, but stated that the “ digest of the rulings of the international commissions” would
occupy a separate volume.” It proved, indeed, to be a longer and more laborious task than the work of which it was originally expected to form a part, and eventually grew into the “ History and Digest of International Arbitrations," in six volumes, which was published in 1898, by authority of Congress, as an independent work. My actual contribution to the “ Digest of the International Law of the United States " embraced the decisions of the courts, the opinions of the Attorneys-General, the essential framework of the chapter on the fisheries, and certain minor matters.
Of the original conception of the plan of his Digest, and of the order and arrangement, the entire merit belongs to Doctor Wharton. He was an incessant and heroic worker, and the preparation of his Digest in the space of two years was, even with such secondary aid as he obtained from various other persons, a remarkable feat. But certain results were inevitable. In the performance of such a task time is an essential ingredient. Important records were left unexplored, or were only cursorily inspected; the significance of docu