All the principles of private international law (it might more
properly be called The Law of Situs) will be found to group
themselves under one or the other of these heads.
The branch of the law herein discussed, though of daily
growing importance, is at present in a most chaotic condition.
Comparatively few points may be regarded as settled. The
courts too frequently fail to rest their decisions upon sound
foundations of reason and principle; they are too often
inclined to indulge in vague generalities and dicta, without
analyzing the transaction before them into its elements, and
applying the law of the situs of each element to determine its
It has been my constant aim to reduce every proposition to
its ultimate principles, for only by this means can order be
brought out of the confusion that now exists. In some in-
stances I have been forced to cite decisions which, while sup-
porting the conclusions to which they are cited, have reached
those conclusions by fallacious courses of reasoning.
If the principles enunciated in this work shall aid in illumi-
pating even a few of the many dark places to be found along
the path, I shall be more than gratified.