INTRODUCTION TO SMITH'S LAWS
These volumes contain certain public and private laws of the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted from 1700 through 1829. Repealed, expired or obsolete laws or parts of laws were not carried in Smith's Laws. The text of these repealed, expired or obsolete laws or parts of laws may be found in the Statutes at Large or Pamphlet Laws.
Publication
Volumes 1 through 4 were published in 1810. Volume 5 was published in 1812. Volumes 6 through 10 were published later.
Reading the Smith's Laws
In many instances, a page of the Smith's Laws holds more than one act. Please view the entire page to find the act you are seeking.
Name and numbering conventions
Historical and scholarly references to Smith's Laws volumes make use of both Roman numerals and Arabic numbers. This site uses Arabic numbers to refer to volumes of the Smith's Laws. Chapters of the Smith's Laws are referred to as "acts" and identified by Arabic numbers.
Method of citation
A citation to the Smith's Laws is made as follows: act of April 15, 1782 (2 Sm.L.44, Ch.970).
Finding options
View linked table of contents for a volume of the Smith's Laws
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Search by keyword or phrase
This is not a full-text search. Search options are limited due to early colonial spelling, which often differs from modern English spelling. For example, "fellons" describes modern-day "felons," and "gaolers" describes "jailers." To address this issue, work has begun on adding keywords to the database. It is not necessary to enclose a phrase within single or double quotes. Multiple words will automatically be treated as a phrase.
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