Biography of Dudley Atkins Tyng (1805-1822)

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Dudley Atkins Tyng

Dudley Atkins Tyng succeeded Ephraim Williams as the Reporter of Decisions in 1805. After serving as a United States collector in Newburyport, Mr. Tyng held the office of Reporter until 1822. He died seven years later on August 1, 1829, in Newburyport, the town where he was born.

Mr. Tyng edited volumes two through seventeen of the reports of the Supreme Judicial Court. In 1866, an advertisement to the second edition of the reports indicated that references to the statutes of the Commonwealth would include the political year, the chapter, and section, in conformity with a resolve of the legislature of the twentieth of January, 1805, which directed that the references be in conformity with the practice established by Mr. Tyng.

In the preface to Vol. II of the Mass Reports, written in February of 1808, Mr. Tyng recognized the importance of the reports to readers beyond those in the bar:

"The subjects and general importance of many of the cases are such as will interest other classes of readers besides those of the profession. Those which arise on the construction of our own statutes will be highly valued by the citizens of Massachusetts. A few cases determined on the import and extent of our constitutional rights, while they do honor to the integrity of the Court, give to the people an additional assurance of the preservation of those rights, so long as they continue to possess an uncorrupt and independent judiciary."

"Many of the decisions, particularly those relating to points of practice, will be considered by those of the profession, who are more advanced, as unnecessarily swelling the reports. They are inserted from a hope that the younger members will not find them useless."


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