DELAWARE. The name of one of the original states of the United States
of America. For a time the counties of this state were connected with
Pennsylvania, under the name of territories annexed to the latter. In 1703, a
separation between them took place, and from that period clown to the
Revolution, the territories were governed by a separate legislature of their
own, pursuant to the liberty reserved to them by a clause of their original
charter. 1 Story, Constitution, §127; 1 Votes of Assembly, 131, and part 2, p.
4, of Pennsylvania.
2. The constitution of this state was amended and adopted December 2, 1831.
The powers of the government are divided into three branches, the legislative,
the executive, and the judicial.
3. - 1st. The legislative power of the state is vested in a general assembly,
which consists of a senate and house of representatives.
4. - 1. The senate is composed of three senators from each county; the number
may be increased by the general assembly, two-thirds of each branch concurring,
but the number of senators shall never be greater than one-half, nor less than
two-thirds of the number of representatives. Art. 2, s. 3. The senators are
chosen for four years by the citizens residing in the several counties.
5. - 2. The house of representatives is composed of seven members from each
county, but the general assembly, two-thirds of each branch concurring, may
increase the number. The representatives are chosen for two years by the
citizens residing in the several counties. Art. 2, s. 2.
6. - 2d. The supreme executive power of the state is vested in a governor,
who is chosen by the citizens of the state. He holds his office during four
years, from the third Tuesday in January next ensuing his election; and is not
eligible a second time to the said office. Art. 3. Upon the happening of a
vacancy, the speaker of the senate exercises the office, until a governor
elected by the people shall be duly qualified. Art. 3, s. 14.
7. - 3d. The judicial power is vested in a court of errors and appeals,, a
superior court, a court of chancery, an orphan's court, a court of oyer and
terminer, a Court of general sessions of the peace and jail delivery, a
register's court, justices of the peace, and such other courts as the general
assembly, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members of both houses
shall, from time to time, establish. Art. 6.
DELAY, civil law. The time allowed either by law or by agreement of
the parties to do something.
2. The law allows a delay, for a party who has been summoned to appear, to
make defence, to appeal; it admits of a delay during which and action may be
brought, certain rights exercised, and the like.
3. By the agreement of the parties there may be a delay in the payment of a
debt, the fulfilment of a contract, &c. Vide Code, 3, 11, 4; Nov. 69, c. 2
Merl. Rep. h
DELECTUS PERSONAE. This phrase, which literally signifies the choice
of a person, is applied to show that partners have the right to select their
copartners; and that no set of partners can take another person into the
partnership, without the consent of each of the partners. Story on Partn. 6
Colly. on Partn. 4; 1 Swanst. 508; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1443.
DELEGATE. A person elected by the people of a territory of the United
States, to congress, who has a seat in congress, and a right of debating, but
not of voting. Ordinance of July, 13, 1787, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2076.
2. The delegates from the territories of the United States are entitled to
send and receive letters, free of postage, on the same terms and conditions as
members of the senate and house of representatives of the United States; and
also to the same compensation as is allowed to members of the senate and house
of representatives. Act of February 18, 1802, 2 Story, L. U. S. 828.
3. A delegate is also a person elected to some deliberative assembly, usually
one for the nomination of officers.
4. In contracts, a delegate is one who is authorized by another in the name
of the latter; an attorney.
DELEGATION, civil law. It is a kind of novation, (q. v.) by which the
original debtor, in order to be liberated from his creditor, gives him a third
person, who becomes obliged in his stead to the creditor, or to the person
appointed by him.
2. It results from this definition that a delegation is made by the
concurrence of three parties, and that there may be a fourth. There must be a
concurrence, 1. Of the party delegating, that is, the ancient debtor, who
procures another debtor in his stead. 2. Of the party delegated, who enters into
the obligation in the place of the ancient debtor, either to the creditor of to
some other person appointed by him. 3. Of the creditor, who, in consequence of
the obligation contracted by the party delegated, discharges the party
delegating. Sometimes there intervenes a fourth party namely, the person
indicated by the creditor in whose favor the person delegated becomes obliged,
upon the indication of the creditor, and by the order of the person delegating.
Poth. Ob. part. 3, c. 2, art. 6. See Louis. Code, 2188, 2189; 3 Wend. 66; 5 N.
H. Rep. 410; 20 John. R. 76; 1 Wend. 164; 14 Wend. 116; 11 Serg. & Rawle,
3. Delegation is either perfect or imperfect. It is perfect, When the debtor
who makes the delegation, is discharged by the creditor. It is imperfect when
the creditor retains his rigbts against the original debtor. 2 Duverg. n. 169.
DELEGATION, contracts. The transfer of authority from one or more
persons to one or more others.
2. In general, all persons sui juris may delegate to another authority to act
for them, but to this rule there are exceptions; 1st. On account of the thing to
be done; and 2d. Because the act is of a personal nature, and incapable of being
delegated. 1. The thing to be done must be lawful; for an authority to do a
thing unlawful, is absolutely void. 5 Co. 80. 2. Sometimes, when the thing to be
done is lawful, it must be performed by the person obligated himself. Com. Dig.
Attorney, C 3; Story, on Ag. §12.
3. When a bare power or authority has been given to another, the latter
cannot in general delegate that authority or any part of it to a third person,
for the obvious reason that the principal relied upon the intelligence, skill
and ability of his agent, and he cannot have the same confidence in a stranger.
Bac. Ab. Authority, D; Com. Dig. Authority, C 3; 12. Mass. 241; 4 Mass. 597; 1
Roll. Ab. Authority, C 1, 15; 4 Camp. 183; 2 M. & Selw. 298, 301; 6 Taunt.
146; 2 Inst. 507.
4. To this general rule that one appointed as agent, trustee, and the like,
cannot delegate his authority, there are exceptions: 1. When the agent is
expressly authorized to make a substitution. 1 Liverm. on Ag. 54. 2. When the
authority is implied, as in the following: cases: 1st. When by the laws such
power is indispensable in order to accomplish the end proposed, as, for example,
when goods are directed to be sold at auction, and the laws forbid such sales
except by licensed auctioneers. 6 S. & R. 386. 2d. When the employment of
such substitute is in the ordinary course of trade, as where it is the custom of
trade to employ a ship broker or other agent for the purpose of procuring
freight and the like . 2 M. & S. 301; 3 John. Ch. R. 167, 178; 6 S. & R.
386. 3d. When it is understood by the parties to be the mode in which the
particular thing would be done. 9 Ves. 234; 3 Chit. Com Law, 206. 4th. When the
powers thus delegated are merely mechanical in their nature. 1 Hill, (N. Y.) R.
501 Bunb. 166; Sugd. on Pow. 176.
5. As to the form of the delegation, it may be for general purposes, by a
verbal or by a written declaration not under seal, or by acts and implications.
3 Chit. Com. Law, 5, 194, 195; 7 T. R. 350. But when the act to be done must be
under seal, the delegation must also be under seal. Co. Litt. 48 b; 5 Binn. 613;
14 S. & R. 331 See Authority.
DELEGATION, legislation. It signifies the whole number of the persons
who represent a district, a state, and the like, in a deliberative assembly; as,
the delegation from Ohio, the delegation from the city of Philadelphia.
TO DELIBERATE. To examine, to consult, in order to form an opinion.
Thus, a jury deliberate as to their verdict.
DELIBERATION, contracts, crimes. The act of the understanding, by
which the party examines whether a thing proposed ought to be done or not to be
done, or whether it ought to be done in one manner or another. The deliberation
relates to the end proposed, to the means of accomplishing that end, or to
2. It is a presumption of law that all acts committed, are do-ne with due
deliberation, that the party intended to do what he has done. But he may, show
the contrary; in contracts, for example, he may show he has been taken by
surprise; (q. v.) and when a criminal act is charged, he may prove that it Was
an accident, and not with deliberation, that in fact there was no intention or
will. See Intention; Will.
DELIBERATION. legislation. The council which is held touching some
business, in an assembly having the power to act in relation to it.
2. In deliberative assemblies, it is presumed that each member will listen to
the opinions and arguments of the others before he arrives at a conclusion.
DELICT, civil law. The act by which one person, by fraud or malignity,
causes some damage or tort to some other. In its most enlarged sense, this term
includes all kinds of crimes and misdemeanors, and even the injury which has
been caused by another, either voluntarily or accidentally without evil
intention; but more commonly by delicts are understood those small offences
which are punislied by a small fine or a short imprisonment.
2. Delicts are either public or private; the public are those which affect
the whole community by their hurtful consequences; the private is that which is
directly injurious to a private individual. Inst. 4, 18; Id. 4, 1 Dig. 47, 1;
Id. 48, 1.
3. A quasi-delict, quasi delictum, is the act of a person, who without
malignity, but by an inexcusable imprudence, causes an injury to another. Poth.
Ob. n. 116; Ersk. Pr. Laws of Scotl. B. 4, t. 4, s. 1.
DELINQUENT, civil law. He who has been guilty of some crime, offence
or failure of duty.
DELIRIUM, med.jur. A disease of the mind produced by inflammations,
particularly in fevers, and other bodily diseases.
2. It is also occasioned by intoxicating agents.
3. Delirium manifests its first appearance "by a propensity of the patient to
talk during sleep, and a momentary forgetfulness of his situation, and of things
about him, on waking from it. And after being fully aroused, however, and his
senses collected, the mind is comparitively clear and tranquil, till the next
slumber, when the same scene is repeated. Gradually the mental disorder becomes
more intense, and the intervals between its returns of shorter duration, until
they are scarcely, or not at all perceptible. The patient lies on his back, his
eyes, if open, presenting a dull and listless look, and is almost constantly
talking to himself in a low, muttering tone. Regardless of persons or things
around him and scarcely capable of recognizing them when aroused by his
attendants, his mind retires within itself to dwell upon the scenes and events
of the past, which pass before it in wild and disorderly array, while the tongue
feebly records the varying impressions, in the form of disjointed, incoherent
discourse, or of senseless rhapsody. In the delirium which occurs towards the
end of chrome diseases, the discourse is often more coherent and continuous,
though the mind is no less absorbed in its own reveries. As the disorder
advances, the voice becomes more indistinct, the fingers are constantly picking
at the bed-clothes, the evacuations are passed insensibly, and the patient is
incapable of being aroused to any further effort of attention. In some cases,
delirium is attended with a greater degree of nervous and vascular excitement,
which more or less modifies the above-mentioned symptoms. The eyes are open,
dry, and bloodshot, intently gazing into vacancy, as if fixed on some object
which is really present to the mind of the patient; the skin is hotter and
dryer; and he is more restless and intractable. He talks more loudly,
occasionally breaking out into cries and vociferation, and tosses about in bed,
frequently endeavoring to get up, though without any particular object in view."
Ray, Med. Jur. §213.
4. "So closely does delirium resemble mania to the casual observer, and so
important is it that they should be distinguished from each other, that it may
be well to indicate some of the most common and prominent features of each. In
mania, the patient recognizes persons and things, and is perfectly conscious of,
and remembers what is passing around him. In delirium, he can seldom distinguish
one person or thing from another, and, as if fully occupied with the images that
crowd upon his memory, gives no attention to those that are presented from
without. In delirium, there is an entire abolition of the reasoning power; there
is no attempt at reasoning at all; the ideas are all and equally insane; no
single train of thought escapes the morbid influence, nor does a single
operation of the mind reveal a glimpse of its natural vigor and acuteness. In
mania, however false and absurd the ideas may be, we are never at a loss to
discover patches of coherence, and some semblance of logical sequence in the
discourse. The patient still reasons, but he reasons incorrectly. In mania, the
muscular power is not perceptibly diminished, and the individual moves about
with his ordinary ability. Delirium is invariably attended with great muscular
debility; and the patient is confined to bed, and is capable of only a momentary
effort of exertion. In mania, sensation is not necessarily impaired and, in most
instances, the maniac sees, bears, and feels with all his natural acuteness. In
delirium, sensation is greatly impaired, and this avenue to the understanding
seems to be entirely closed. In mania, many of the bodily functions are
undisturbed, and the appearance of the patient might not, at first sight, convey
the impression of disease. In delirium, every function suffers, and the whole
aspect of the patient is indicative of discase. Mania exists alone and
independent of any other disorder, while delirium is only a symptom or attendant
of some other disease. Being a symptom only, the latter maintains certain
relations with the -discase on which it depends; it is relieved when that is
relieved, and is aggravated when that increases in severity. Mannia, though it
undoubtedly tends to shorten life, is not immediately dangerous; whereas the
disease on which delirium depends, speedily terminates in death, or restoration
to health. Mania never occurs till after the age of puberty; delirium attacks
all periods alike, from early childhood to extreme old age." Id. §216.
5. In the inquiry as to the validity of testamentary dispositions, it is of
great importance, in many cases, to ascertain whether the testator labored under
delirium, or whether he was of sound mind. Vide Sound mind; Unsound mind; 2
Addams, R. 441; 1 Addams, Rep. 229, 383; 1 Hagg. R. 577; 2 Hagg. R. 142; 1 Lee,
Eccl. R. 130; 2 Lee, Eccl. R. 229; 1 Hag . Eccl. Rep. 256.
DELIRIUM TREMENS, med. jur. A species of insanity which has obtained
this name, in consequence of the tremor experienced by the delirious person,
when under a fit of the disorder.
2. The disease called delirium tremens or mania a potu, is well described in
the learned work on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, by Dr. Ray, §315,
316, of which the following is an extract: "it may be the immediate effect of an
excess, or series of excesses, in those who are not habitually intemperate, as
well as in those who are; but it most commonly occurs in habitual drinkers,
after a few days of total abstinence from spirituous liquors. It is also very
iable to occur in this latter class when laboring under other diseases, or
severe external injuries that give rise to any degree of constitutional
disturbance. The approach ofthe disease is generally indicated by a slight
tremor and faltering of the hands and lower extremities, a tremulousness of the
voice, a certain restlessness and sense of anxiety which the patient knows not
how to describe or to account for, disturbed sleep, and impaired appetite. These
symptoms having continued two or three days, at the end, of which time they have
obviously increased in severity, the patient ceases to sleep altogether, and
soon becomes delirious. At first, the delirium is not constant, the mind
wandering during the night, but during the day, when its attention is fixed,
capable of rational discourse. It is not long, however, before it becomes
constant, and constitutes the most prominent feature of the disease. This state,
of watchfullness and delirium continues three or four days, when, if the patient
recover, it is succeeded by sleep, which, at first appears in uneasy and
irregular naps, and lastly in long, sound, and refreshing slumbers. When sleep
does not supervene about this period, the, disease is fatal; and whether
subjected to medical treatment, or left to itself, neither its symptoms nor
duration are materially modified.
3. "The character of the delirium in this disease is peculiar, bearing a
stronger resemblance to dreaming, than any other form of mental derangement. It
would seem as if the dreams which disturb and harass the mind during the
imperfect sleep that precedes the explosion of the disease, continue to occupy
it when awake, being then viewed as realities, instead of dreams. The patient
imagines himself, for instance, to be in some particular situation, or engaged
in certain occupations according to each individuals habits and profession, and
his discourse and conduct will be conformed to this delusion, with this striking
peculiarity, however, that he is thwarted at every step, and is constantly
meeting with obstacles that defy his utmost efforts to remove. Almost
invariably, the patient manifests, more or less, feelings of suspicion and fear,
laboring under continual apprehension of being made the victim of sinister
designs and practices. He imagines that certain people have conspired to rob or
murder him, and insists that he can hear them in an adjoining apartment,
arranging their plans and preparing to rush into his room; or that he is in a
strange place where he is forcibly detained and prevented from going to his own
home. One of the most common hallucinations is, to be constantly seeing devils,
snakes, vermin, and all manner of unclean things around him and about him, and
peopling every nook and corner of his apartment with these loathsome objects.
The extreme terror which these delusions often inspire, produces in the
countenance, an unutterable expression of anguish; and, in the hope of escaping
from his, fancied tormentors, the wretched patient endeavors to cut his throat,
or jump from the window. Under the influence of these terrible apprehensions, he
sometimes murders his wife or attendant, whom his disordered imagination
identifies with his enemies, though he is generally tractable and not inclined
to be mischievous. After perpetrating an act of this kind, he generally gives
some illusive reason for his conduct, rejoices in his success, and expresses his
regret at not having done it before. So complete and obvious is the mental
derangement in this disease, so entirely are, the thoughts and actions governed
by the most unfounded and absurd delusions, that if any form of insanity
absolves from criminal responsibility, this certainly must have that effect. 3
Am. Jur. 5-20.
DELIVERANCE, Practice. A term used by the clerk in court to every
prisoner who is arraigned and pleads not guilty to whom he wishes a good
deliverance. In modern practice this is seldom used.