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very great obligations for the papers and information with which he furnished me, and for the assistance he rendered in facilitating my researches in the archives at Paris. Copies of numerous papers relating to the American Revolution, and a copy of his whole correspondence with the French government, which was procured from the public offices, he intrusted to my charge, with the permission to publish any parts, or the whole, in such form and manner as my judgment should dictate. The use that has been made of them, and their value, will appear throughout these volumes.
The public generally, not less than the Editor of this work, is indebted to Lord Holland for a very curious and interesting paper, which will be found in the Appendix to the Sixth Volume, and which consists of extracts from a correspondence between George the Third and Lord North relative to the American war. These extracts were selected by Lord Holland from the manuscripts of Sir James Mackintosh, and they certainly form the most remarkable document connected with the history of the Revolution.
My thanks are due to Mr. Justice Story for the lively interest he has manifested in my labors, and for the benefit I have often derived from his suggestions and advice. To Mr. Samuel A. Eliot, also, I would here make a public acknowledgment of the substantial and valuable aid he has in various ways lent to my undertaking, the successful issue of which has been promoted in no small degree by his friendly offices and personal exertions.
Copious Indexes are added to the last Volume, in constructing which much care has been bestowed and much difficulty encountered, particularly in regard to names and dates; but it is hoped, that a good measure of accuracy has been attained, and that they will furnish all the facilities to readers, which could be expected in a work of such variety and extent.
In writing the Life of Washington, which is comprised in the First Volume, I have endeavoured to follow closely the order of time, adopting the plan of a personal narrative, and introducing collateral events no farther than was absolutely necessary to give completeness to this design. After the able, accurate, and comprehensive work of Chief Justice Marshall, it would be presumptuous to attempt a historical biography of Washington. Yet it must be kept in mind, that much the larger portion of his life was passed on a conspicuous public theatre, and that no account of it can be written, which will not assume essentially the air of history. Anecdotes are interwoven, and such incidents of a private and personal nature as are known; but it must be confessed, that these are more rare than could be desired. I have seen many particulars of this description which I knew not to be true, and others which I did not believe. These have been avoided; nor have I stated any fact for which I was not convinced there was credible authority. If this forbearance has been practised at the expense of the reader's entertainment, he must submit to the sacrifice as due to truth and the dignity of the subject.
During the progress of this work, its two earliest patrons and best friends, Judge Washington and Chief Justice Marshall, have died. Their character and deeds are recorded in the annals of their country, and are too well known and highly valued to need any eulogy in this place; but I should do equal injustice to their memory and to my own feelings, if I were not to acknowledge with gratitude the encouragement and assistance I received from their kindness, counsel, and cooperation.
July, 1837. B