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ENGRAVED FROM OEIGINAL PIOTOEBS BY WOOLASTON, COPLEY, GAINSBOBOUGH, STCTAET
KIT AND REVISED EDITION.
LONDON: 16 LITTLE BRITAIN.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by
D. APPLETON & COMPANY,
i Fi the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District
of New York.
JOHN W. FRANCIS, M.D., LL. D,
My Dear Dr. Francis:
The following work was planned and its materials partially collected several years ago; but the feeble and precarious condition of my health prevented its execution until the present season; and now it has been written in such haste and so rapidly printed—each day's product of the pen being returned to me in proof-sheets the following evening—that I have had little opportunity for revision or any thought of the graces of composition. From appearances of carelessness, however, you will readily perceive that one chapter, that entitled "The Convention," is exempt. For this I am indebted to one of the most justly eminent of contemporary scholars and men of letters, who kindly consented to assist me, after the book was announced, and when there was very little prospect of my having sufficient strength to furnish any considerable portion of its contents. For the rest I alone am responsible; and while regretting that it has so little merit of a purely literary character, I can claim for it the far more important excellence of a most exact adherence to truth. The subjects treated undoubtedly admitted of easy and striking embellishments of fancy, but it seemed to me that the volume would be, upon the whole, far more acceptable if in its preparation I confined myself in even the most trivial details of narrative, delineation, and suggestion, to what was clearly warranted by unquestionable authorities. And of such authorities, fortunately, I have had an ample collection. Besides those which are printed and accessible to every student of American history, I have had in my possession more than two thousand unpublished private letters, of which some three hundred were