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The engrossing and universal interest recently awakened, in the subject of this memoir, by the presentation of his name as a candidate for the Presidency, is the author's apology for the faults of hasty preparation, which appear in the following pages. He felt, however, that the public were more concerned with the matter than the manner of his work, and would pardon almost anything in its execution more readily than delay. Under this impression he has aimed at but two results—fullness and accuracy. He has endeavored to lay before the reader every event in the life of Col. Fremont, and the substance of every letter, report, or speech of a public character that he has written or made, having a tendency to enlighten the country in regard to his qualifications for the highest honors of the Republic. The author is not conscious of having suppressed anything that ought to have been revealed, or of having stated a single fact which he did not believe to be susceptible of proof. To escape the suspicions, however, to which a biography of a presidential candidate is necessarily exposed, he has uniformly given official documents and contemporary evidence of the events he records, whenever it was practicable, that his readers may have as little trouble as possible in adjusting the measure of allowance to be
made for the partialities of political or personal friendship. A glance at the following pages will satisfy the most cursory observer that it is no mere eulogy, but a faithful record of the life of Colonel Fremont, prepared, if not with skill and elegance, at least with diligence and a conscientious regard for truth. He regrets that the brief time allowed for its preparation, and the pressure of engrossing professional duties have prevented his making it less unworthy of its subject.
Abbott Lawrence-Reply of Col. Fremont,