Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

OF THE

SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION

OF

AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE:

THE

DECLARATION HISTORICALLY CONSIDERED;

AND A SKETCH OF THE LEADING EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE

ADOPTION OF

THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION,

AND OF

THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.

BY B. J. LOSSING,
AUTHOR OF “SEVENTEEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX," "LIVES OF THE

PRESIDENTS,” &C.

ILLUSTRATED BY FIFTY PORTRAITS

AND OTHER ENGRAVINGS.

NEW YORK:
GEORGE F. COOLEDGE & BROTHER,
PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS,

323 PEARL STREET.

HARVARD COLLEGE

to qual-al. Elifabetta Eright

Plast af 1867

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,

BY GEO. F. COOLEDGE & BROTHER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for

the Southern District of New York. ,

1943

LIBRARY

Rodali o lego hebraon

PREFACE.

There are lessons of deep, abiding interest, and of inestimable value, to be learned in studying the lives of the men who perilled their all to secure the blessed inheritance of free institutions which we now enjoy. We do not learn merely the dignity and sacredness of pure patriotism, by following them in their career amid the storms of the Revolution, but all the virtues which adorn humanity are presented in such bold relief, in the private and public actions of that venerated company, that when we rise from a perusal of a narrative of their lives, we feel as if all the noble qualities of our common manhood had been passing before us in review, and challenging our profound reverence.

The biography of a great man, is an history of his own times; and when we have perused the record of the actions of the men of our Revolution, we have imbibed a general knowledge of the great events of that struggle for Freedom. If this proposition is true, then we feel that this volume has a claim to the public regard, for we have endeavored to comprise within as small a compass as a perspicuous view of the subject would allow, the chief events in the lives of the men who stood sponsors at the baptism in blood of our Infant Republic.

The memoirs are illustrated by copious notes explanatory of events alluded to in the course of the biographical narrative, and these, we believe, will be found a highly useful feature of the work.

We have made free use of materials long since laid before the public by abler pens

than our own. We did not expect to add much that is new to the biographical facts already published ; our aim was to condense those facts into the space of a volume so small, that the price of it would make accessible to our whole population. It is the mission of true patriotism to scatter the seeds of knowledge broad-cast amid those in the humbler walks of society, because adventitious circumstances deny them access to the full granary of information, where the wealthy are filled; for these humbler ones are equal inheritors of the throne of the people's sovereignty, and are no less powerful than others at the ballot-box where the nation decides who its rulers shall be.

The final adoption of the Federal Constitution, and the organization of the present government of the United States under it, formed the climax—the crowning act of the drama of which the Declaration of Independence was the opening scene.

We therefore thought it proper to append to the biographies, a brief sketch of the legislative events which led to the formation and adoption of the Constitution. The Declaration is pregnant with grave charges against the King of Great Britain-charges which his apologists have essayed to deny. We have taken them

up in consecutive order as they stand in the document, and adduced proofs from historical facts, of the truth of those charges. These proofs might have been multiplied, but our space would not permit amplification.

With these brief remarks, we send our volume forth with the pleasing hope that it may prove useful to the young and humble of our beloved land, unto whom we affectionately dedicate it.

B. J. L. New YORK, April, 1848.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »