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with Douglas, "goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed."
The chief justification for the present volume of selections is the lack hitherto of any adequate collection of American political orations which comes within the compass of a single volume, and hence is usable for schools, clubs, and teachers' institutes. The preparation of the book was first proposed to the author by Mr. David W. Sanders, of Covington, Ind., whose acquaintance among teachers showed him the opening for it; and the assistance which the author has received from Mr. Sanders as the work has progressed, in determining the general plan and scope of the book, he wishes to acknowledge in the fullest manner.
The purpose of the selections, it must be understood, is primarily historical: they are designed to illustrate the political history and development of the United States. In every instance the tests applied in determining the inclusion or exclusion of a speech were these: Did it exert important influence on political action or political opinion at the time it was delivered? And will it, better than other speeches of the period, enable us to penetrate back into the spirit of the time?
Nevertheless, considerations of oratorical excellence were by no means disregarded, and it is believed that examples of the best public speaking of every epoch of our history will here be found, and in sufficient variety. With the aid of the Introduction, and the notes on the oratory of the several selections which are given at the back of the book, it is hoped that some place may also be found for the volume in classes in public speaking and the literary study of the oration.
It is perhaps needless to say that the choice of the orations has been made without regard to the editor's personal opinion as to which party or which position on any given question
was right. One of the benefits which it is hoped may come from the reading of the selections is a growth in that wide tolerance of mind which sees that at no time does any one party have a monopoly of political truth, and that wise political action can come only from weighing all the arguments in view of all the circumstances of a given case.
The wealth of material from which to select, and the reduction to the compass of a half-hour's reading of speeches which in some cases took several days to deliver, have been the chief difficulties of the task. It is hoped that a sufficiently large and representative list of names is presented, though it is inevitable that the omission of some notable orators and orations will be lamented.
The attempt has been made to confine the annotations to the narrowest limits possible, consistent with the aim of intelligibility. Where practicable, the information needed has been given in the historical introductions prefixed to the different sections and to the separate orations.
In conclusion the editor wishes publicly to express his appreciation of the kindness shown by his friend, Professor Clapp, in drawing upon his long experience in the teaching of English and public speaking to produce the introduction on “Oratorical Style and Structure," and the notes on the several orations, which form parts of this volume.
S. B. H. BLOOMINGTON, IND., July 28, 1909.
9. ALEXANDER HAMILTON: For the Constitution
III. NATIONAL COVERNMENT ESTABLISHED
10. FISHER AMEs: The British Treaty (1796)....... 125
11. GEORGE WASHINGTON: Farewell Address (1796). 150
16. John C. Calhoun: Slavery a Positive Good
19. CHARLES SUMNER: The Crime Against Kansas
LINCOLN-DOUGLAS DEBATE: Lincoln's Reply
24. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: First Inaugural Address