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HA JARD
UNIVERSITY

LIBRARY

Copyright, 1906, BY DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY.

Published, February, 1906

Preface

T

HIS work is offered to the American people not only in the hope that it

may

be welcomed as a readable and reliable history of the Declaration of Independence but in the hope that it may in some degree tend to keep alive in their hearts the love of Liberty that possessed the Fathers.

Benjamin Rush writes, to Rev. Mr. Gordon, at Roxbury, Mass., December 10, 1778: “[Rid] Put us not off with Great Britain's acknowledging our independance Alas! the

great Ultimatum of our modern patriots. It is liberty alone that can make us happy. And without it the memorable 4th of July 1776 will be execrated by posterity as the day in which pandora's box was opened in this country. I am impatient to see your history.”

That there are numerous quotations between its covers is due to a belief of the author that the subject called less for his own views than for facts, and also to a belief that the very words afforded the most pleasing presentation.

From some of those whose names have come down to us, numerous quotations have been made; from others, none at all. In this, there has been no intent to slight any particular person or Colony. Many of the patriots were

[graphic]

engaged in other fields, equally important to the cause and had nothing to do directly with the Declaration Many others, we believe, never put their thoughts o described their deeds on paper. Still more perhaps were unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to have their writing either destroyed or lost. Indeed, John Adams writes to William Tudor, June 5, 1817: “The letters he (Samue Adams] wrote and received, where are they? I have seen him, at Mrs. Yard's in Philadelphia, when he was about to leave Congress, cut up with his scissors whole bundles of letters into atoms that could never be reunited, and throw them out of the window, to be scattered by the winds. This was in summer, when he had no fire

As to the accuracy of the history, it can be said that, without regard to the labor involved, original sources, wherever practicable, have been examined personally.

The author gratefully acknowledges courtesies extended to him by Charles Francis Adams, by James G. Barnwell and Bunford Samuel, of The Library Company of Philadelphia, by Edmund M. Barton, of the American Antiquarian Society, by John D. Crimmins and W. M. Reynolds, by Wilberforce Eames and Victor H. Paltsits, of the New York Public Library (Lenox), by Worthington Chauncey Ford, of the Library of Congress, by Simon Gratz, by Dr. Samuel A. Green, of the Massachusetts Historical Society, by S. M. Hamilton, formerly of the Bureau of Rolls and Library of the Department of State, by Dr. I. Minis Hays, of The American Philosophical Society, by John W. Jordan, of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, by Robert H. Kelby, of the New York Historical Society, by Otto Kelsey, Comptroller of the

State of New York, by J. Pierpont Morgan and Junius S. Morgan, by John Boyd Thacher, by George C. Thomas and A. Howard Ritter and by Arnold J. F. van Laer, of the New York State Library, in the examination of original manuscripts ; by Worthington Chauncey Ford, in the securing of photographs of manuscripts, etc.; by Z. T. Hollingsworth; by Joseph F. Sabin; and by others mentioned.

J. H. H.

NEW YORK, 1905.

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