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REPUBLICATION OF THE
PRINCIPLES AND ACTS
REVOLUTION IN AMERICA.
DEDICATED TO THE
YOUNG MEN OF THE UNITED STATES,
FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, BY THE LATE
H EZEKI A H NILES,
EDITOR OF THE “WEEKLY REGISTER.”
A. S. BARNES & CO., PUBLISHERS,
In presenting for the consideration of the young men of the United States, during this hundredth anniversary of American Independence, the republication of the “ Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America,” published by the late Hezekiah Niles, Editor of the “Weekly Register," and dedicated by him to their predecessors fifty-four years ago, it is with the hope that, by the perusal of the speeches, orations, and proceedings of the Revolutionary period in the United States, embraced in this volume, they may be encouraged, as expressed by its Editor, “to adhere to the simplicity of truth, as set forth by the principles and acts of their fathers, and emulate the noblest deeds when the liberties of their country are endangered by foreign enemies, or domestic encroachments, so that the blessings which those patriots won, may descend to posterity, and our Republic forever continue to be the pride of humanity, and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations."
As the work has been out of print for more than a half century, and its contents being regarded as an invaluable addition to our country's history during “the time that tried men's souls,” (the collection of speeches, orations, and proceedings, with but few exceptions, not being found in any other compilation), and having been frequently solicited to republish the work with reference to its circulation, in the belief that its perusal, during this Centennial Celebration of our Independence, would to some extent result in cementing the bonds uniting us as a Nation, and “excite a love of freedom, and lead the people to vigilance, as a condition on which it is granted,” the volume is respectfully submitted to the public, with the hope that the expectations of its friends may in part, at least, be realized.
SAMUEL V. NILES. WASHINGTON, 1876.
NOTE.—The work has been thoroughly revised, with classification of contents under the respective Colonies, and in chronological order.
The following letters have been received from prominent statesmen and jurists of the country, strongly urging the republication of this work, believing that its circulation during the Centennial Year of our Independence, would go far toward fostering a feeling of national unity and patriotism :
From the late Hon. Henry Wilson, Vice President of the United States.
NATICK, MASS., September 30, 1875. SAMUEL V. NILES, Esq., Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: Your proposed publication, it seems to me, is very important and very opportune, as the nation more than ever needs to be carried back to the “principles” of the men who inaugurated the movement that resulted in the formation of our Government, and to a study of thc "acts which made up that great Revolution.” Surely our young men can hardly go to a higher or better source for both information and inspiration than that you propose to invite them to; and I wish you all success in your undertaking.
From the Hon. HAMILTON FISH, Secretary of State of the United States.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, October 1, 1875. For a longer period than falls to the lot of many men to be doing good to their race and generation, Hezekiah Niles was among the most valuable contributors of valuable information to the American people.
I am very glad to leam that you propose to publish the “Principles and Acts of the American Revolution."
It is well from time to time to examine the foundations of the structure in which we live; and there can be no better time than the present to lay again before the people the honest inward heartfelt thoughts and motives and aims of the men who aided in laying the foundation stones of the Government under which so many live, thoughtless and heedless of the great principles essential to support the structure reared with such wisdom and such care.
No greater public service can be rendered than to inoculate the generation living at the first Centen. nial Anniversary of our national existence with some of the forgotten, discarded “old-fashioned" notions and principles of simple, honest, disinterested patriotism which moved and governed the men who brought the nation into existence.
From the Hon. WM. PINKNEY WHYTE, U. S. Senator from Maryland.
BALTIMORE, Sept. 15, 1875. · I am quite sure the publication afresh of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution will produce a most beneficial effect on the rising generation at this period of time. Something should be done to arouse the youth of the land to the priceless heritage of liberty, and nothing could be better calculated for that purpose than the republication of the speeches, orations, and proceedings of the heroes of the Revolution.
From the Hon. Henry C. Carey, Political Economist, Philadelphia, Pe.
PHILADELPHIA, September 9, 1875. I am very glad to see that you propose republishing your grandfather's admirable collection of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution, and for these reasons: first, that our young men may be enabled to study, and to profit by the study of the sayings and doings of their predecessors; and second, that they may have matter to call to mind my old friend, the editor, one of the very best and most useful of all the men I have ever known. No mang butver knew him can do otherwise than hold his memory in veneration.
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From the HON. HENRY A. Wise, late Representative in Congress and Governor of Virginia, Richmond, Va.
RICHMOND, VA., September 9, 1875. I have received and read the title-page of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution, com. piled, &c.
I always had the highest respect for “Niles' Register,” as a full and generally accurate source of information. Hezekiah Niles, Esq., in spite of strong political prejudices, could as well be relied on for statement of facts as any other publisher I ever sought information from. He was warm in his American affections, and sought to inspire a true republican patriotism, and fortified the national feelings and faith by his Register and all his works. I therefore confide much in any compilation of his or from his Register. Benjamin Elliot, Esq., in his letter in 1816 to him said: “The present (1816) is a most propitious period for the compilation—the feelings and sentiments of '76 were never so prevalent as at pres. ent." This he offered as a reason for the compilation. And now at this present, I urge the very opposite reason for the republication : that never were the feelings and sentiments of '76 less prevalent than now. What with the immense mass of immigrant population, naturally ignorant of our institutions and history; what with the feelings embittered by the late civil war; and what with what is called “Young America" and its tendency and influence—there has been an awful chasm cleft between '76 and this present time, and, not like the slip in mining, the veins of forination don't continue in the same direction. We are departing from republicanism, forgetful and ignorant of the safeguards of liberty, regulated by organic and statute law, and we are rapidly tending to the concentration of all power in the hands of one man, or an oligarchy in Congress. Even at a sacrifice of some pecuniary loss, I beg you to republish and circulate this work. It will not be read by a large majority in this generation, but it will be a magazine for a few republican patriots, and if fitted for the schools and colleges will go far and do much to revive the sentiments and feelings of '76 in the next generation. We need a revival of “political religion." Patriotism is a religion, sacred and holy—the amor patriæ, founded on the amor loci, which broods like a dove over cradles, hearths, altars, and graves of home. It has its country, it has its fathers, it has its faith, it has its hope and love, and then it has its permanence and perpetuity. Revive us, O Lord ; revive us, I pray.
From the Hon. Thomas A. HENDRICKS, Governor of Indiana.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, September 10, 1875. I am gratified to learn that you intend to republish the “ Principles and Acts of the American Revolution,” being a compilation of speeches, orations, and interesting articles of the revolutionary period. prepared and originally published by your grandfather, Hezekiah Niles. I suppose he was more generally known to American readers as the editor and publisher of “Niles' Register,” a periodical at one time universally, and, now, generally known, and highly appreciated for its varied and reliable information.
In this enterprise, you will make a valuable and very interesting contribution to the literature of 1876.
I cannot doubt that it will be received by the young men whose patriotism will be stimulated by the Centennial Celebration of our Independence, in the spirit and beautiful sentiment in which it was dedi cated to the young men of the United States in 1822.
From the Hon. EDWARDS PIERREPONT, Attorney General of the United States.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, WASHINGTON, September 15, 1875. I have read your preface to the “ Principles and Acts of the Revolution." I believe it would be a great advantage, not only to the young men, but to all men of the country, to have the work republished for the Centennial Anniversary.
From the Hon. REVERDY JOHNSON, Baltimore, Md., late Attorney General and Senator of the United
BALTIMORE, MD., September 9, 1875. Your note of yesterday is received. I am glad to hear that you contemplate republishing the “ Principles and Acts of the Revolution" compiled by your grandfather, the late Hezekiah Niles. The work, when it first appeared, was justly esteemed a valuable contribution to the political history of our country. Its revival now cannot fail to be most advantageous. The men whose thoughts are there embodied were patriots of the purest type, and the principles they inculcated must find a ready response from the hearts of all their descendants who are true and enlightened lovers of liberty. This work, together with the Declaration of Independence, cannot be but highly cherished by the immense multitude who will be assembled on the fourth of July, 1876, to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of our existence as a free and independent nation.
From General and Ex-Representative BENJAMIN F. BUTLER.
Boston, September 25, 1875. If every body had the same views of the publication of “Niles' Principles and Acts of the American Revolution," of which you send me the preface, that I have, there would be no doubt of the propriety and necessity for the public good of its publication. I hope you will go on with your enterprise, and bid you God speed in your work.
From the Hon. JOHN LETCHER, late Representative and Ex-Governor of Virginia.
LEXINGTON, VA., Sept. 16, 1875. It gives me great pleasure cordially to commend your publication to public favor. The time for its appearance is most judiciously selected.
The only complete copy I have ever seen was owned by the venerable Andrew Alexander, now deceased, and was purchased by myself at the sale of his property. The facts embodied in it were of the most valuable and interesting character, and I am gratified that you propose to reproduce them in a shape for permanent preservation.
From JUSTICE W. STRONG, U, S. Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 1875. I learn with much pleasure that you contemplate a republication in 1876 of the “Principles and Acts of the American Revolution," compiled and published in 1822 by your grandfather, Hezekiah Niles, The work was invaluable when it was first published, and its republication will be doubly valuable in our Centennial year. What every true patriot must ardently desire is a new birth of the spirit which prevailed in the days of the Revolution. What that spirit was, and what were the feelings that controlled the action of the revolutionary fathers, we can best gather from the few remains that are left of their speeches and acts. Your grandfather was a most industrious and accurate compiler, and the work which he published in 1822, long since out of print, more than any single book with which I am acquainted, may be expected to reveal the revolutionary spirit, and awaken in the hearts of young men the love of constitutional freedom and an attachment to those principles which are essential to its preservation. I hope nothing will deter you from carrying out your design. From Hon. JOSEPH P. BRADLEY, Judge Supreme Court United States.
STOWE, VT., Sept. 23, 1875. The republication of the “Principles and Acts of the Revolution,” I should think, would be eminently calculated to foster a feeling of national unity and patriotism.
From JUSTICE NATHAN CLIFFORD, United States Supreme Court.
Portland, MAINE, Sept. 18, 1875. I am of the opinion that the republication of the “ Principles and Acts of the American Revolution” would present a useful compilation to the present generation, both young and old, as tending to revive the recollection of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution, which ought to be cherished and revered.
From the Hon. M. C. KERR, Speaker of the House of Representatives from Indiana.
DENVER, COLORADO, Sept. 17, 1875. It gives me great pleasure to learn that you are about to republish that very interesting, instructive, and useful work of your patriotic and distinguished grandfather, Hezekiah Niles, entitled “Principles and Acts of the Revolution.” It is not creditable to the country that it has been suffered to go out of print. You have chosen a most opportune period for its reproduction-our Centennial year. It will add profitable store to the beneficent and patriotic literature of that year. From JUSTICE N. H. SWAYNE, U. S. Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 1875. I am familiar with the work entitled “Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America," edited and published by Hezekiah Niles. It is a book of high character and great historic interest and value. It is out of print, and in my judgment ought to be republished. There can be no more suitable time for doing this than now. The volume will be an apt centennial offering to the nation. From JUSTICE David Davis, U. S. Supreme Court.
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS, Sept. 27, 1875. From an inspection of the title-page of the “Principles and Acts of the American Revolution," compiled by your grandfather (which you were kind enough to send me), I should judge that their republi. cation at this time would be of advantage to the young men of the country.