« PrejšnjaNaprej »
charges or imputations made in partisan newspapers or pamphlets during periods of violent controversy, never proved, and scarcely credited by reasonable men of any side when made-gives them countenance by repeating them—presents them as quasi-historical allegations, without distinctly exposing the flimsiness of the authority on which they rest-adds the spirit of a slanderer to that of a falsifier.
In quoting, whether for praise or censure, we have not in all cases been able to give the entire context. Sometimes it would lead but to repetition or amplification, and sometimes to matter irrelevant to the particular point under investigation. It has been our anxious wish to avoid garbling either in the letter or spirit. But in common-placing extracts from a multitude of books, perhaps a sound judgment has not always been exercised, on the brief consideration allowed, as to what should be retained or what omitted. We have attempted to indicate chasms, or the bringing together of disconnected clauses, by marks which all readers understand. We have aimed to take no liberties with quotations beyond occasionally changing the person of a noun, or the tense of a verb, for grammatical convenience, or by introducing italicization. The latter is to be always considered our own unless it is otherwise stated.
Yet we cannot but sincerely hope the context of our quotations will be examined, as often as is practicable, by every reader. There may be errors.
The weary hand and eye are not always true to their office. Typographical mistakes sometimes elude detection, and independently of this, there may be facts, or shreds of facts.
which though not sufficiently relevant, or separately important for quotation, would, on a general view, tend to somewhat modify conclusions. It is never to be forgotten that the accuser acts ex-parte, and that, however fair his intentions, he may be unconsciously warped by prejudice both in the selection and the conclusion. The reader owes it to the accused, and the intelligent reader owes it to himself, to thoroughly test the good faith and general accuracy of this important kind of evidence.
It may be unnecessary to say that we have diligently sought accuracy in all particulars, as a matter of policy, if nothing else. But on so broad a canvas, spread over with so much that is minute and specific, we can scarcely hope to have avoided errors. We expect to be held responsible for them in all cases. And if they intrinsically, or in the light of the spirit which pervades the work, fairly convey the impression that they were intentional, we take it for granted that our accountability will be made that to which the false witness everywhere deserves to be held.
Our deepest and warmest acknowledgments are due to the family of Mr. Jefferson,' for their countenance and aid, in preparing this work. They welcomed our undertaking with a prompt and graceful expression of cordial approbation. They laid before us their stores of private manuscripts, never before opened, without reserve -transferring to us a large and important collection of newly discovered ones,' without preliminary perusal. They furnished us their full recollections and opinions
· His decendants and their wives and husbands. • See vol. 1, p. 16, note.
on every class of topics. They labored for us assiduously in collecting materials from Mr. Jefferson's surviving friends in Virginia ; and they asked his friends in other States to in like manner contribute their assistance. They permitted us to select purely at our own discretion from the materials of every kind they were able to furnish-and to use their statements, either in the words or in the substance, and quote the family, or our particular informant, as our authority. Even the younger generation, those not born until after Mr. Jefferson's death, have made themselves busy collectors, copiers, etc. where they could thus render us any assistance.
We cannot undertake to specify all the other personal sources from which we have received valuable aid in the communication of manuscripts, facts, opinions, explanations, or authorities not otherwise easy of access. Indeed, we do not even know who have been the indirect contributors of many valuable documents, and ancient printed records from Virginia, nor can we delay this volume to make the requisite inquiries of those through whom they have been received.
Special acknowledgments are due to the late Hon. Joseph C. Cabell, the Hon. Hugh Blair Grigsby, and Professor John B. Minor, of Virginia ; to Dr. Robley Dunglison, Hon. Edward Coles, Professor George Tucker, Hon. Henry D. Gilpin, Hon. George W. Woodward, and George M. Conàrroe, Esq. of Pennsylvania ; to the late Henry Clay, of Kentucky ; to Colonel Hayne, of South Carolina ; to Richard Randolph, Esq. of the district of Columbia ; to Hon. Jared Sparks, Hon. Edward Everett, and J. C. Gray, Esq. of Massachusetts ;
to the Rev. Dr. Francis Wayland, of Rhode Island ; to General Tench Tilghman and General John Spear Smith, of Maryland ; and to the late Hon. William L. Marcy, Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, General John A. Dix, the late Dr. Theodoric Romeyn Beck, Hon. George W. Clinton, Hon. Addison Gardner, the late Hon. Henry P. Edwards, Rev. Mr. May, Hon. John J. Taylor, Dr. S. B. Woolworth, Dr. J. G. Cogswell, of New York.
Cortland Village, N. Y.