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AUTHOR OF THE
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:
"Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews,
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1834, by MACK & ANDRUS, in the office of the Clerk of the Northern District of the State of New York.
Astor, Lenox and Tilden
SIMEON DE WITT, ESQ.
SURVEYOR GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,
This Volume is inscribed,
AS A TESTIMONIAL OF THE GRATITUDE AND RESPECT OF THE COMPILER;
ACCOMPANIED BY THE WISH,
THAT HIS AGE MAY BE AS COMPOSED AND HAPPY
AS HIS PAST LIFE HAS BEEN
ARDUOUS, HONORABLE, AND USEFUL.
THIS work is a compilation exclusively; and the only merit it can possibly claim, is in the collection and arrangement of the materials, and in the authenticity and correctness of its authorities. And, where facts and truths alone are sought, this acknowledgment cannot diminish the value of the production, or detract from its usefulness. Farther than what the writers quoted afford, neither the splendor of fancy, nor the facination of language, is to be expected from it; its aim has been a plain, unvarnished statement of the prominent incidents in the life of its illustrious subject; and if that is attained, the intention of the publishers is answered. The selections for this purpose have been made from various authors; and the memoirs of Mr. Jef. ferson, composed by himself, and prefixed to the volumes of his correspondence, has been the text-book by which difficulties and discrepancies have been obviated or reconciled. memoirs, however, comprise but little of his lengthened and eventful life, and his letters have enabled me, in some measure, to supply the deficiency. Neither have I hesitated, in many instances, to employ the very words of my authorities; conscious that any attempted amendment on my part, would not only be futile, but, by misapplication of a phrase, might perplex the meaning. On this account, a variety of style will be perceptible, but not having a tendency, it is imagined, to throw confusion in the facts related, or shroud expression in obscurity. To the "American Biography," more than any other, I have been indebted for date and incident.
To present to the public a candid and impartial history of the life of THOMAS JEFFERSON, has been the anxious desire of the compiler, though, in other respects, his ability may have failed in the performance. This he hopes he has done; and he has given in a portable and economical form, what was before contained in, or appended to, books voluminous in bulk and extrava, gant in price.