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same, in the

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of the Senate of the Qurited States, to Mor. Alexander Vattemare, of Paris, to be distributed by hin in France, according to his system of national exchanges

of books.

Friday, llarch 2, 1849. Resolved, That the scoretary be directed to furnish cach member of the present Senate

, who lias not already received them, one copy of the Constitution and other books ordered to be furo nished to the Senators by the resolutions of February 18tli

, 1847, and to the Senators from Sowa, and Wisconsin, the same number of the Corrstitution as have been already given to other members of the Senate.

Albonday, September 23, 1850. * Resolved, That the secretary be directed to procure from the proprietor, for the use of the Senate, ten thousand copies of Feickey's edition of the Constitution, with an alphabetical ana. fijsis , Washington's inaugural and farewell addresses

, and other important statistical matter illustrative of the genius of the American government and the developeniet of its principles : Provided, "That they be furnished at the same price as those kust procured for the use of the Senate.

Thursday, January 22, 1852. Resolved, That euch of the new members of the Senate be sufyllied with the same number and description of books as were furnished to each of the members of the Senate of the last Congress

.

*N. B.-A resolution similar to this was passed by the Senate the 5th January, 1853,

PREFACE.

The Constitution, as the fireside companion of the American citizen, preserves in full freshness and vigor the recollection of the patriotic virtues and persevering courage of those gallant spirits of the Revolution who achieved the national independence, and the intelligence and fidelity of those fathers of the republic who secured, by this noble charter, the fruits and the blessings of independence. The judgment of the Senate of the United States has declared the importance of familiarizing American citizens, more extensively, with this fundamental law of their country, and has approved its association with the examples of republican virtue and the paternal advice of the “Father of his country,” joined to other kindred matter, constituting the body of this work. To this honorable body is due the credit of having provided for the first general promulgation of the Constitution, the continued dissemination of whose wise injunctions and conservative principles among the people, can alone preserve their fraternal union and the precious inheritance of freedom.

That branch of the government which is clothed by the Constitution with legislative, executive and judicial powers, and thus invested with three separate authorities to preserve, protect, and defend this venerated instrument, has been pleased to take the initiative in a measure calculated so powerfully to support the Constitution, as that of giving it, in its simplicity and purity, to the people, who possess, themselves, the sovereign power to judge of the inanner in which it may be executed, to rebuke its infraction, and to defend its integrity, and who therefore require every legitimate

99

aid to enable them to perform this vitally important duty in justice, truth, and good faith, for 66 The Constitution in its words is plain and intelligible, and it is meant for the homebred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens.” 6 It is addressed to the common sense of the people."

Several distinguished authorities and individuals having, in the plenitude of their liberality, honored the author and compiler with their sentiments on the subject-matter of the work, he claims the indulgence of the friends of the Constitution in giving them place in this edition, believing, that a salutary effect may be produced by the sanction of their special approbation, and the expression of their several views of the importance of an extended dissemination of that instrument. These may impress, in terms more unexceptionable, the obligation incumbent on every intelligent citizen to make himself acquainted with its provisions, restrictions, and limitations, and of imparting, so far as the ability may extend, a knowledge of this paramount law of our country to the minds of the rising generation

The length of time required in the ordinary course of business, for obtaining a practical knowledge of the operations of government, by persons entering into public life, and their embarrassments for the want of a convenient mode of reference to the various sources of information, have suggested the utility of preparing, as a part of this work, and as germain to its design, a means of collecting and rendering available to the public interest the experience and information acquired in this respect, in the progress of time, by attention to the business of legislation in the public service. The five new chapters in this edition may therefore be considered an essay, to be improved and extended hereafter, with a view, not only to add to the intrinsic matter proper to be read and studied by the great body of American citizens, but to render it peculiarly a vade mecum to the statesman and legislator, the ministering to whose individual convenience must, necessarily, result in facilitating the performance of arduous public duty, and in promoting, no inconsiderable degree, the public interests.

COMMUNICATIONS.

FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE.

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My Dear Sir, Washingtov, 18 Feb. 1847. The volume on “The Constitution of the United States,"

you were kind enough to send me, I have carefully mined, and must now

beg, you to accept my warm thanks for the compliment of its dedication* and for the admirable character of its contents. It is, without exception, the best designed, fullest, neatest, and most accurate manual and guide in relation to the great instrumert of which it exclusively treats

, that s have yet It deserves, and S hope it will receive, imiversal citu culation.

The Constitution is an objeet to which no American mind can be too attentive, asid izo cmerican heart too devoted. Ora partis, provisions, or phrases, it is still and always will be pros. sible for ingenmity to raise constructive doubts : but, on the whole, as the organic chart of

a limited confederated government, a practical trial of nearly sixty years would seem to place its wis. dom and efficiency beyond dispute or rivalry. And, although it is not unusual to hear it said, at moments of heat and disapu. pointment, that, in the enactment or administration of our

our federal kaws, the obligations of the Constitution are disregarded, an oba servation and exfuerience of

excpuerience of more than thirty years convince me of the reverse ; and S

satisfied that its hold

upon science and the opinion of the country at large is constantly

the con

* The first and second editions.

vroves

we have not

strengthening. This is, indeed, the natural result of its perfect fitness to produce the purposes for which it was designed—mion, justice, tranquillity, defence, welfare, and liberty and how well its practical operations harmonize with the business, sentiments, relations, and progress of the American people, Puestlers and inulovating as we are in most things, invaded, and I do not think we shall iwade for centuries to come, the sacred stability of the Constitution.

Such a fuundumental and paramount law, in the picture of its origin und in the purity of its text, should be placed within the reach of every freeman'. "It should be found wherever there is a capacity to read: not alone in legislative halls, judicial councils, libraries, and colleges, but also in the cabins and steerages of otvr mariners, at every conmov-school, log-fut, faca tory, or fireside. It should form the rudimental basis of American thought, by being made a perpetually recwiring object of memory. Your book 'enters upon the attainment of these aims more promisingly than any of whose existence I am aware. Its “ Analysis

” is singularly interesting and useful ; while its tabular statements and lüstorical records constitute most valuable examples of compression and precision. The Senate of the United States, forcibly struck by its merits, " gave sanction to its extensive dissemination; and, indeed, it would be hard, if not impossible, to devise a beiter mode of enlightening and purifying public opinion as to the necessary powers, duties, and responsibilities of will the functionaries of the general Con vernment

, the limits of their agency, and the conciliatory spiris of the vast aystem to which they belong.

I

dear İve, very truly,
Your friend and servant,

G. M. Dallas. O n. Seickey, Esq.

tveir cordial

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