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ENTERED according to the Act of Congress, A. D. 1839, by TIMOTHY CALDwell, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsyl
Thomas Jefferson, -
THE proprietor of this book, now verging on four score years, presents it to the public with an anxious hope that it will be instrumental in doing much good. To place within the reach of all classes of persons who desire it, the history of the venerable sages who wisely conceived, nobly planned and boldly achieved the independence of these United States, is believed to be a matter of great importance, especially to the rising generation.
Of those who signed the Declaration penned by Jefferson—the Articles of Confederation adopted by the Continental Congress, and the Federal Constitution—not one survives to aid in directing the destinies of our country. Like leaves in autumn they have descended to the earth—the winter of death has shut them from this world for ever. But they have left their bright examples, their shining lights, their luminous beacons, to guide their successors in the path of duty and of safety.
Having had the pleasure of seeing all the signers of the declaration before they made their last bow and retired from the stage of action, and having had the satisfaction of a personal acquaintance with many of them, the proprietor has long felt a strong desire to have the history of the prominent traits of their lives and characters reduced to a single portable and cheap volume, that should not be an onerous tax upon the purse or the memory. Such a volume is now presented to the American public, carefully and impartially prepared—plain in style, simple in arrangement and republican in its features.
If all obey the precepts suggested, and imitate the examples delineated upon the following pages, our republic will continue to rise sublimely, until it reaches an eminence of power and grandeur before unknown among the nations of the earth.
That this may be the happy lot of our country, and that our free government may be preserved in its native purity, is the sincere and ardent wish of the proprietor.
Philadelphia, February 22, 1839.