« ZurückWeiter »
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
1871, April 10.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
LIFE OF GEORGE READ,
A SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,
Is Bespectfully Dedicated
BY THE AUTHOR.
IN the year 1821 the author of the "Life of George Read," at the request of the heads of his family, wrote a "Sketch" of his life for the "Biography of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence," then being published, which, being approved by them, was printed in the third volume of that work. Upon the decease of the father of the author, in 1836, the papers of George Read came into his possession. A careful examination of these papers showed that the sketch of Mr. Read's life was an imperfect and inadequate record of his services and character. The author felt it to be his duty to attempt a fuller one, but shrunk from the task, diffident of his ability to execute it as he wished it to be executed, and was diverted from it by duties and avocations which could not be put aside, until a recent period, when, warned by his near approach to the ordinary term of human life, he felt that this attempt, if to be made by him, could no longer be deferred. Besides the papers of Mr. Read, above mentioned, letters-valuable materials of this work—have been obtained and incorporated in it. Mr. Read's correspondence comprises letters of the most eminent of his contemporaries, now first published, except eight printed in the "Sketch" of his life, in the "Biography of the Signers." The author considered it impracticable to write the life of Mr. Read as he thought it ought to be attempted, without writing at the same time, to some extent at least, the history of the deeply-interesting period with which, as a public man, Mr. Read was closely connected; but, as well he might, recoiled from repeating the narrative of events familiar to all, and which he could not even hope to invest with interest.
The letters of Mr. Read's eminent contemporaries seemed to require, while they gave opportunity for, the brief notices of their writers in these pages, and it appeared to be a duty to preserve facts which (vii)