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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1844,
BY FRANCIS Bowen, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
GREAT pains have been taken with the present volume of the American Almanac to sustain that reputation for fulness and accuracy of information by which the work has been distinguished during the sixteen years of its existence. By the kindness of the officers of the departments at Washington, and of numerous correspondents in every part of the United States, returns and corrections are obtained up to the latest hour, so as to render the Almanac as perfect a contemporaneous record as is possible of the government, the judiciary, the finances, and the statistics of the country. Amid the vast amount of materials that are collected for use, the difficulty of selection is great; but the editors have always considered that accuracy was a point of more importance than variety or quantity, and they have endeavored to make the work a continuous register of those statistical and miscellaneous facts only which may be depended upon, and which are most valuable for present use, and for reference in future years. An article, in this volume, upon the mistakes committed in taking the census for 1840, shows how easy it is to get together a great body of supposed facis, which shall be almost worthless, from the inaccuracies with which they abound, and from the impossibility of separating truth from
The astronomical calculations have been made, as in former years, by Mr. BENJAMIN Peirce, Perkins Professor of Astronomy in Harvard University; they are very full, and are believed to be worthy, in every respect, of his high reputation as a mathematician. The lists of officers, and the particulars respecting every department of the general government, the judiciary, army, navy, post office, public lands, revenue, and expenditure of the United States, are given in the most condensed form, and with even greater minuteness than on former occasions. Each volume of the American Almanac is intended to be an original and independent work, not a page in it being copied from one in a former volume, without numerous additions and corrections, and far the larger portion of the matter being entirely new. The last volume, for instance, contained hardly any particulars respecting the commerce of the country; in the present volume, there is more copious information respecting this subject, drawn from the official records at Washington, than was probably ever before