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This book is gratefully inscribed by the editor and reviser to the first of the “Noble Three Hundred" subscribers for the Memoir before publication, thus making its issue possible.
Among these are the following:
Wells H. Blodgett, St. Louis, and Hon. W. W. Graves, Jefferson City, both of Mo.; Gardiner Lathrop, Chicago, E. B. Hamilton, Peoria, both of Ill.; Harvey D. Goulder, Cleveland, Mortimer Matthews, Cincinnati, both of 0.; Edgar T. Brackett, Saratoga Springs, Julien T. Davies, N. Y. C., both of N. Y.; Jas. Gay Gordon, Philadelphia, S. M. Hazlett, Pittsburg, both of Pa.; Hon. Robt. F. Raymond, Boston, Wilmore B. Stone, Springfield, both of Mass.; Fred W. Lawrence, Showhegan, W. R. Roix, Presque Isle, both of Me.; Daniel Davenport, Bridgeport, Wm. H. Shields, Norwich, both of Conn.; Wm. P. Sheffield, Newport, R. I.; Waldron M. Ward, Newark, N. J.; Hon. Wm. B. Sawyer, Concord, Irving W. Drew, Lancaster, both of N. H.; Fred A. Baker, R. A. Parker, both of Detroit, Mich., Messrs. Bouck, Hilton, Kluwin & Dempsey, Oshkosh, and Burr W. Jones, Madison, all of Wis.; Wm. D. Mitchell, St. Paul, C. J. Rockwood, Minneapolis, both of Minn.; A. G. Sampson, Davenport, W. E. Mitchell, Council Bluffs, both of Ia.; Sharpless Walker, Miles City, Ransom Cooper, Great Falls, both of Mont.; Jess Hawley, Boise, J. C. Rogers, Burley, both of Idaho; Geo. A. Bangs, Grand Forks, S. D.; Clarence M. Beck, Salt Lake City, Utah; L. Ward Bannister, Denver, Sam'l H. Kinsley, Colorado Springs, both of Colo.; Jas. B. Howe, Seattle, Chas. 0. Bates, Tacoma, both of Wash.; Wm. M. Abbott and S. H. Derby, both of San Francisco, Calif.; F. Dumont Smith, Hutchinson, Kans.; Harry Campbell, Tulsa, Okla.; E. J. Smith, Nashville, Marion Griffin, Memphis, both of Tenn.; Hon. Nelson Phillips, Austin, F. M. Etheridge, Dallas, both of Texas; David L. Withington, M. B. Henshaw, both of Honolulu, Hawaii Territory; Herman Lewkowitz, Phoenix, Ariz.; Arthur F. Odlin, Arcadia, Fla.; also New York Public Library and N. Y. Historical Society, both of N. Y. City; Ky. State Library, Frankfort, Ky. The Biddle Law Library, Philadelphia, Pa, and Two Hundred and Fifty more "immortals."
1. Mrs. Jerome Bonaparte, wife of the younger brother of Napoleon I, is here meant. She was before marriage to Jerome Bonaparte, December, 1803, Miss Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore, Md. They were divorced in 1805. Note "b," p. 68.
2. The same person, Mrs. Jerome Bonaparte, is meant, instead of Mariae Rose Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, at page 73, Note “a."
3. Read “Wirt" instead of "Wist,” note “c," 2nd word, p. 187.
4. Read "us" instead of "as,"—6th line; and “our" instead of “out,"—11th line, p. 198.
PREFACE TO EDITION OF 1873.
I was asked by my friend, Mr. Robert Means Mason, to prepare from materials furnished by him, a Memoir of his father, Mr. Jeremiah Mason. He was desirous that such of his father's descendants as had never seen him should have some more distinct impression of what manner of man he was than could be gathered from memory and tradition. I readily complied with his request, as I had known his father in the last years of his life, and retained a fresh impression of his peculiar traits of mind and character, as well as a grateful sense of his kindness to me personally. It will be borne in mind that this Memoir is privately printed, and intended only for a limited circle of readers; it thus has more of Mr. Mason's domestic correspondence than would have been proper in a published work.
I have been assisted in my task by many of Mr. Mason's surviving friends; among them, Mr. Daniel M. Christie, of Dover, N. H.; Mr. Samuel P. Long, formerly of Portsmouth, N. H., now of Boston; Mr. John P. Lord, of South Berwick, Maine, Mr. Ebenezer Wheelwright, formerly of Portsmouth, N. H., and Mr. Lory Odell and Mr. W. H. Y. Hackett, both of Portsmouth, N. H. To the last named gentleman I am under peculiar obligations, as he has answered my frequent inquiries, and obtained information for me, with a zeal and readiness which nothing but a warm interest in the subject could have inspired.
My work, as it went on, was submitted to the inspection of Mr. R. M. Mason, and has throughout profited by his judgment and taste.
G. S. HILLARD. (*) BOSTON, June, 1873.
(a) George Stillman Hillard, an American lawyer and author, was born at Machias, Maine, on the 22nd of September, 1808; after graduation at Harvard College, in 1828, he taught in the Round Hill School at Northampton, Massachusetts; graduated at the Harvard Law School in 1832, and in 1833 was admitted to the bar in Boston; entered into a partnership with Charles Sumner; was a member of the State House of Representatives in 1836; of the State Senate in 1850; of the State Constitutional Convention, in 1853; and was United States Attorney for Massachusetts, 1866-70. He devoted a large portion of his time to literature, receiving high commendation from C. H. Hill, a compentent critic, for the literary merit of this Memoir, and as a legislator won warm commendation from Daniel Webster. In 1833 he edited the Christian Register. Subsequently he became associated with Mr. Sumner in the publication of the Jurist (1829-43), a legal journal to which Charles Sumner, Simon Greenleaf and Theron Metcalf contributed; and from 1856-61, owned an interest in the Boston Courier, of which he was associate editor until he retired at the beginning of the Civil War. In 1847 he delivered a course of lectures before the Lowell Institute. Trinity gave him the degree of LL. D., in 1857. His addresses include a 4th of July Oration (Boston, 1836), Dangers and Duties of the Mercantile Profession, delivered before the Mercantile Library Association (1850), and an oration before the N. Y. Pilgrim Society (1851), a eulogy on Daniel Webster (1852). He was the author of the privately printed Memoirs of James Brown, and of Jeremiah Mason, and a Life of Captain John Smith for Spark's American Biography; published the Practical Works of Edmund Spencer, with a critical intro tion (1832); a translation of Guizot's Essay on the Character and Influence of George Washington (1840); a Memorial of Daniel Webster; and Six Months in Italy (1853); Life and Campaigns of George B. McClellan (Philadelphia, 1856); Political Duties of the Educated Classes, a pamphlet (Boston, 1866), and Life of George Tichnor, with Mrs. George Tichnor, (Boston, 1873). He also published Selections from the Writings of Walter Savage Landor (1856); besides a series of School readers and many articles in periodicals and encyclopedias. He died in Boston, January 21, 1879. FOREWORD TO EDITION OF 1917.
This Reproduction of the Memoir of Mr. Mason has been undertaken, for the reason that it is believed, the delineation of the career of the greatest common-law lawyer this country has produced, cannot but be helpful to the busy lawyer of today. The edition of 1873, printed by the family, in a limited 200-copy edition, for private circulation, has become exceedingly scarce, and consequently very expensive, varying in value from $40 to $60 per copy,--one copy, interleaved with cuts, and bound in two volumes, selling recently to a leading Mis
souri lawyer for $125.
Mr. Mason's superiority as a lawyer lay in his solid qualities, exact knowledge of the law, and great skill in applying it. An expert in examination and cross-examination, he drew from a witness, just what he desired and no more. He was enabled to do this as he knew exactly what he wanted. He never went to trial without talking with his witnesses, beforehand, and, therefore, knew what they were going to say. He was a profound student of human nature, never perturbed, of unerring judgment, and possessed rare common sense,-an “uncommon" endowment. While not an orator, in the common acceptation of that term, he ranked not with Erskine, Brougham, Pinkney, Webster and Choate, but rather with the three greatest verdict winners in the history of the profession,Dunning, Scarlett and Luther Martin.
The author believes that the careful study and appropriation of the knowledge and methods of the great masters in the exacting profession of the law, cannot but be beneficial to the practitioner of today. We know of no better model, in all the elements that lead to success, than Mr. Mason. A close study of this
Memoir, will lead any careful student, it is believed, to the same conclusion. A somewhat extended study of the lives of judges and lawyers during the last twenty-five years, over a period covering five hundred years of time, has profoundly impressed us with the fact that nearly all of our masters in the law, have familiarized themselves with the methods of their predecessors and contemporaries. Especially is this true of Erskine, Brougham, Romilly, and Scarlett of England; and Wirt, Pinkney, Webster, Choate and Prentiss, of America.