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E 203 .N69 1876
In presenting for the consideration of the young men of the United States, during this hundredth anniversary of American Independence, the republication of the “ Principles and Acts of the Revolution in America," published by the late Hezekiah Niles, Editor of the "Weekly Register," and dedicated by him to their predecessors fifty-four years ago, it is with the hope that, by the perusal of the speeches, orations, and proceedings of the Revolutionary period in the United States, embraced in this volume, they may be encouraged, as expressed by its Editor, “to adhere to the simplicity of truth, as set forth by the principles and acts of their fathers, and emulate the noblest deeds when the liberties of their country are endangered by foreign enemies, or domestic encroachments, so that the blessings which those patriots won, may descend to posterity, and our Republic forever continue to be the pride of humanity, and an asylum for the oppressed of all nations."
As the work has been out of print for more than a half century, and its contents being regarded as an invaluable addition to our country's history during " the time that tried men's souls,” (the collection of speeches, orations, and proceedings, with but few exceptions, not being found in any other compilation), and having been frequently solicited to republish the work with reference to its circulation, in the belief that its perusal, during this Centennial Celebration of our Independence, would to some extent result in cementing the bonds uniting us as a Nation, and “excite a love of freedom, and lead the people to vigilance, as a condition on which it is granted,” the volume is respectfully submitted to the public, with the hope that the expectations of its friends may in part, at least, be realized.
SAMUEL V. NILES. WASHINGTON, 1876.
NOTE.— The work has been thoroughly revised, with classification of contents under the respective Colonies, and in chronological order.
The following letters have been received from prominent statesmen and jurists of the country, strongly urging the republication of this work, believing that its circulation during the Centennial Year of our Independence, would go far toward fostering a feeling of national unity and patriotism :
From the late Hon. HENRY WILSON, Vice President of the United States.
NATICK, MASS., September 30, 1875. SAMUEL V. NILES, Esq., Washington, D. C.
DEAR SIR: Your proposed publication, it seems to me, is very important and very opportune, as the nation more than ever needs to be carried back to the “principles" of the men who inaugurated the movement that resulted in the formation of our Government, and to a study of the "acts which made up that great Revolution.” Surely our young men can hardly go to a higher or better source for both in. formation and inspiration than that you propose to invite them to; and I wish you all success in your undertaking.
From the Hon. HAMILTON FISH, Secretary of State of the United States.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, October 1, 1875. For a longer period than falls to the lot of many men to be doing good to their race and generation, Hezekiah Niles was among the most valuable contributors of valuable information to the American people.
I am very glad to learn that you propose to publish the “ Principles and Acts of the American Revolution."
It is well from time to time to examine the foundations of the structure in which we live ; and there can be no better time than the present to lay again before the people the honest inward heartfelt thoughts and motives and aims of the men who aided in laying the foundation stones of the Government under which so many live, thoughtless and heedless of the great principles essential to support the structure reared with such wisdom and such care.
No greater public service can be rendered than to inoculate the generation living at the first Centennial Anniversary of our national existence with some of the forgotten, discarded "old-fashioned” notions and principles of simple, honest, disinterested patriotism which moved and governed the men who brought the nation into existence.
From the Hon. WM. PINKNEY WHYTE, U. S. Senator from Maryland.
BALTIMORE, Sept. 15, 1875. I am quite sure the publication afresh of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution will produce a most beneficial effect on the rising generation at this period of time. Something should be done to arouse the youth of the land to the priceless heritage of liberty, and nothing could be better calculated for that purpose than the republication of the speeches, orations, and proceedings of the heroes of the Revolution.
From the Hon. HENRY C. Carey, Political Economist, Philadelphia, Pa.
PHILADELPHIA, September 9, 1875. I am very glad to see that you propose republishing your grandfather's admirable collection of the Principles and Acts of the American Revolution, and for these reasons: first, that our young men may be enabled to study, and to profit by the study of the sayings and doings of their predecessors; and second, that they may have matter to call to mind my old friend, the editor, one of the very best and most useful of all the men I have ever known. No man who ever knew him can do otherwise than bold bis memory in veneration.