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duced by S. Slater.
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TO ANDREW JACKSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. SIR,
Independence is the pride and the boast of an American, and when he contemplates his country, anticipating its glorious destiny, he may well indulge in this exultation. The natural resources of this republic—its enterprise—its skill—and its industry, can give it something of independence besides the name.
A work, having for its objects the development of these resources—the application of this industry—the reward of this enterprise, should find in some one a patron.
To the President of the United States, elevated by his position above all sectional preferences, public good being his aim, and national prosperity being his strong desire, I have presumed, upon due consideration, to dedicate this work : and shall continue to do so with my succeeding volumes, whatever distinguished individual may be occupying that high station.
I have the honour to be with much respect,
Your obedient servant,
In want of facts, it appears to have been a common propensity of our race to resort to fiction. The ancients, thus influenced, were prone to recur to fabulous ancestry, and to attribute all their improvements and inventions to deified powers. So, instead of awarding to merit its due, and creating a spirit of enquiry and emulation, all their arts were gratuitously attributed to their fabled Apollo. At this distant period of the world we can perceive at once, that this was done by a prevailing ignorance and through a defect of a suitable means for conveying useful and permanent information.
We know enough of human nature to conclude that it will be nearly the same under similar circumstances, and that so far as it is acted upon by them, similar results may be expected from similar causes."
* “The Rhode Island papers announce the death, on Monday last, of Samuel Slater, Esq.-long known as one of the most enterprising and respected citizens of that state, and as the father of the cotton manufacturing business in this country. The first cotton-mill built in the United States was erected by him, in Pawtucket, and was yet in operation at the time of our last visit. There is a curious anecdote, connected with the original machinery of this factory, which, as it is strictly true, we will relate for the edification of Doctors Abercrombie and Macnish, and other enquirers into the philosophy of dreams. Mr. Slater was an ingenious mechanist, and all the machinery was constructed under his immediate direction. Of course, in the earliest infancy of the business, and before the machinery to be constructed was itself thoroughly understood, or the means for making it as ample as could have been desired, imperfections to a greater or less extent were to be anticipated. At length, however, the work was complete, and high were the hopes of the artist and his employers. All was ready, but the machinery would not move, or at least it would not move as intended, or to any purpose.
Ignorance and superstition produce precisely the same dark and dangerous disguises and consequences, in our day, as they did anciently. With the aid of letters, and every facility for printing, as yet not a single publication has been presented to the American public to give an account, and perpetuate the rise and progress, of the cotton and other manufactures in this country. To such an extent have they advanced and probably will advance, without correct information the liability is, for the whole account of their rise and progress at some future period to run into fiction and fable; and the man who was most instrumental in introducing them, instead of being viewed as a plain practical mechanic, using honest means for his own benefit, and at the same time promoting the best interests of this country, to be ranked among fictitious characters, and to have his name and fame some way mysteriously associated with the business which he has permanently established. Information is surely needed on these points, and this is the author's apology for collecting, compiling, and presenting to the public, a work, including the Memoir of Samuel Slater, and giving a general account of the rise and progress of manufactures in this country. In going into this unoccupied field much labour was requisite to collect materials. They have been obtained from a variety of sources, all of which the author wishes to acknowledge with due deference. General credit is due to the following writers:–Hamilton's Report to Congress, 1790; Niles's Register; Edinburgh Encyclopedia;
The disappointment was great, and the now deceased mechanist was in great perplexity. Day after day did he labour to discover, that he might remedy the defect—but in vain. But what he could not discover waking was revealed to him in his sleep.
“It was perfectly natural that the subject which engrossed all his thoughts by day, should be dancing through his uncurbed imagination by night, and it so happened that on one occasion, having fallen into slumber with all the shafts and wheels of his mill whirling in his mind with the complexity of Ezekiel's vision, he dreamed of the absence of an essential band upon one of the wheels. The dream was fresh in his mind on the following morning, and repairing bright and early to his works, he in an instant detected the deficiency!
“The revelation was true, and in a few hours afterwards, the machinery was in full and successful operation. Such is one feature in the history of American manufactures. The machinist has since led an active and useful life—sustaining in all the relations of society an unblemished reputation.”— Com. Advertiser.