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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
D. APPLETON & COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.
P R E FACE.
The design of the present work is to furnish a convenient and popular Library Edition of the most celebrated Speeches and Addresses, forensic and parliamentary, of the principal Orators and Statesmen of America. It contains many which have never before been included in any collection ; and heretofore inaccessible to the student and general reader. As far as attainable, specimens of the eloquence of the Continental Congress have been given, which fully illustrate the principles and portray the sufferings of the Revolutionary Period. Many entire speeches from the debates in Congress, since the year 1789, under the present organization of the Government, will also be found in this work. Selections from the earnest and able discussions in the State Conventions of the principles involved in the adoption of the Federal Constitution, also form a considerable portion of the work; and thus render it valuable as a means of acquiring an understanding of that important instrument.
The biographical sketches, preceding the selections from the works of each orator, are intended to present a brief outline of their lives and public services, the limited space allowed for that portion of the work precluding more extended notices. The analytical index attached to the work may render it generally useful as a book of reference.
The want of a work of this kind is too obvious to make any apology necessary for its publication at the present time. Should its success warrant such a course, another series, embracing the MORE RECENT AND LIVING ORATORS, prepared upon the same plan, will be offered to the public.
In closing, the Editor acknowledges his obligations to the numerous individuals from whom he has received valuable assistance, and especially to his brother, George H. Moore; to Mrs. Laura Wolcott Gibbs, for permission to copy the miniature of Alexander Hamilton, painted by her, and now in her possession; to Dr. John W. Francis, for the extension of his usual courtesies; to Mr. Henry T. Tuckerman, for valuable suggestions; to Mr. William Hunter, of the State Department, Washington, for the material contained in the sketch of his father's life; to the Libraries of the New York Historical Society, the Mercantile Library Association, the New York Society Library, and the Astor Library, as well as to the officers of these Institutions for the facility with which he has been enabled to make use of their valuable collections.
New York, August, 1st, 1857.