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HIS book is an attempt to faithfully portray the life of

Ta man.

It includes, as the appropriate background of such a portrait, a sketch of the public events which wrought on him and on which he wrought.

The first interest of the general public in the career of Samuel Bowles arises from the fact that he was an eminent journalist. He was one of the representative men through whom a new power in society has been developed and exercised. His field was in one sense narrow, for the Springfield Republican was published in a provincial town, and limited to a comparatively small circulation; but it exercised a wide influence. The best measure of its editor's attainment was not the number of readers he reached, but the theory and ideal of journalism which he exemplified. His personal history touches the principles of the art of newspaper-making.

The justification for sketching a nation's story as part of the story of a journalist's life is that the journalist has become an important factor in national affairs. Mr. Bowles's editorial work covered the period from the annexation of Texas to the close of reconstruction under President Hayes. He was a spectator and actor in the struggle which ended in the overthrow of slavery, and also in the problems which taxed the nation in the years following the war. A great part of the significance and value of his life lay in his contribution to these debates. VOL. I.


Their reflex influence on him was among the strongest forces that shaped his growth. We do not rightly appreciate the history of a nation, except as we see it entering into the thought and character of the individual citizen; nor do we appreciate the citizen, especially if he be a leader among his fellows, unless we keep before our eyes the fortunes of the great community of which he is a member.

The sketch here given of the more prominent events of the country's political history makes no pretensions to profundity of research or originality of view. It follows the line of central interest, the slavery question, the war, reconstruction, and reform,-touching collateral issues but lightly. It deals with thoughts and motives rather than with outward action; and the scenes of its drama lie more in the minds of the common people than in battle-fields or the chambers of Congress. Its materials have been drawn partly from standard works and partly from the volumes of the Republican. The files of a newspaper must not be trusted always to give the true proportion of the events which they narrate from day to day, and their record must be open to large correction from other sources. But, picturing the scene as it appeared to actors and contemporaries, and giving details caught by the reporter's pen before memory has had time to grow treacherous, they yield most abundant and vivid material.

The more essential part of the book is that which deals with the personal life of its subject. Few men in his generation had a more striking personality than "Sam Bowles," and few were more widely known. He was a man of strong, racy, many-sided individuality,—a man richly worth knowing even by report, if the biographer has at all succeeded in representing his true quality. It has been my desire to show him just as he was,-in his virtues and in his faults; in the successive phases of his growth; in the aspects in which he disclosed him

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self to the public, to his friends, to his enemies. I have tried to discern and present the underlying and governing forces of his life. Whatever has been my success or failure in this attempt, I have at least been able to show one characteristic aspect of the man, unwarped and uncolored by any misinterpreting medium, in the large selections from his private letters. One may say of them what Emerson says of Montaigne's essays: "The sincerity and marrow of the man reaches to his sentences. Cut these words and they would bleed; they are vascular and alive."

I acknowledge warmly the generosity with which his family and his most intimate friends have placed his correspondence at my disposal. In some cases with no small sacrifice of personal feelings, they have contributed the material toward showing him to the world with something of the charm which they knew in him. The reader of the book will scarcely need to be apprised that while the members of Mr. Bowles's family have given very valuable matter to the writer, he is solely responsible for the judgments which are expressed.

For the rest, the work must speak for itself. It addresses itself to the common interest of humanity. The writer says to his readers: Behold a man! Thus he looked, thus he acted, thus he grew; this was his work, these were his joys, these were his battles, his defeats, his victories; such was the front he wore to the world, and so he opened his heart to those he loved; this was the outcome of his life, and this is its significance and appeal.

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