« PreviousContinue »
GRANT, GREELEY, WILSON, BROWN, SUMNER, COLFAX, BEECHER, SHERMAN,
WORTHINGTON, DUSTIN & CO., HARTFORD, CONN.
QUEEN CITY PUBLISHING COMPANY, CINCINNATI, OHIO.-M. A. PARKER & CO.,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Connecticut.
To the Young Men of America,
OF THEIR ELDER BRETHREN IN THE REPUBLIC,
BY THE AUTHOR.
IN these sketches of some of the leading public men of our times, the editor professes to give such particulars of their lives, and such only, as the public have a right to know.
Every such man has two lives, his public and his private one. The one becomes fairly the property of the public, in virtue of his having been connected with events in which every one has a share of interest; but the other belongs exclusively to himself, his family, and his intimate friends, and the public have no more right to discuss or pry into its details than they have into those of any other private individual.
The editor has aimed to avoid all privacies and personalities which might be indelicate in relation to family circles. She has indeed, in regard to all the characters, so far as possible, dwelt upon the early family and community influences by which they were formed, particularly upon the character and influence of mothers; but such inquiries relate for the most part to those long dead, and whose mortal history has become a thing of the past.
Whenever the means have been at hand, the family stock from which each man has been derived, has been minutely traced. The question of inherited traits is becoming yearly one of increasing interest, and most striking results come from a comparison of facts upon this subject. The fusion of different races is said to produce marked results on the characteristics of the human being. America has been a great smelting furnace in which tribes and nations have been melted together, and the result ought to be some new developments of human nature. It will always be both interesting and useful to know both the quality of the family stock, and the circumstances of the early training of men who have acted any remarkable part in life.