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DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
REV. CHARLES A. GOODRICH.
Southern District of New York, ss
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-fourth day of June, A. D. 1829, in the fifty-third year of the Independence of the United States of America, Charles A. Goodrich, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit :-"Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence. By the Rev. Charles A. Goodrich.”
In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “an act for the en. couragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an act, entitled, an act, supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
FRED. J. BETTS,
Astor, Lenox and Thelon
The author has had it in contemplation for several years, to present to the public a work of the following kind; but, until recently, he has had lei. sure to complete his design. He was incited to the undertaking, by a belief that he might render an important service to his countrymen, especially to the rising generation, by giving them, in a volume of convenient size, some account of the distinguished band of patriots, who composed the congress of 1776; and to whose energy and wisdom the colonies, at that time, owed the declaration of their independent political existence.
No nation can dwell with more just satisfaction upon its annals, than the American people. The emigrants, who settled the country, were illustrious men; distinguished for their piety, wisdom, energy, and fortitude. Not less illustrious were their descendants, who served as the guides and counsellors of the colonies, or who fought their battles during the revolutionary struggle. No one who admits the intervention of a special providence in the affairs of nations, can hesitate to believe, that the statesmen and heroes of the revolution were raised up by the God of heaven, for the important and definite purpose of achieving the independence of America--of rescuing a people, whose ancestors had been eminently devoted to the duties of piety, from the thraldom under which they had groaned for years--and of presenting to the monarchical governments in the eastern hemisphere, the example of a government, founded upon principles of civil and religious liberty.
For the accomplishment of such a purpose, the statesmen and heroes of the revolution were eminently fitted." They were endowed with minds of distinguished power, and exhibited an example of political sagacity, and of high military prowess, which commanded the admiration of statesmen and heroes, throughout the world. Their patriotism was of a pure and exalted character; their zeal was commensurate with the noble objects which they had in view; and amid the toils, and privations, and sufferings, which they were called to endure, they exhibited a atience and fortitude, rarely equalled in the history of the world.
Of the revolutionary patriots, none present themselves with more interest to the rising generation, than those who composed the congress of 1776; and upon whom devolved the important political duty of severing the ties, which bound the colonies to the mother country. The lives of this illustrious band, we here present to our readers. Although the author regrets that his materials were not more abundant, he indulges the hope, that the subsequent pages will not be found devoid of interest. Even an unadorned recital of the virtues, which adorned the subjects of these memoirs; the piety of some -the patriotism and constancy and courage of them all-can scarcely fail of imparting a useful lesson to our readers. The obligations to cherish their memory, and to follow their example will be felt; nor can our readers fail to realize the debt of gratitude we owe in common, to that benignant pruvidence, who fitted these men for the important work which was assigned them.
All the material facts, recorded in the following pages, the author has reason to believe are authentic, and entitled to credibility. Most of them are matters of public record. Some of the sketches will indeed be found to contain but few incidents; because, in respect to a portion of the signers, but few existed ; and, in respect to others, the accurate knowledge of them has been irrevocably lost. The sources from which he has drawn the materials of the volume are too numerous to be particularly mentioned in this place; yet he would be doing injustice, not to express his special obligations to the authors of the following works: viz. Pitkin's Political and Civil History of the United States, North American Review, Walsh's Appeal, Marshall's Life