« AnteriorContinuar »
Mr. Sparks printed in his collection of Washington's “ Writings” upwards of twenty-five hundred letters, apart from his journals and memoranda. I have increased the number of letters to more than three thousand, and draw more freely on the diaries, farm journals, and plans of compaigns and of army organization. The difficulty lay principally in making a proper selection from the wealth of material found; one that would preserve a proper balance between the public and the private acts of the man, so displaying his character more fully than has been done. If I have partially succeeded in this attempt, I am content; the result can be entirely satisfactory least of all to myself, who in daily study for more than four years have been brought to realize the man's true greatness, and his relation to the history of his times. I frankly confess to a certain feeling of disappointment, as his reserve has left so many of the important events of his career unexplained ; but I am in part consoled by a knowledge that in this new collection of his writings a patient study will obtain much that is of value.
Again I thank the many kind friends who have given me freely of their stores. Mr. Crosby, of Boston, sent copies of all the important collection of letters from Washington to General Lincoln, and placed them at my disposal. Mr. F. B. McGuire, of Washington, supplied me with the Washington
Madison correspondence, since unfortunately scattered. Dr. John S. H. Fogg, of Boston, Dr. Thomas Addis Emmett, of New York, and the late Mr. Cassius F. Lee, Jr., of Alexandria, have never refused access to their stores ; while Mr. William F. Havemeyer, of New York, has done a patriotic duty in bringing together a splendid collection of Washingtoniana, to which I was able to refer whenever I desired. Mrs. Burton Harrison gave me copies of the Washington-Fairfax letters, and heavy drafts have been made upon the Historical Societies. I am happy to record the public-spirited conduct of these societies—with but two exceptions. The Long Island Historical Society, of Brooklyn, and the New York Historical Society, proved themselves to be historical societies only in name.
One debt I can never sufficiently acknowledge. There was one who first offered his counsel and aid, and whose kindly encouragement, intelligent criticism, and hearty sympathy in the undertaking made smooth many rough places, and without whose co-operation the work could not have been brought to a successful issue under my editorship. To my father, GORDON LESTER FORD, who did not live to see the last volumes, I owe the debt of gratitude, and in affectionate remembrance of which I record his name in this connection. My brother, Paul Leicester Ford, has been as untiring in his assistance as he has proved learned in American history.
WORTHINGTON CHAUNCEY FORD. WASHINGTON, D. C.,
11 August, 1893.
CONTENTS OF VOL. XIV.
desire to change, or to employ one discontented with his con-
his complaints—Makes an offer,
inexpedient-Does not think that France will come to open war
from the people—The government supported.
the history of Virginia.
non his headquarters—Good wishes for his administration.
against such an assumption-His sentiments in the Farewell
appointment-General Pinckney should be considered-His
and prudent measures of his administration towards France-
Has determined to accept the call-Conditions and a reservation.
-Relies upon his co-operation-Action of Congress-Suggested
question of Major-Generals—Pinckney has the highest claims-
Former rank should be forgot in the new army.
for the office of Quartermaster-General-Sevier-Application of
Edward Rutledge fit to command the artillery.
Indignation against France-His gardener satisfactory.
mendations—Would not a secretary be allowable-Wishes to