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For behold the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON AND COMPANY.
PRESIDENT OF THE NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY,
AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER :
To You, this Volume,
THE RESULT, IN PART, OF YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT, AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE
VALUABLE COLLECTIONS OF YOUR SOCIETY, AND IN PART OF OUR MUTUAL
DESIRE TO GATHER UP EVERY HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL,
AND GENEALOGICAL FACT, THAT NOTHING BE LOST,
IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
BY YOUR FRIEND,
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
I SEND forth this volume, the first of the proposed annual series, with much anxiety. Having examined the newspapers from all parts of the country, and gathered notices from them, and in most cases having been unable to obtain actual data from correspondence, I fear many errors in names, dates, residences, &c., may be found. There is constant liability to error in such notices in the transfers from one paper to others, as, for instance, in continuing the abbreviation "inst.” after the month has passed, and in not keeping up the distinction of states, especially upon state borders. These notices are taken mostly from newspapers, and generally from papers in the vicinity of the deceased. In most cases I have shortened them without changing expressions of opinion; the language and even the idiomatic peculiarities I have preserved. I have obtained eulogies, sermons, and obituaries prepared by request; and I have sought information by sending more than seven hundred circulars to friends of deceased, asking for notices and facts. If, therefore, certain distinguished men appear with brief notices, my apology must be found in the fact that my circular was not attended to, and I had no means of obtaining a better one.
It has been my great purpose to bring together the Obituaries of the distinguished men of the whole country; but I have also introduced our distinguished women, and the widows and wives of our eminent and professional men. I have also gathered the names of many revolutionary soldiers, early settlers of towns, and aged people. In all these particulars my future volumes will be open to change, according to the character and necessities of the collections of each year, and the demands of public taste and judgment.
This work is the result of a long and earnest desire to give more permanent and accessible memorial to those who have originated and developed our institutions ; those whose names should be remembered by the generations to come as the statesmen, the soldiers, the men of science and skill, the sagacious merchants, the eminent clergymen and philanthropists; those who have brought our country to the prosperity and distinction it now enjoys. We have very few biographies of our eminent dead; eulogies, sermons, and obituaries are seldom found in our libraries; they are soon lost, and the men and their deeds are liable to pass from remembrance. It is hoped and believed that these annual collections of obituaries of men who make so much of our current history will prove grateful, salutary, and valuable.
Some of the difficulties in collecting the notices for this volume have been removed ; and my facilities for obtaining the material for the next are so much increased and perfected that the volume for 1858 may be expected earlier in the year, and to be more correct, select, and valuable.
I propose to devote some fifty pages in each volume (as an appendix) to notices of men who have died in former years, and have been so identified with important events that a present notice would be a valuable contribution to history or general knowledge, and a deserved and proper tribute to the individual. Persons wishing to furnish notices for the appendix may at any time address me upon the subject.
To the kindred and friends of those whose names appear in this volume I may be allowed to say that I have taken great interest and received much satisfaction in this service. The name, the life, the influence of every man makes a part of the history of the times; and I am sure this contribution to our annals will be of service to the future historian, and a present consolation to the surviving relatives.
I am greatly indebted to the many gentlemen who have contributed individual obituaries; but I am most especially obliged to Messrs. James C. and Frederick Ayer, distinguished chemists and druggists in this city, for the use of their newspaper exchanges, and for the uniform courtesy and assistance of those gentlemen and their clerks in my almost daily visits to their office since I commenced this work.
NATHAN CROSBY. LOWELL, Mass., Oct. 1, 1858.