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US50959

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY

1863

Gray Fund

.

65 ott,

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by

LUCIEN B. CHASE,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District

of New York.

JOHN F. Trow,
Printer and Stereotyper

49, 51 and 53 Ann-st., N. Y.

PRE FACE.

It was with a just appreciation of the difficult task before me, that I commenced the history of Mr. Polk's administration. I have endeavored to delineate, and I hope with impartiality, the transactions which signalized that eventful epoch. Having been in Congress during the presidential term of Mr. Polk, many occurrences recorded in these pages passed under my own observation, which greatly facilitated my researches. I have incorporated copious notes, containing arguments upon both sides of important questions, for the purpose

of

presenting the views of Mr. Polk's contemporaries. The work is respectfully submitted to the consideration of my countrymen, with the hope that they will deal gently with its faults, in return for the information which I trust it contains.

The events which transpired during the administration of James K. Polk will exercise a vast influence upon the destiny of this confederacy.

Future generations will designate it as an age of progress and reform. History will preserve the evidences of the chivalry and military enthusiasm which, during the Mexican war, covered the American arms with immortal renown.

Too brief a period has elapsed since those scenes occurred, to justify the belief that they will be weighed at the present day with an impartial judgment. Political and personal animosities have not yet been allayed by the soothing hand of time. Mr. Polk, but a few months ago, retired from his elevated position only to be gathered to the tomb. Posterity, however, will regard with unprejudiced minds the brilliant career of that administration, which for startling incidents, bold and comprehensive policy, and grand and successful design, stands unrivalled upon the pages of American history.

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