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PREFACE.

In preparing this volume for the press, the author has been encouraged by others in the belief that his humble labors might prove useful to his fellow-citizens, in leading them to contemplate the institutions of their country as sacred trusts, to be honored by duty, and protected by patriotism. It has been his aim to invest citizenship with those traits of character which give dignity to man, and to illustrate those great and eternal truths which give growth, power, and glory to nations. He has endeavored to define man, in his relations to external objects and to Deity,

a being of accountability and improvement; and nations, as the mighty aggregates of the convencional powers of humanity, which are combined, haped, and directed by the hand of that Providence which marks its way only in harmony with the universal principles of truth and of progress. How far he has succeeded in his design he leaves for others 'o judge. He claims no favor but the admission of nis sincerity, and no merit but in the purity of his notives.

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Having designed an extended history of the late. war between the United States and Mexico, and being engaged in collecting materials in view of its execution, the author was induced, by the superior judgment of others, to give form to the present volume, briefly treating of important subjects within a compass that should be available, to the great mass of the people. The suggestion was a recent one, and the work has been prepared with a rapidity, which, though prudence might not approve, necessity made requisite and imperative.

The author makes his grateful acknowledgments to the Hon. Robert J. Walker, to the Hon. R. H. Gillet, and to other distinguished gentlemen, for their aid, counsel, and encouragement in the prosecution of the humble undertaking. If he has accomplished any good purpose, it is but just that the public should know the source of its indebtedness.

October, 1848.

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