the period of the American Revolution
of which a portion is here treated, divides itself into two epochs; the first extending to the Declaration of Independence
; the second, to the acknowledgment of that Independence by Great Britain
, In preparing the volume, there has been no parsimony of labor; but marginal references to the documents out of which it has mainly been constructed are omitted.
This is done not from an unwillingness to subject every statement of fact, even in its minutest details, to the severest scrutiny; but from the variety and multitude of the papers which have been used, and which could not be intelligibly cited, without burdening the pages with a disproportionate commentary.
From the very voluminous manuscripts which I have brought together, I hope at some not very distant day to cull out for publication such letters as may at once confirm my narrative and possess an intrinsic and general
interest by illustrating the character and sentiments of the people during the ten or twelve years preceding the Fourth of July, 1776.
At the close of the sixth volume of this work, some imperfect acknowledgment was made to those from whom I have received most essential service while making my collection of materials.
I shall hereafter have occasion to recur to that subject; at this time I desire to express my sense of the friendly regard of many persons in various parts of our country, who have sent me unpublished documents, or historical pamphlets and monographs, such as the liberal and inquisitive are constantly producing.
Whatever can be obtained in the ordinary way through the booksellers, I have no need to solicit; but I am and shall ever be grateful to any person who will forward to me at New York any materials which cannot be obtained except through private courtesy.
New York, March 31, 1858.