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PARIS: HECTOR BOSSANGE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by
GEORGE W. CHILDS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.
The primary object of the publisher of the National Almanac has been to make it, as far as possible, a thoroughly accurate, reliable, and exhaustive authority upon the subjects of which it treats. To this end, every effort has been used, and no expense has been spared. Some practical difficulties have arisen, necessarily incident to the preparation of this, the initial volume of the proposed series; but it is confidently expected that they will be wholly overcome in the succeeding volume for 1864. The arrangements for future publication are believed to be such as will satisfy, in all respects, the wants of the public. No hesitation, however, is felt in referring to the following pages as an earnest of what may be accomplished hereafter; for they contain twice the quantity of matter that has been furnished by any similar work ever published in this country.
In the collection and preparation of this matter, the aim has been to take nothing at secondhand, but to resort, whenever it was practicable so to do, to the original sources of knowledge. Hence the statistics and statements connected with the civil, military, and naval service of the country have, to a very great extent, been submitted to the examination of official personages for revision and correction, so that they may be considered as embodying not only the latest information, but as communicating it in a form sanctioned by the proper authority.
In addition to the precaution taken by the publisher to secure reliability in this respect, he has also endeavored in like manner to bring the facts down to the date of going to press. The statistics of preceding almanacs have generally been from six to twelve months behindhand, chiefly because their editors have been content to await the tardy publication by Congress of official documents and reports; whereas in the present case, upon application to various departments of the Government, we have been kindly enabled to avail ourselves of the manuscript sources of information.
The valuable results of the last census (the eighth) have been classified and incorporated, so as fully to exhibit the absolute and relative state of the