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"Let the editor or speaker who discusses politics for the information of the people, know what he is writing
PUBLISHED BY CORNELIUS WENDELL.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the District of Columbia.
XBARS & DUSENBERY, STEREOTYPERS, PHILADELPHIA.
C. SHKRXAN & 80X,
The Editor of this work deems an extended preface to it unnecessary. The motive which induced its preparation was the necessity which he himself has often felt for a book containing, in a condensed form, a history of the public measures and other matters of political importance which are the subject of discussion at the present time, and are likely to continue to be. This necessity is apparent to every politician in the country. The vast aggregate of political history in the shape of Congressional Debates, &c., through which the seeker for information has to look to reach the gist of a public question, endorses at once the merit of a compilation like this.
It is not for the politician alone that this work is prepared. It will enable every citizen to acquaint himself readily with the true bearing of each political issue which is presented to him for his decision, and will relieve him from too great a dependence upon the partial statements of great political questions, which generally characterize the speeches and essays of the politicians of the present day.
It would be claiming for the work too much to say that it is perfect. No task is so onerous as that involved in condensing the profuse history of politics in this country into a concise and accessible form. The reader will not find in it some things which he may think the book should contain. In many cases he may justly think so. The Editor, however, has embraced in it everything which he deemed absolutely necessary for the discussion of any political question which may arise with reference to our system of government. He is free to admit that, in order to bring the book into a convenient shape, he has left out many things which seemed to him would find an appropriate