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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District
POLITICAL laws, wisely framed, have made the United States powerful and wealthy to a degree unexampled in modern times; and I have thought that a book of facts, recording the public services of our National law-makers, would be a deserved tribute to them, and, at the same time, be generally useful. The record has been made in each case as correct and concise as possible. Of many men more might have been written, but that was not deemed
expedient in a work of this kind; and where not enough has been said, the fault must be attributed to the indifference of the persons mostly interested, or to the neglect of their friends. Not being a politician, it has given me but little trouble to be impartial. My leading object has been to prepare a kind of labor-saving machine for the benefit of all those who feel an interest in the political history and future prosperity of the Republic; and in the Appendix I have endeavored to bring together from the Government Archives a mass of legislative and executive information calculated to be of service to members of Congress while engaged in their public duties.
Thus far had I progressed with this Introduction; and while hesitating as to its continuation, it was my good fortune to be present in the United States Senate, when that body formally changed its place of meeting. All the proceedings on this occasion were highly interesting, and a few remarks offered by the Hon. John J. Crittenden—the oldest member of the Senate—were truly affecting. After he had resumed his seat, an address was delivered by the Vice-President of the United States, at the previous request of the