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cause of the undue share of merit alleged to be therein attributed to the Stephensons in respect of the Railway and the Locomotive, there will necessarily be various opinions. There is scarcely an invention or improvement in mechanics but has been the subject of dispute, and it was to be expected that those who had counter claims would put them forward in the present case; nor has the author any reason to complain of the manner in which this has been done.
While George Stephenson is the principal subject in the following book, his son Robert also forms an essential part of it. Father and son were so intimately associated in the early period of their career, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to describe the one apart from the other. The life and achievements of the son were in a great measure the complement of the life and achievements of the father. The care, also, with which the elder Stephenson, while occupying the position of an obscure enginewright, devoted himself to his son's education, and the gratitude with which the latter repaid the affectionate self-denial of his father, furnish some of the most interesting illustrations of the personal character of both.
These views were early adopted by the author and carried out by him in the preparation of the original work, with the concurrence of Robert Stephenson, who supplied the necessary particulars relating to himself. Such portions of these were accordingly embodied in the narrative as could with propriety be published during his life-time, and the remaining portions are now added with the object of rendering more complete the record of the son’s life, as well as the early history of the Railway System.
THE NEWCASTLE COAL-FIELD-GEORGE STEPHENSON'S EARLY YEARS.
Stephenson's Improvements in the Mine-machinery.--Farther Improvements in the
Locomotive and in the Road.-Experiments on Friction.-Early Neglect of the
Robert Stephenson appointed Mining Engineer in Colombia.-Mule Journey to Bo-
gotá.–Mariquita.--Silver Mining. -Difficulties with the Cornishmen.-His Cot-