« PreviousContinue »
PREFACE TO VOLUME III.
THE FIRST VOLUME of these Works contains a Biographical Memoir of Mr. SEWARD, his Speeches and Debates in the Senate of New York, his Speeches and Debates in the Senate of the United States, and his Forensic Arguments.
The SECOND VOLUME comprises all his STATE PAPERS— Messages, Official Correspondence, and Pardon Papers.
The contents of the PRESENT VOLUME have been classified under the following heads, viz.: ORATIONS AND DISCOURSES, OCCASIONAL SPEECHES AND ADDRESSES, EXECUTIVE SPEECHES, POLITICAL WRITINGS, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, and SPEECHES IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, continued from Vol. I.
The ORATIONS AND DISCOURSES on various subjects, with which the volume commences, embrace the more elaborate productions of Mr. SEWARD, including his Eulogies on Lafayette, O'Connell, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay.
The OCCASIONAL SPEECHES AND ADDRESSES, which follow, have been selected, not with reference to their literary or rhetorical merits chiefly, but, as has been remarked in another place, because they contain opinions and sentiments that are important in presenting a faithful record of Mr. SEWARD's public life.
During Governor SEWARD's administration, he had several official interviews with the chiefs of the few remaining Indian tribes in this state. The speeches which were made on these occasions are presented in this volume under the title of EXECUTIVE SPEECHES.
Under the head of POLITICAL WRITINGS, will be found a number of Addresses written by Mr. SEWARD at different times, explaining the principles and action of the political party to which he was attached, and exposing the errors of the opposite party.
The GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE which has been collected in this volume forms an interesting portion of its contents. This correspondence includes many private letters on important topics, relating to Politics, Internal Improvements, Slavery, and Education. These letters, of which many were written with no expectation of their being made public, afford additional proofs of the remarkable consistency of Mr. Seward's public and private life.
The LETTERS FROM EUROPE have been selected from a series which appeared in the “ Albany Evening Journal” of 1834. This series originally contained about seventy letters, all of them possessing more than ordinary interest; but the limits of this volume have obliged us to be content with a brief selection.
The SPEECHES IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, in this volume, embrace the Speeches which Mr. SEWARD delivered in the Senate at the close of the XXXIId Congress. The larger portion of his speeches and debates in that body will be found in the first volume, which had gone to press before the delivery of those herewith presented.
The Engraving in this volume presents a view of the residence of Governor SEWARD at Auburn. It will be recognised by hosts of Mr. SEWARD's friends, as the abode of domestic comfort and genuine hospitality. Madame Pulszky, in her recent book of travels in America,* thus describes it :
"We spent Saturday and Sunday at the pleasant home of Governor Seward. He was detained at Washington, but Mrs. Seward has welcomed and entertained us with her own amiable cordiality.
* "Sketches of American Society,” by Francis and Theresa PULSZKY, vol. ii., p. 209. Redfield: New York.
“The mansion-furnished with comfortable simplicity--is adorned by the elegant neatness which pervades it in every room, in every corner. An ample and carefully-selected library, family portraits, with a striking likeness of John Quincy Adams, cover the walls. Nothing in this house is luxurious, nothing superfluous, but every want is provided for with good taste, and every object offers immediate use or presents interesting associations. The foliage of ancient trees shades our windows, and allures us to step down into the garden, whose fragrance fills the rooms. Well-kept arbors line the walls; the air is perfumed by Narcissuses, hyacinths, and syringas, around which cluster rich garlands of tulips and lovely Cupid-arrows. In these pleasant grounds we meet the members of the family who are now staying at Auburn: the little daughter of Mrs. Seward, and her nephew, to whom she has been a mother; his sweet young wife, and Mrs. Worden, Mrs. Seward's sister."
WILLIAMSBURGH, L. I., March 16, 1853.
CONTENTS OF VOL. III.