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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, By will I AM stick NEY, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
UNIversity Press: Welch, BIGELow, & Co.,
THE present work has been prepared in compliance with the wish of him whose career it undertakes to describe. In his life Mr. Kendall shunned personal notoriety, with a sensitiveness remarkable in one so accustomed to public station and contact with the world. He was widely known, as much so perhaps as any American of his time; but it was in his public capacity as an editor, as a government official, as a politician, as the promoter of a great material enterprise. Of his private life the outside world knew but little. What a husband he was, what a father, friend, and Christian, the thousands who honored his great powers and admired his achievements were almost wholly ignorant.
It is not the object of the present work to expose to public
scrutiny his inner private life. Its purpose is simply to set forth
the leading facts in his career, to exhibit his intense patriotism,
value of his own career was just, it is believed the following pages will sufficiently prove. If they do not, — if there shall be found few instructive lessons, whose observance is a condition of our national welfare, in the life of Amos Kendall,—it may still be claimed that his was purely and distinctively an American life, and as such deserves careful study in these days when nationality is in danger of fading into a mere ideal sentiment. The work of the editor in the preparation of this volume has been mainly that of selection and arrangement. The mere story of Mr. Kendall's career is, for the most part, told in his own words, – than which no words could tell it better. These writings represent and reflect with strict fidelity the nature of their author, and are themselves comprehensively and felicitously biographical. The editor's chief difficulty has been in selecting from the great mass of Mr. Kendall's writings those best fitted for a place in the present work. This difficulty has been a serious one, and the necessity of confining the volume within reasonable limits has caused the omission of a large amount of matter which seemed, and still seems, essential to a satisfactory treatment of the subject. But it was necessary to draw the line somewhere, and this the editor has done according to his best judgment. In offering this autobiography to the public, the editor has made no claim for it of literary merit or artistic and effective construction. Its preparation has been to him a labor of love, and if he has succeeded in giving a view not wholly unworthy and inadequate of the life and character of one whom it was his privilege to know intimately and love tenderly,– one of the very last of “the simple great ones gone,”—he will consider his labor well be
stowed, and his reward sufficient. WM. STICKNEY.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 1, 1872.