Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856, Vol. I (of 16) (Illustrated) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The title-page discloses the sources from which this abridgment is made, and shows them all to be authentic, and reliable,—well known to the public, and sanctioned by resolves of Congress. Of the latter of these authorities—"Gales and Seaton's Register of Debates," "The Congressional Globe and Appendix, by Blair and Rives," and the same afterwards by "John C. Rives"—it is not necessary to speak, further than to remind the reader, that they are original reports, made either by the publishers or their special ...
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Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856, Vol. I (of 16) (Illustrated)

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Overview

The title-page discloses the sources from which this abridgment is made, and shows them all to be authentic, and reliable,—well known to the public, and sanctioned by resolves of Congress. Of the latter of these authorities—"Gales and Seaton's Register of Debates," "The Congressional Globe and Appendix, by Blair and Rives," and the same afterwards by "John C. Rives"—it is not necessary to speak, further than to remind the reader, that they are original reports, made either by the publishers or their special reporters, and revised by the speakers, and accepted as authority by Congress; and therefore needing no historical elucidation to show their correctness. But of the first—"The Annals of Congress by Gales and Seaton"—being a compilation, a special, but brief notice is necessary to show the credit to which they are entitled. And first, of the qualifications of the compilers for their work. To education and talent, and a particular turn for political disquisition and history, they added, at the time, more than forty years' personal connection with the Debates of Congress, as reporters and publishers of the speeches and proceedings in that body. Both of these gentlemen reported, on extraordinary occasions; and both with great aptitude and capacity for the business, and Mr. Gales especially, (under whose particular care the compilation of the Annals was made,)—of whom Mr. Randolph, a most competent judge, was accustomed to say, that he was the most perfect reporter he had ever known—a perfection which resulted not merely from manual facility[Pg vi] in noting down what was said, but from quickness and clearness of apprehension, and a full knowledge of the subject spoken upon.[1] To this capacity for the work, these gentlemen added peculiar advantages for knowing and reaching the sources of information. The father of one of them, and the father-in-law of the other,—(Mr. Joseph Gales, Senior,)—had been an early reporter of the Debates of Congress;—in the time of Washington and the first Mr. Adams,—and, of course, a collector and preserver of all contemporary reports. These came into their hands, with ample knowledge of all the sources from which further collections could be made. To these capabilities and advantages, were added the pride of character which exults in producing a perfect work;—and they spared neither pains nor cost to produce such a work—and succeeded. The following extracts from a letter of the late Mr. Justice Story, of the Supreme Court of the United States, dated January 14th, 1837—and from one from Mr. Justice McLean, still of that high court, dated 24th of February, 1843—sufficiently attest the value of the Compilation, and the excellence of its execution. Mr. Justice Story says:
"I have examined these volumes with great attention, and I am entirely satisfied with the plan and execution of them. I have, for many years, deemed the publication of the Debates in Congress, interwoven as they should be, and as they are in your plan, with the proceedings explanatory of them, one of the most important and valuable enterprises for public patronage. In an historical view, it will reflect the strongest and best lights upon the nature and operations of the Government itself, its powers, its duties, and its policy. As a means of expounding and interpreting the Constitution itself, it can scarcely be over-estimated. When I was employed in the task of preparing my Commentaries on the Constitution I constantly had recourse to this source of information in all cases within my reach. I had occasion then deeply to regret, however, that many of my researches terminated in disappointment from there not being any complete collection of the debates in print, or at least none in any one repository, or without large chasms, which[Pg vii] it was difficult if not impossible to supply. If any such collection had existed, I am satisfied that it would have enabled me to make my own work far more accurate, full, and satisfactory than it now is. The Parliamentary Debates of England have been long since published, and constitute, in a political and historical view, some of the most authentic and useful documents for statesmen and jurists which have ever issued from the press. They are an indispensable part of the library of every real British statesman. A similar publication of all the Debates in Congress would be, if possible, of more permanent and extensive value to us, since questions of constitutional law and general public policy are more frequent topics of public debate here than in England. Indeed, I do not well see how American statesmen, seeking a profound knowledge of the nature and operations of our Government, can well do without them. At all events, if published, they would and ought to be found in the library of every American statesman, lawyer, and judge,
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148115922
  • Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
  • Publication date: 2/9/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

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