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Including the Private as well as the
The Unmutilated and Correct Version of the Autobiography
Compiled and Edited
“ Strange that Ulysses does a thousand things so well."—ILIAD, B. 11, 335
G. P. Putnam's Sons
Crocker ( Thomas Il-18-36 33083
WHEN the Editor undertook this publication he had good reasons for believing that he was in possession of all the important correspondence and writings of Franklin which had servived him; but, as the work progressed, he has realized more fully than ever before that the task of the Danaides was scarcely more difficult or discouraging than that of making a complete collection of the correspondence and writings of a man who stood in so many different and important relations to his contemporaries as Franklin did. The harvest, instead of diminishing with the lapse of time, seems to increase by cultivation. Over two hundred documents upon which the stamp of Franklin's genius had been impressed, and which are entitled to a place in any collection of his works, have been placed in the Editor's hands since the publication of the first two volumes. The larger number of these, unfortunately, reached him after the documents of corresponding date had gone to press. It thus became necessary to provide for them in a supplement, which will be found at the end of this volume. For the opportunity of enriching his work with these papers he desires to recognize his special obligations to Mr. B. F. Stevens, who kindly placed the whole of his important collection of Frankliniana at the Editor's disposal; to Mr. S. G. W. Benjamin,
to whom he is indebted for most of the letters from Franklin to Strahan that appear in this work, and which constitute a very important contribution to our knowledge of Franklin as a man of business. He has also to confess his great obligations to Mr. Worthington C. Ford, of the State Department, Washington, of whose precise and extensive acquaintance with the resources of the government archives he has been permitted freely to avail himself; and to his brother, Mr. Paul L. Ford, and their father, whose collections of autographs and other memorials of our early history no student of our early annals can afford to neglect.
The Editor is unwilling to take final leave of a work which has been to him almost a daily joy for several years, without again acknowledging his special obligations to the Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State, and of his predecessor, the Hon. F. T. Frelinghuysen, for an unrestricted access to the priceless collections of the State Department at Washington. 21 GRAMERCY PARK, New York,
November 1, 1888.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME XII