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The memory of those eminent personages, who proclaimed the Independence of America, by the memorable events and imperishable records, to which their names are associated, is secure from the injuries of time; although the biographer should be silent of their merits, and no monumental inscriptions tell where their sacred ashes are deposited. To collect, however, the important events of their lives, and especially those incidents that are yet trusted to the precarious tenure of individual knowledge, appears to me an honourable employment; and one which; ý rightly executed, may not be ungrateful to posterity

There are indeed some obstacles of no iróconsiderttı, ble magnitude, opposed to the execution of the undertaking, of which the writer is not unconscious. By attempting to exchibit so numerous a combination of cotemporary statesmen, engaged in the same transactions and enterprizes, and in a corporate capacity, he is circumscribed in prospect, confined to a uniformity of scenery, and induced almost unavoidably into tedious and frequent repetitions. He is likewise sensible that many of the individuals of this illustrious

group, notwithstanding the virtues with which they were adorned, the sacred spirit of patriotism and liberty with which they were animated, were nevertheless seldom led into those scenes of tumult and agitation, which embellish the narrations of the biographer, and which rouse and keep alive, by a diversity of incidents, the fancy and admiration of the reader. In this case, it is more prudent to offend by brevity than fatigue by monotonous enumerations. But the few and modest pages, which record the virtues of an Aristides, though less amusing, are not less precious to humanity, than the volumes that have been lavished upon the victories of an Alexander.

To the first number, I have affixed an introduction, which, referred to the whole extent of the work, will not be found disproportionate; and as the seeds of our Liberty and Independence uere sown with the first elements of the country, it will not be considered an extraneous or incoherent appendage.

This number is offered under disadvantages, which may. nåt egzist with the succeeding ones. Besides, Being the first

the first pages that I have prepared for public notite; they have been composed during the nights of äifeü nönins; and deprived of the benefits of revision, correction, or consultation. There are, therefore, many superfluities I should have retrenched, many useful additions I should have made, with a more extensive reading and reflection. I feel, however, the confidence that there will exist in the work when completed, merits that will redeem its many imperfections, and render it not unworthy the patronage and commendations of the public.






BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the 28th day of April, in the fortyfourth year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. Ď. 1820, JOSEPH M. SANDERSON, of the said district, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: “ Biography of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence, by John

Sanderson. In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,” and also to the act entitled “ An act supplementary to an act entitled, an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and pro.prietors.ofosuch copieseduring the times therein mentioned,” and extending the bepefits, the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.

Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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