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INTRODUCTION.

THIS Volume contains a familiar sketch of the life of TRISTAM BURGES: a man who has risen from obscurity, to honorable distinction; who has filled important stations; and who is now numbered among our patriots and statesmen. His life abounds in those incidents which mark the progress of a fine intellect and an ambitious spirit; and which powerfully illustrate the simple and noble character of republican institutions. It tells in one respect, the same tale which has been told of other statesmen-how they have risen by the force of their own exertions, to high stations of honor and of fame.

Various opinions have been expressed, of the value of biographies of living men. They are generally considered of great value; because they present living illustrations of manners, character, principles and mind. When we are conversant with the education of a citizen, and with the means pursued by him to attain distinction, we are apt to feel, and to express, greater confidence in his integrity and conduct. Besides, and what is of more importance, the biography of the living may be studied by the young, and thus excite ambition, and inspire a love of true glory. The citizen is moving before us in his exalted sphere, urging the adoption of measures favorable to the progress and happiness of his country, and pleading for the rights. and freedom of mankind. History may tell of battles fought and won on the land and on the ocean-of philosophers, poets, statesmen, and warriors, and all the mighty energies called into being by them; yet, that history may not arouse the ambition, and move the desire to excel, like the story of a living man;

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