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larvel Cuiere Library
april 2, lu 3.

Gift of
Mrs. James T. Fielde,

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DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, TO WIT

Be it Remembered, That, on the twenty-first day of March, in the forty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, JAMES WEBSTER, of the said Dis. trict, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as pro. prietor, in the words following, to wit: "Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry. By William Wirt, of Richmond, Virginia. Second edition, corrected by the Author. In quo hoc maximum est, quod neque ante illum, quem ille imitaretur, neque post illum, qui eum imitari posset, inventus est. Paterc. lib. i. cap. v.” In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by se. curing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such co. pies, during the time therein mentioned;" and also to an 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 proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical and other Prints."

D. CALDWELL, Clerk the District of Pennsylvania.

Re-entered, according to the act of Congress, in the year 1832, by M'ELRATH & BANGS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

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TO

THE YOUNG MEN OF VIRGINIA

THIS WORK

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

BY

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

The reader has a right to know what degree of credit is due to the following narrative; and it is the object of this preface to give him that satisfaction.

It was in the summer of 1805, that the design of writing this biography was first conceived It was produced by an incident of feeling, which, however it affected the author at the time, might now be thought light and trivial by the reader; and he shall not, therefore, be detained by the recital of it. The author knew nothing of Mr. Henry, personally. He had never seen him; and was of course compelled to rely wholly on the information of others. As soon, therefore, as the design was formed of writing his life, aware of the necessity of losing no time in collecting, from the few remaining coevals of Mr. Henry, that personal knowledge of the subject which might ere long be expected to die with them, the author despatched letters to every quarter of the state

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in which it occurred to him as probable that interesting matter might be found ; and he was gratified by the prompt attention which was paid to his inquiries.

There were, at that time, living in the county of Hanover, three gentlemen of the first respectability, who had been the companions of Mr. Henry's childhood and youth; these were, Col. Charles Dabney, Capt. George Dabney, and Col. William O. Winston; the two first of whom are still living. Not having the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with these gentlemen, the author interested the late Mr. Nathaniel Pope in his object, and, by his instrumentality, procured all the useful information which was in their possession. Mr. Pope is well known to have been a gentleman of uncommonly vigorous and discriminating mind ; a sacred observer of truth, and a man of the purest sense of honour. The author cannot recall the memory of this most amiable and excellent man, to whom (if there be any merit in this work) the friends of Mr. Henry and the state of Virginia owe so many obligations, without paying to that revered memory the tribute of his respect and affection. Mr. Pope was one of those ardent young Virginians,

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