Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry

Auteur: William Wirt
Taal: Engels
Sketches of the Life and Character of Patrick Henry
  • Engels
  • Paperback
  • 9781494792343
  • december 2013
  • 332 pagina's
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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 erelong be expected to die with them, the author despatched letters to every quarter of the state 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, who embarked, before they had attained their maturity, in the cause of the American revolution: he joined an animated and active corps of horse, and signalized himself by an impetuous gallantry, which drew upon him the eyes and the applause of his commander. In peace, he was as mild as he had been brave in war; his bosom was replete with the kindest affections; he was in truth, one of the best of companions, and one of the warmest of friends. The fact, that he was the acknowledged head of the several bars at which he practiced in the country, may assure the reader of his capacity for the commission which he so cheerfully undertook, in regard to Mr. Henry; and the unblemished integrity of his life may assure him also, of the fidelity with which that commission was executed. So many important anecdotes in the following work, depend on the credit of this gentleman as a witness, that the slight sketch which has been given of his character will not, it is hoped, be thought foreign to the purpose of this preface. Mr. Pope did not confine his inquiries to the county of Hanover: he was indefatigable in collecting information from every quarter; which he never accepted however, but from the purest sources; and his authority for every incident was given, with the most scrupulous accuracy. The author had hoped to have had it in his power to gratify this gentleman by submitting to his view the joint result of their labours, and obtaining the benefit of his last corrections; but he was disappointed by his untimely and melancholy death. He fell a victim to that savage practice, which under the false name of honour, continued to prevail too long; and his death is believed to have been highly instrumental in hastening that system of legislation in restraint of this practice, which now exists in Virginia. Besides the contributions furnished by Mr. Pope, the writer derived material aid from various other quarters.



december 2013
Aantal pagina's
332 pagina's



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