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tendency towards a strict construction of the instrument in the mind of the scholar--the only construction of the Constitution safe to our free institutions and to the Constitution itself

. No o one, familiar with the affairs of our government, can have failed to notice how large a proportion of our statesmen appear never to have read the Constitution of the Writed States with a careful reference to its precise language and exact jurovisions, but rather, as occasion presents, seem to exercise their ingenuity, unfortunately too often powerful and powerfully exerted, to stretch both to the line of what they, at the moment, consider expedient. A reference to a careful, perfect, and full analysis of that instrument, and of the grants of powe it

, cannot fail to exert a strong and salutary influence upon such minds.

It is, however, upon the mind of the student and the rising generation of our country that I anticipate the widely extended useful influence of youč book. If it shall be, as I hope it may, introduced as a class-book in our schools, it cannot fail soon to produce a more sound and correct and uniform under. standing of the Constitution as it is, than has hitherto prevailed


in our country.

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It has long been a favorite wish of mine, as to this state, that our public laws of universal interest may be, by Legisla. ture, distributed to our common sehools in a form to be made a class-book for the more advanced scholars, that the current legis. lation of the state may be early and thoroughly understood" by those who are to be the voters of the state.

Your book suggests the addition of the Constitution of the State, with a full index, such you have prepared for the Federal Constitution, as a permanent class-book to precede the study of the current laws; and, if your Constitution and the larus of Congress of a geveral character and universal public interest could be comceted with the course of study, I do not


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young men

me to examine

all its farts as


any thing that would go so far soundly to qualify young men to become freemen, and to discharge thie duties of facenen at the polls of our elections so safely to their country and creditably to themselves

. S sincerely hope the publication of your lead the

may , way to some such valuable addition to the education of the

of the republic.
olby leisure has not permitted


udex i carefully as the subject demands, but the exami. nations' I have made, together with my knowledge of your accustomed accuracy, and iwariable fidelitig of intention, induce me to spicak with the confidence I do of the whole work. The

you fiave connected with the publication of the Constitu. tion is fiertinent, and such


student of the instrument ought to be made familiar with, while the lessons of wisdon from the Father of his Country will consecrate the whole to his mentory and his fieart. With the repetition of my thanks for the copy of this work,

Very respectfully, and truly, yours, William YСickey, Esq.

Silas Weight




Peelieve me,




Dear Sir,

Rockingham, 28th Sept., 1847. I examined the copy of “The Constitution” which

you sent to me on its first publication, and then expressed to

you favorable opinion which I entertained of the work, from its ncat.

and its comprehensiveness. Of the importance of its distribution among all classes of

all "classes of our citizens, S think no one can doubt. It is the fundamental law, that which controls all others the charter of our liberties, which everly

citizen has a personal interest ir understanding thoroughly. I would be


its accuracy,


gratified, therefore, to know that every citizen was possessed of copy of it, and had made himself familiar with its contents, buy frequent and careful perusals of it. This would make him more perfectly comprehend his own position as a citizen of this great Riepublic ; it would enable him to realize more cordially the intimate relation in which he stands to every other citizen; and thus its tendency would be to draw closer the fraternal bond which unites us as one people

. %6e would become sensible how much the intelligence and virtue of each individual may promote the happiness of his fellows, and of the corresponding and unhappy influence of ignorance and vice; and this conviction would render him the advocate of all proper measures to enlarge the intelli. gence, and improve the morals, of those with whom he is politi. cally associated. A knowledge of the Constitution, which is for the most part plain and simple in its provisions, would often enable him to spurn indignantly the efforts of demagogues to misfrad hin, and awaken him to a deeper sense of gratitude for the privileges which he is permitted to enjoy.

It would, in my opinion, be desirable that such Constitution as

that which


have prepared, should be in pos. session of each judicial tribunal throughout the land, as a stand. aid to which reference may be had with undoubting confidence, in cases which iwolve questions of Constitutional law. But I would especially desire to see it introduced as a text-lock in our schools and colleges, that our young men may be taught to know their rights, and to become acquainted with their duties, as citi. zens, before they engage in the employments of active life. A. a citizen of the Writed States, I thank


have conferred upon the community by this compilation, and

best wislues that you my

may ? be amply remunerated. I am, dear sir, very respe’y, Bc.

Jno. Mbacpherson Berrien.


copy of the

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benefit which

you for the your labors


Col. Scickey.


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Washington, September, 1850. Dear Sir,

Understanding that you intend to publish a fourth edition of the volume, compiled and prepared by you, containing the Cow. stitution of the United States, and other highly useful and interesting matter, I take pleasure in expressing the satisfaction S have derived from

xamination of the work. You have displayed judgment in the materials which it embodies, and in the order with which they have been arranged. Your residence at the city of Washington, and in one of the public offices, has affoided you an

ofyfiortunity of access to the original text of the Constitution, and to the other documents and records contained your

vi volume, of which you appear to have assiduously availed yourself

. Your work, therefore, deserves perfect confidence in its entire authenticity.

and such obvious reasons in favor of this book being extensively circulated, and in the hands of every citizen who can coil

conveniently afford to purchase it, that I cannot doubt the existence of a constant and large demand for it. And citizens who are going abroad, and foreigners who are coming among us, would all do well to obtain possession of a book which comprises, within a small compass, the record of so many impor. tant National events and National transactioiis. It is sewreely necessary to add an expression of my wishes you may ,

patronage from the public, richly merited for your

labors. I


four obed’t. servant,

There are so many


obicie a

a liberal

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JC. Clay.

Col. W. YСickey.



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Detroit, November 15, 1850.
Dear Sir,

your request I have carefully examined, and do not hesitate to give my opinion of the value of, your edition of the Constitution, though it is a work which does not need

any . nial of mine to its merito, nor will the expiression of my judgment

nmend it the more to public favor. It is a monument of care, and labor, and accuracy, and may safely depend upon its own intrinsic claims, without calling to its aid adventitious circumstances whatever. The voice of the country and the repeated orders of the Senate for its publication and distribution, are equally honorable to the character of the work, and to the ability and fidelity of the author. Its scrupulous accuracy,

, analytical iwestigations, and the compression of the impoitant historical facts which preceded and attended the proceedings of the Cowention, and which marked the progress of the adoption of the Constitution, through all the stages of doubt and anxiety, till the final and happy consummation, have already received the ayıprobation of several eminent men, whose letters are contained in the former edition. But if

period in the history of our country, which called upon us to look back upon tse blessings which the Constitution has brought, and upon the difficulties it encomitered before it received the sanction of the American States and preople, that period is upon us.

If we were now separated, as we were in 1787, mortal

power could bring us together. Whether, with all the experience of our dangers and our blessings

, we can be kept together, must depend upon the spirit with which we come up to the work. Whether the feelings of concession and compromise which ani. mated our fathers will continue to animate their sons, or enough

ever there was

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