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Southern District of New-York, ss.
in the of the Independence of the United States of America, HENRY M. FRANCIS, JOHN B. BECK, ISAAC M. ELY, ANTHONY BLEECKER, and JOHN PINTARD, of the said District, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
"Collections of the New-York Historical Society, for the year 1821. Volume III."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act for the encourgement 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 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 times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
G. L. THOMPSON,
THE Historical Society cannot submit their present volume of Collections to the public, without the accustomed privilege of prefatory observation.
Several years have elapsed since the appearance of their second volume; during which time their exertions have been directed chiefly to augmenting their catalogue of books, and adding to their collection of historical documents. In these respects they have been peculiarly successful. Through the activity of their members, and the liberality of individuals, they have obtained the manuscripts of several distinguished actors in the late American revolution, and they venture to declare, that their Collection, both in value and extent, is unequalled in any institution in the country. Their library is large and extensive, and, by a recent arrangement, affords every facility to historical research consistent with its safety.* In making these efforts, the Society were induced to anticipate their resources, not without consequent embarrassment. But they have now sufficient reason to believe that the munificent act of the Legislature of 1814, will be realized during the ensuing winter; in which event, a design long and ardently cherished, will be prosecuted, of publishing an annual volume. For this purpose the most ample and valuable materials are already prepared.
In forming the present volume of materials which have been already before the public, they have not acted unadvisedly. Anniversary addresses are, for the most part, dedicated to purposes of form, and generally subservient to the occasion. But they are induced to think differently of the essays now here first collected. They not only discuss subjects important in themselves, but intimately connected with the views of the Society. That the subjects are treated in a
* The Library of the Society is open on the Wednesday and Saturday of each week, under the attendance of Mr. Hutchins, the sub-librarian.
popular manner, will not, it is hoped, exclude them from the attention of the learned. Public opinion has indeed pronounced so highly of their merits, that a general wish was manifested to secure to them a more permanent duration than is usually allotted to the fugitive form in which they first appeared.
The latter portion of the volume consists of communications highly interesting. The Letters of the late Hon. Samuel Jones, procured through the zeal of a most active member, are so valuable and so pertinent, that they excite a regret that the distinguished writer had not found leisure for more extensive contributions.
Mr. Bozman, in searching the records of Maryland, for the composition of his valuable history, discovered a correspondence, held at an early date, between the authorities of that state and our own, when a Dutch colony. These records throw much light on our affairs at that period, and the Society acknowledge with pleasure, their obligations to the zeal by which they were procured.
Dr. Mease, of Philadelphia, in an interesting memoir, has described the medals which have been struck at different times, in honour of our heroes, and every American will applaud the patriotic feeling which induced that gentleman to make better known the honours awarded by a grateful country, to the vindicators of her independence, and the defenders of her rights.
In the year 1814, the Honourable the Corporation of this city, granted the Society the spacious and convenient apartments in which they hold their meetings. No doubt exists, that, on the expiration of their lease, the same liberality will continue to them their present advantages. On their part, the Society will omit no exertion to fulfill the high duties to which they are pledged, having ample reason, in the review of the past, to indulge the most flattering anticipations.