Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress Page: 3
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THE REGISTER OF DEBATES IN CONGRESS is intended to supply a deficiency
in our Political Annals which the Editors have long perceived, atul which has been univer-
sally acknowledged and regretted by those who have mingled in public affairs, and especial-
ly by such as have engaged in the active discharge of political duties. When we consider
the importance of preserving the memorials of the Legislation of the country, it would be a
matter of surprise that the undertaking should have been deferred so long as to fall into the
present hands, if the magnitude of the undertaking, and its consequent hazard to the publish-
ers, did not manifestly present serious obstacles to its execution. The favorable position of
the Editors, their opportunities for obtaining accurate Reports of the Debates, operated up-
on by their conviction of the utility of such a work, have induced them to commence the Re-
gister, in defiance of its difficulties, without the aid or prospect of any other patronage than
such as liberal and enlightened individuals may extend to it.
The object of the Register is to present, from year to year, in a portable hut durable form,
with facilities for ready reference to its contents, the History of the Legislation of the Go-
vernment of the United States. In the Debates, which form the bulk of the volume, will
be found the grounds on which the various propositions of the session were, at the time of
their discussion, advocated or opposed. These Debates are not in all cases literally report-
ed, but their substantial accuracy may be entirely relied upon : and, did this volume contain
nothing more than the Debates, it might, as a manual for politicians, or a text book for stu-
dents, claim a placc in the library of every seminary, and in the closet of every reading
to render the volume still more valuable, there have been incorporated in it not
only all the Mkssages of the President of the United States to both Houses of Congress dur-
ing the Session, but also, in the Appendix, such a selection of the most important Reports
from the different departments of the Government, and from the leading committees of each
House, as will afford a clear view of those features of the policy of the Government which
may not be so fully developed in the Debates. To these are added the whole body of the
Acts passed during the Session, in a form to be as implicitly relied upon as the official edi-
tion : the whole being rendered complete by an Index, by the aid of which the reader can in-
stantly refer to any subject embraced in the volume.
No merit is claimed for the contents of the Register on the score of originality. It pro-
esses to be no more than a caretul compilation of authentic materials. The merit, howev-
er, to winch this work may justly prefer a claim, is that of faithful History, free from the bi-
as ol prejudice or prepossession, and from the accidental distortions to which all traditiona-
ry accounts are liable. It is a History which cannot deceive, because it reflects, in the faith-
u mirror ot Truth, not only the motives of public acts, but also the grounds on which those
aCt\e^re opposed. Its impartiality may defy the most fastidious scrutiny.
the first attempt at a work of this kind, it would not be reasonable to expect that either
ie plan, or the execution of the plan, would be perfect. The Register makes no such pre-
ension. I he object of the work being to embody the Debates and striking Incidents only of
ie sittings of Congress, the possessor of this volume will be disappointed if he look to find
ln't V • *wo houses of Congress. No part of their Proceedings is given ex-
cept what involves Debate, or some Incident, novel or important in its character, and there-
fore worthy of preservation. The careful reader therefore will not be able, to trace from
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Gales, Joseph, 1761-1841. Register of Debates in Congress, Comprising the Leading Debates and Incidents of the Second Session of the Eighteenth Congress, book, 1825; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30752/m1/3/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.