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· WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
AN ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE AND WRITINGS,
ANECDOTES AND CHARACTERS
OF SEVERAL OF
THE MOST DISTINGUISHED PERSONS OF HIS TIME,
HE HAS HAD INTERCOURSE AND CONNEXION.
SAMUEL F. BRADFORD, PHILADELPHIA; BRISBAN AND BRANNAN,
NEW YORK; AND E. MORFORD, CHARLESTON.
AT the close of the year 1804, whilst I am still in possession of my faculties, though full of years, I sit down to give a history of my life and writings. I do not undertake the task lightly and without deliberation, for I have weighed the difficulties, and am prepared to meet them. I have lived so long in this world, mixed so generally with mankind, and written so voluminously and so variously, that I trust my motives cannot be greatly misunderstood, if, with strict attention to truth, and in simplicity of style, I pursue my narrative, saying nothing more of the immediate object of these memoirs, than in honour and in conscience I am warranted to say.
I shall use so little embellishment in this narrative, that if the reader is naturally candid he will not be disgusted ; if he is easily amused he will not be disappointed.
As I have been, through life, a negligent recorder of dates and events relating to myself, it is very possible I may fall into errors of memory as to the order and arrangement of certain facts and occurrences, but whilst I adhere to veracity in the relation of them, the trespass, I presume, will be readily overlooked.
Of many persons, with whom I have had intercourse and connection, I shall speak freely and impartially. I know myself incapable of wantonly aspersing the characters of the living or the dead; but, though I will not indulge myself in conjectures, I will not turn aside from facts, and neither from affectation of candour, nor dread of recrimination, waive the privilege, which I claim for myself in cvery page of this history, of speaking the truth from my heart : I