Page:Kentucky Resolutions of 1798.djvu/14

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but have been repeated till they became the seed of error, later writers competing with each other in reiterating the mistakes of all those who preceded them.

The materials used in this book, while no printed work treating of the subjects embraced in its purview has been intentionally neglected, are chiefly the original sources—the newspapers of the day and the written accounts of actors upon the stage, but especially the letters and manuscripts of the time, and of the men who were the leaders in the movements against the Alien and Sedition laws, Of all the sources consulted none can be compared for interest and importance to the hitherto almost untouched store of manuscripts forming the Breckinridge papers and containing John Breckinridge's literary remains.

Some part of the contents of this volume has already been published in a series of articles in the Magazines of American and Western History, but in a very abridged form and rather for the sake of provoking criticisms which might lead to a full and complete treatment of the questions connected with the Resolutions than as a permanent contribution to American history.

It is hoped that the evidence herein set out may be regarded as justifying a final judgment upon the important and somewhat mooted points of the real mover of the Resolutions in the Kentucky legislature and their true text. It is, perhaps, too much to hope that any final solution of the problems of authorship and interpretation is now, or ever will