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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by
GEORGE W. GORDON AND JAMES W. Paige, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
STEREOTYPED BY METCALF AND COMPANY,
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
PRINTED BY HOI'GHTON AND HAYWOOD.
OF THE FOURTH VOL(ME.
FLETCHER WEBSTER, Esq.
MY DEAR SON:
I DEDICATE one volume of these Speeches to the memory of your deceased brother and sister, and I am devoutly thankful that I am able to inscribe another to you, my only surviving child, and the object of my affections and hopes. You have been of an age, at the appearance of most of these speeches and writings, at which you were able to read and understand them; and in the preparation of some of them you have taken no unimportant part. Among the diplomatic papers, there are several written by yourself, wholly or mainly, at the time when official and confidential connections subsisted between us in the Department of State.
The principles and opinions expressed in these productions are such as I believe to be essential to the preservation of the Union, the maintenance of the Constitution, and the advancement of the country to still higher stages of prosperity and renown. These objects have constituted my Pole Star during the whole of my political life, which has now extended through more than half the period of the existence of the gove ernment. And I know, my dear son, that neither parental authority nor parental example is necessary to induce you, in whatever capacity, public or private, you may be called to act, to devote yourself to the accomplishment of the same ends. Your affectionate Father,