I have made no effort in the pages of this book to give more than the leading facts of the public life of Lewis Cass. He has been studied as the representative of a section of the country; yet his general influence and his personal characteristics have been briefly presented. Little material was found ready at hand for the task. He left no diary or accumulated correspondence, and only a few volumes of printed speeches and addresses. The personality of the man had to be gathered from a careful consideration of his public utterances, and from the recollections of his friends. Some of these are still living, and have kindly and generously assisted me. I have neither cared nor dared to place an estimate upon his character different from that held by the men who knew him and trusted him. I have conferred with political foes as well as political friends, and have found a remarkable consensus of opinion. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the judgments of the book . . .