A Biography of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

A Biography of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

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A Biography of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

A Biography of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A few months prior to his death our father undertook the preparation of his Autobiography. This was earnestly encouraged by his family, who shared with the public the desire that he should tell the tale of his life in his own words, giving those pictures of his inner self, the impressions made on him by his varying experiences, that he alone could give, and which, to a large extent, he alone knew. Confiding and free-spoken as he was in his joys, in his griefs he withdrew within himself, bearing in patient silence a load of sorrow unknown even to those nearest to him. But it was not to be. He had only jotted down a rough outline of his plan, and written a part of an intermediate chapter, when he laid down his pen for a little rest, never to be resumed again.

In his contract with our publishers but a single volume of not less than six hundred pages was contemplated. Unconscious of its magnitude, we undertook to complete the contract. Accepting the limitations of a single volume, we began to collect the necessary material, and, when too late to change the form of the work, discovered that two volumes would hardly contain the history as it opened up to us, so closely interwoven has his life been with the nation's history, and so full of important incidents. In the work of condensation, to bring our story within the space prescribed, we found it necessary to omit many of his letters, hoping that in the not far-distant future we might publish a supplemental volume containing all of his important correspondence.

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