Memoirs of John Adams Dix - Vol. 1

Memoirs of John Adams Dix - Vol. 1

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Memoirs of John Adams Dix - Vol. 1

Memoirs of John Adams Dix - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

It is often, if not always, said, by way of general criticism on such a work as this, that a son ought not to undertake to be his father's biographer. The qualities demanded in the historian include strict impartiality, freedom from personal bias, and skill and fearlessness in analyzing his subject; but these cannot be expected where the inspiring motive of the writer is filial affection, and where the object to be studied is rendered precious in his eyes by the threefold power of the tie of blood, the precept of "the first commandment with promise," and a love and admiration which have grown and deepened with each added year. I feel the force of these considerations as I begin my task: they would have put a stop to farther progress had I thought that men differed seriously in their estimate of my father's life and work, or that I should have to deal with transactions which, for the honor of the name, I should be compelled to explain or tempted to cover up. But in his case a verdict has already been pronounced, which attests the confidence and respect in which he was held by his fellow-countrymen. I know nothing in the record which, if now disclosed for the first time, would be likely to change the judgment of the people, nor do I believe that much diversity of opinion exists among us as to his career in general, or particular matters involving his reputa-

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