America of Yesterday: As Reflected in the Journal of John Davis Long

By John Davis Long; Lawrence Shaw Mayo | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

JOHN DAVIS LONG kept a journal from February 1848, until August 1915, a period of more than sixty-seven years. In manuscript it fills more than twenty volumes. No doubt there exist American diaries of greater length, both chronologically and materially. Probably there are journals of greater historical significance. There may be records of greater civic usefulness. But I doubt if any public man has left an account of his daily life that surpasses Governor Long's in beauty of spirit. His country knew and applauded his administrative ability. His state knew and appreciated his devotion to her traditions and her welfare. His friends and acquaintances knew his integrity, his generosity, his wit, and his sunny nature. But only his journal knew the beauty of his inner life. As Mr. Long himself wrote, one summer day while he was Governor of Massachusetts, "I suppose people think I think of politics. Ah, how far away in other dreams I float."

For beauty of expression, too, it is remarkable. Governor Long was a lover of poetry, and wrote much verse during his life, but there are occasional passages in his journal that are quite as poetic as any of his stanzas. There is, for instance, this glimpse of July in the country, when he was twenty-one.

"Rain in the morning: but the two

-vii-

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America of Yesterday: As Reflected in the Journal of John Davis Long
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • I - Buckfield 1
  • II - School Days 25
  • III - Harvard College 48
  • IV - Senior Year 75
  • V - The Schoolmaster 94
  • VI - Law and Politics 119
  • VII - Washington in 1898 146
  • VIII - The Testing of the New Navy 167
  • IX - Santiago 191
  • X - Hingham 216
  • Index 243
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