I have been assisted in the preparation of this book by a grant from the American Philosophical Society.
The New-York Historical Society— Frederick B. Adams, President, and Dr. James J. Heslin, Director — has placed at my disposal the superb facilities of its library. Every member of the library staff has helped me on many occasions. I am particularly grateful to Miss Shirley Beresford, Reference Librarian. I also wish to thank Miss Geraldine Beard, Arthur J. Breton, Arthur B. Carlson, Thomas J. Dunnings, Jr., Miss Nila J. Evans, Miss Betty J. Ezequelle, James Gregory, Miss Nancy Hale, Wilmer R. Leech, and Miss Rachel A. Minick.
With all other Americans who cherish our national past, I owe a debt to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union for the grace and efficiency with which they preserve and make available Washington's home. I have been hospitably received and aided by Charles C. Wall, Resident Director, Miss Christine Meadows, Curator, Frank E. Morse, Librarian, and other members of the staff.
Among the many libraries that also have helped me, I am grateful to that of the Century Association, the Free Library of Cornwall, Connecticut, the Frick Art Reference Library, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, and the New York Society Library.
My wife, Beatrice Hudson Flexner, has given me valuable criticisms and Orville Prescott inspired the title of this volume. Miss Patricia J. Billfaldt has deciphered my almost illegible manuscript to create the kind of copy that makes printers purr. She also made friendly and perceptive suggestions.
I owe debts of gratitude to Edward P. Alexander, H. H. Arnason, Julian P. Boyd, Edward Buckmaster, Mrs. Leslie Cheek, Jr., Leon