In writing in 1888 the introduction to my History I said that it was my purpose to continue it down to the inauguration of Grover Cleveland in 1885. Subsequent reflection, however, convinced me that the year 1877, when occurred the final restoration of home rule in the South, was a more fitting termination. Nevertheless I had determined, after proper studies had been made, to go on with my History. Distracted for a while by my Oxford Lectures and one volume "History of the Civil War", I have now been able to fulfil my original promise and to do more, by continuing the story on to 1896.
I have to thank Edward L. Burlingame, then editor, for the use of articles appearing in Scribner's Magazine for July, September, October and November 1911; and J. Franklin Jameson, editor, for the use of the article in "The American Historical Review" for April 1910.
I owe a literary revision of this volume to my son, Daniel P. Rhodes. I am indebted to D. M. Matteson for valuable assistance in historical research and for a careful reading of the manuscript with verifications. I acknowledge the aid of my secretary Miss Wyman; that of Charles K. Bolton, librarian, Miss Wildman and Miss Cattanach, assistants, of the Boston Athenæum.