In pursuance of a long-cherised desire, the author of the following pages left London in October, 1857, for a tour in the United States and Canada. He traversed the Union from Boston to New Orleans, by St. Louis and the Mississippi, and returned to New York by land through the Slave States. He afterward visited Canada, and published from time to time in the Illustrated London News a few of the results of his observations, under the title of "Transatlantic Sketches." These sketches, after having received careful revision, have been included in the present work, and form about one third of its bulk. The remaining portions are now published for the first time, and include not only the chapters on the great social and political questions which, more than any mere records of travel, are of interest to the lovers of human liberty and progress, but nearly the whole of the Canadian tour. It is not to be expected that in a residence of less than a twelve month in America the author can have acquired a thorough acquaintance with the institutions of the country, or with the operations of social causes which the Americans themselves do not always comprehend. He makes no pretense at being oracular, but has contented himself with describing "Life" as he saw it and "Liberty" as he studied it, to the extent of his opportunities, both in the North and in the South.