The materials from which the writers have drawn these biographical sketches are very abundant. Whatever of merit they possess must consist mainly in the skill which may be exhibited in selecting from the great mass those incidents which will give one the most vivid conception of the individual. The writers have attempted, with much labor, to present a miniature likeness of each character which shall be faithful and striking. If they have failed, they can only say that they have honestly done their best. They have not deemed it expedient to encumber these pages with foot-notes, as most of the important facts here stated, it is believed, are unquestioned; and all will be found substantiated in the memoirs and works, more or less voluminous, of our Chief Magistrates contained in most of our large libraries.