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THE editor of this book wishes to express her thanks to the Rev. C. E. Stowe for the use of the Life of Mrs. Stowe written by him while his mother was still at his side. His sequence of material concerning her early days left little to be desired; but many letters and much new material have since appeared, and the publishers believe that a complete life, corresponding to the new and beautiful edition of Mrs. Stowe's works lately issued by them, is wished for by the public.
To Messrs. Harper and Brothers the editor is indebted for the use of the Life of Dr. Lyman Beecher, passages from which, chiefly those written by Mrs. Stowe, have been used as necessary parts of her own history.
To the friends whose letters now appear for the first time the thanks of the editor are especially due.
The moment has at last arrived when the story of Mrs. Stowe's life can be given in full. The cause to which she surrendered herself is not forgotten; one by one the figures of those who bore a part in the great sacrifice begin to shine like bronze after the smelting, and stand, cut in imperishable forms, upon the tablets of memory. Therefore it is fitting that one who led the vanguard, one who was born nevertheless to carry neither gun nor bayonet, but to bear upon her heart the weight of a great love for suffering men, should now herself be known.