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Let it be borne in mind that the examples here referred to are examples only; for the book is full of just such fresh, original, and valuable matter. .
Another illustration of the value of the contents in this volume will be found in its ample information concerning the VOLUNTEERS of the Armies of the United States. Hitherto our Army Registers have been confined mainly to the Regular Army; but, by means of a large correspondence and careful compilations from voluminous official records, the National Almanac is enabled to present to the people of the country a mass of information relating to the Volunteer service which has never been approached in completeness by any single publication on the subject. The tables under this head (for which see the several States, and the title “Volunteers” in the Index) give the number and description; the arm of the servico; term of service; the names of the originali commanding officers; the number of men; the date of muster or departure, and other interesting details, of every regiment, or separate organization, of every loyal State and Territory, during the two memorable years of volunteering, 1861-63. Nowhere else can this magazine of information concerning the Volunteer Armies of the United States be found in one volume. As a permanent and compact record of the marvellous development of the military power and resources of the United States, it is worth more than the price of the whole volume.
An earnest and, to a large extent, successful effort has been made to give completeness and uniformity to the information concerning the governments and the supreme judiciary of the several States. Under each table of State officers, the time and manner of their election or appointment is given, from authentic sources; also, the numbers and constitution of the State Legislatures, with their time of meeting; and, with respect to the judiciary, the manner of selecting or appointing the judges, their tenure of office, and the times and places for holding terms of all the Supreme Courts.
The affairs of the organized Territories of the United States are treated with more than usual fulness, because they are objects of special interest at this time, and because recent legislation had so far obliterated old boundaries as to require an entirely new statement of their existing lines, present areas, population, and condition, for public information.
The financial affairs of a country at war being important topics of study and discussion, great attention has been given to that subject in this volume. In the case of the Treasury statistics, they are in all essential particulars brought down to a period one year later than any tabular matter hitherto attempted in a work of this kind. So, too, with regard to the financial affairs of the States. While in some of these the information furnished is no later than usual, the editor has succeeded in procuring from nearly all the great States either full particulars or abstracts of their revenues, expenditures, and debt, and of the condition of their banks, a year later than usual. The Bank returns of the States will be found, in all important cases, to be nearly a year later than the most recent returns published by the General Government.
Statistics are divisible into two principal classes: viz.: (1) those which exhibit the present condition and relations of the objects or affairs to which they refer, and (2) those which develop progress or movement. Holding this in view, the editor has been careful (wherever it could be done) to combine the two classes so as to show both the present condition and relations, and the progress or movement, of the subjects of which they treat. Thus, taking our State Prison statistics as an example, the figures given not only present the affairs of those establishments at the dates of the most recent published reports, but also show, comparing the second year of the present war with the first, that crime has decreased everywhere throughout the United States to a very remarkable ex
tent. Similar data are furnished for comparisons of the progrese of those unerring indices of thrift and comfort,—the savings-banks of the New England States. The additions to the number of depositors and to the amount of deposits during the war, are 28 extraordinary as they are gratifying to record. Data of the same kind are furnished for comparisons concerning our Public School systems, our great public charities, hospitals, correctional institutions, &c.
Several of the articles on special subjects, by contributors to this volume, are of a character to invite close attention. That on National Burdens and Resources is a mine of statistical wealth that will prove the richer the more it is explored; that on the Public Libraries of the United States is a very desirable exposition of a subject concerning which our bibliographical literature has been very deficient; that on Population as affected by Immigration presents some startling figures connected with our vital statistics; that on Agriculture will repay perusal by the laborers in the greatest of all the great interests of our country; and that on Mortality and Sickness in the Armies of the United States, with its illustrative diagrams, is upon a subject of the deepest interest and importance.
The Record of the Events of the War during the past year is divided into two articles, -the first being a narrative of the operations of each Army or Military Department, and the second being a record of the prominent events of the year, both military and civil, in chronological order. These two, with the Record in the Almanac of 1863, make a full Diary of the events of the war from the beginning of the rebellion.
As the present year will be one of extraordinary political interest, there is added to the usual contents of the volume a very full and complete series of returns of the last General Elections in all the States and Territories, by counties and Congressional districts, and also of the Presidential elections from 1848 to 1860.
One of the most marked improvements in this issue of the National Almanac will be found under the head of "Foreign Countries,” extending from page 552 to 627,-seventyfive pages, concerning the sovereigns, governments, ministries, areas, populations, finances, armies, navies, commerce, navigation, and affairs generally, of nearly all the countries of the world,-a volume of interesting and valuable matter, otherwise inaccessible to the great body of the public.
It is no part of the purpose of these remarks to attempt even a general outline of the contents of this volume: in a work of such multifarious details so compactly condensed, such an outline could not be drawn within the limits of any reasonable preface. The object is simply to present examples of the freshness and value of the mass of the matter, and of the improvements in and wider scope of the subjects introduced. Hence it is not at all improbable that the subjects not mentioned here are quite as important as those adduced as examples. Those who would get a fair idea of the extensive and varied character of the contents of this volume of the National Almanac must examine the body of the book, or, at least, carefully consult the Index. And those who would have a knowledge of the toil and of the vexatious cares of its preparation can reach it only through practical experience in making such a book. There are twelve pages in one set of tables, which involved the sending and receiving of nearly seven hundred letters,—the contents of about three hundred and fifty of which are condensed in the twelve pages referred to. In that case the postage alone cost nearly twenty-four dollars, or about two dollars a page. In the preparation of the whole work, about twelve hundred letters were sent, and about thirteen hundred letters and packets received; and from
* This was not prepared originally for the Almanac.
these letters and packets, and nearly four hundred official reports and state papers besides, in print and in manuscript, the mass of the information in the book has been compiled, condensed, and arranged.
As with the preceding volume, so in this, it has been a primary object to procure information from original and official sources, and to have the matter reviewed by official personages conversant with the particular subjects. This course has been pursued with
The cases in which any thing has been taken at second-hand are very few indeed. No care, labor, or expense has been spared to make the work accurate and reliable and to give it a standard character.
It is a grateful duty to acknowledge the favors and courtesy of the many public and private gentlemen who have contributed the valuable materials out of which this work has been built. To the Heads of the Executive Departments and Bureaus at Washington and their assistants and clerks; to the Foreign Ministers, diplomatic agents, and consuls; to our own Ministers, diplomatic agents, and consuls abroad; to the Governor-General and the Lieutenant-Governors the British North American Provinces, their secretaries and clerks; to the Governors, Secretaries of State, Executive and Military Secretaries, Adjutant-Generals, Treasurers, Comptrollers, Auditors, Bank Commissioners, School Superintendents, and other Executive officers of the several States and Territories; to the Judges, Clerks, &c. of the Supreme and other Courts of the States; to the officers of some of the State Legislatures; to the Hon. Edward McPherson, Clerk of the National House of Representatives; to Captain Jas. M. Gilliss, Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory to A. R. Spofford, Esq., of the Congressional Library; to Professor Gould, of Cambridge; to Hon. James Pollock and Dr. H. R. Linderman, of Philadelphia; to James S. Grinnell, Lewis Bollman, and Daniel Buck, Esqs., of Washington; to S. K. Hornbrook, Esq., of Whưeling; to Lockwood L. Doty, Esq., of Albany; to the correspondent of the Publishers' Circular at Paris; to Benjamin Moran, Esq., at London, and to many others, who are not forgotten though for the present mentioned only in this general way,-especial acknowledgments are due for documents, materials, and suggestions sent forward in the most prompt and kindly manner. The editor now sees that he should have made a formal list of these kind and esteemed auxiliaries, and regrets that such a list cannot be made in time for the present volume. It is hoped that they will be in part compensated by having at hand in the National Almanac a companion-book of reference, that will save them, one and all, a great deal of time-consuming labor that would otherwise be spent in searching through hundreds of other volumes for the names, events, statistics, and data collected in one compact body in the Almanac. In many cases the officers of Colleges, Seminaries, &c., the Superintendents of Hospitals, Asylums, and other Institutions for the Insane, DeafMutes and Blind, Reform Schools, &c., the Wardens of Prisons, and other beads of Sanitary, Correctional, and Punitive institutions, favored the publisher and editor by the prompt and early transmission of reports, catalogues, and circulars.
Suggestions, corrections, contributions, reports, public papers and materials, for the volume for 1865, will be most acceptable, and are earnestly solicited.
The volume of the National Almanac for 1864 is thus committed to the just judgment of the public, with a parting remark, in the language of a distinguished American officer, that it is a little library in itself, and one which answers nearly all questions on public affairs in a most satisfactory manner.
WM. V. McKEAN, EDITOR,
916 Clinton Street, PHILADELPHIA.
d nearly four hundred official reports and state papers be-
e Heads of the Executive Departments and Bureaus at
to A. R. Spofford, Esq., of the Congressional Library
to many others, who are not forgotten though for the
that he should have made a formal list of these kind and
In many cases the officers of Colleges, Seminaries, de.,
in itself, and one which answers nearly
Department of State....
(See INDEX, Page 131.]
9 Land Omce Statistics .................................... 253
Agriculture in the United States, 1863. 47 Census Bureau......
Public Libraries of the United States............ 68 Department of Agriculture
Third Session, Thirty-Seventh
Congress.... 80 New Hampshire — State Officers, Judiciary,
Revenue Expenditures, Exports, and
United States Mints and Coinage......... 215
WM. V. McKEAN, EDITOR,
916 Clinton Street, PBILADELPHI),
Iowa -State Officers, Judiciary, Finances, Chili
nances, Tables of VOLUNTEERS, &C..........417-423 Denmark..
Tables of VOLUNTEERS, &C......
Nebraska–Boundaries, Officers, &C.........450, 451 Hayti....