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Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by
LEA AND BLANCHARD, in the clerk's office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
STEREOTYPED BY J. FAGAN.
PRINTED BY T. K. AND P. G. COLLINS.
The Encyclopædia Americana, to which the present volume is supplementary, has been nearly fourteen years before the public, and has obtained a high rank, in its estimation, among works of a similar nature. It was founded on the basis of the seventh edition of the famous “ Conversations-Lexikon.” The eighth edition of the latter appeared between
" the years 1833 and 1837, and the ninth is now in course of publication. Hence it became desirable that this encyclopædia should be extended, to embrace the improvements thus introduced into the German work. But independently of any information which might be derived from this quarter, how many important events have occurred, or facts been observed, and how many individuals have emerged from comparative obscurity during the lapse of fourteen years,-affording abundant materials for such a volume as is now offered to the public, and even imperatively requiring its publication to restore to the Encyclopædia Americana all the advantages which belonged to it originally, as a book for ready consultation on subjects of general or popular interest !
No pains have been spared by the editor to execute the design of posting up to the present date the matter contained in the previous volumes of this work. The books which he has examined for the purpose have been exceedingly numerous, and his correspondence very extensive; but neither books, nor correspondence, have always furnished
: the latest or most exact information. Sometimes too, he may have failed to do full justice to a subject, from the mass of documents from which he had to cull; and he has occasionally been obliged to omit a subject altogether, from the entire deficiency of materials.
The printed sources of information to which the editor has most frequently had recourse, - beside the later editions of the German
“ Conversations-Lexikon,” above referred to,-are the second edition of Pierer's “ Universal-Lexikon,” the publication of which is now nearly completed; the “Encyclopédie des gens du monde," completed in 1345; the “Univers pittoresque,” still in progress, (particularly in reference to France and Frenchmen); the “ Dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture;” the supplementary volumes of the “ Biographie Universelle :" the Annual Registers, English and French; M'Culloch's
2 “Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Dictionary ;" Waterston's “ Cyclopædia of Commerce ;” the last edition of Cannabich's “ Lehrbuch der Geographie” (1842); Berghaus' “ Allgemeine Länder und Völkerkunde,” the last volume (the sixth) having been published in 1844; the Penny Cyclopædia, with the supplement to it, now publishing in monthly numbers; Brande's “Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art;" and Knight's - Political Dictionary,” which has just been completed. Very few articles have been transcribed or translated entirely from these or any other sources; but while in his preparations the editor has consulted a number of authorities on the several subjects which he has treated, he has not hesitated to use the identical words he found employed by either British, French, or German writers, in every instance where they seemed to convey the meaning intended in a distinct and appropriate manner. And in the selection of his subjects, it may be added, he has kept constantly in view what was likely to be of especial interest to an American reader, and was not readily accessible to him elsewhere.
In accordance with the plan of the preceding volumes of the Encyclopædia Americana, the biographical notices which are given of distinguished Americans have been confined to the deceased. But the editor has endeavoured to comprehend in his list as many persons as were fairly entitled to a place in it. Yet he is aware of the omission of some whose claims may be regarded by their immediate relatives and friends to be quite as great as are those of not a few whose names have been inserted; and some two or three individuals, of an unquestionably high reputation with the community at large, have met with an apparent neg. lect, simply on account of the prolonged delay, or unwillingness of the parties by whom they were most intimately known, to furnish the information repeatedly and perseveringly asked for concerning them. The notices which are given of foreigners are of the living as well as of the
dead. From the practice, also, which prevails to a greater extent in France and Germany than anywhere else, of publishing, in their encyclopædical and other collections to which the editor has had access, the personal history of the prominent contemporary characters, the present volume will be found to contain much curious and valuable matter of this description, relating to Frenchmen and Germans, and to the natives, likewise, of some of the other continental European States.
It was originally intended that the additional geographical information concerning the United States should find a place, according to its being of a more or less general character, in the article United States, or in separate articles distributed throughout the volume. This plan was adhered to through some of the first letters of the alphabet, but after these had been put in type the editor saw reason to prefer treating the subjects referred to under the single head of the United States; and this statement will explain an inconsistency in the arrangement, which, slight as it is, could not fail to be noticed.
There are some articles in the preceding volumes of this work, such as Bank, Constitution, &c., in which the subject is treated successively in relation to a number of different countries; it has been thought most advisable to distribute such additions as were to be made on these several subjects under the heads of each separate country. And here, any one who shall consult the articles generally in the present volume, and shall fail to find the information for which he is seeking, may be requested not to conclude hastily that, because it is not to be found in the article which he expected to contain it, it will be found in no other; he will, quite probably, meet with it in some article, the title of which will be suggested to his mind on a moment's reflection.
Such of the articles in this supplement as are continuations of articles in the former portions of the Encyclopædia Americana are marked with an asterisk; and the reader of them is desired to be particular.in noting this, since, if he were not to do so, he might, in many or even most instances, deem the articles to be singularly defective in their statements or arrangement.
A few of the articles, it is proper to mention, have no reference to the period which has elapsed since the publication of the former volumes, but are intended to supply omissions which occur in them.
And it may be further stated, that much the larger portion of the present volume has been prepared by the editor; for some of the biographical articles, as well as for several of those relating to science and its application to the arts, he is indebted to others. These last treat of subjects which have latterly attracted, in a very high degree, the attention, not of scientific men only, but of the public generally — such as geology; magnetism and electricity; the telegraph; the causes which produce the explosion of steam-boilers ; &c. — all of them containing information nowhere else to be met with in a condensed and connected form.
Philadelphia, November 20, 1846.