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Memorial About Collins' History of Kentucky Collins, Richard H. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b02-000000016 These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Memorial About Collins' History of Kentucky Collins, Richard H. [Privately printed] [Maysville, Ky.] 1871 IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. M E M OR I A L ABO UT COLLINS' HISTORY OF KIENTUCKY. BY RICHARD H. COLLINS. DECEMBER, 1871. This page in the original text is blank. :MIMOVIIAinL TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF KENTUOKY O F 1871-2. I seek no apology for addressing you a few earnest words.. My cause has been thrust before your attention at this time in a two- fold manner: 1st. By an anamolous document entitled "Initial Common School Report of H. A. M. Henderson, S. P. I.," dated November 22, 1871 To the thoughtful courtesy of Rev. Dr. Henderson I am indebted for a copy, received December 9th. 2d. By the introduction of a bill in each branch of your body, to repeal "An Act directing the purchase 01 Collins' Historical Sketch- es of Kentucky." To enable all of you to understand why this is my cause, and why I now claim your calm consideration of what I am-about to say, let me begin by stating some facts well known to those of you who were members of the last Legislature. That body by a unanimous vote, passed the following tribute to the memory of my Father, Judge LEWIs COLLINS, of Maysville, Kentucky, who died on the 29th of January, 1870: RESOLUTION IN RELATION TO THE DEATH OF JUDGE LEWIS COLLINS, OF MAYS VILLEX'Y.x APPROVED MARCH 21 1870.-Resolved, by the GeneralAssembly of the Commonwealth oj Kentucky, That we have heard with deep regret of the death of Judge LEWIS COLLINS, of Maysville, Kentucky, which has occurred since the meeting of this General Assembly. He was a native Kentuckian of great purity of character and enlarged public spirit; associated for a half century with the press of the State, which he adorned with his patriot. Ismy, his elevated morals, and his enlightened judgment. He was the author 2 of a h1istory of Kentucky, evidencing extended research, and which em- bodies in a permanent form the history of each county in the State, and the liesof its distinguished citizens, andl is an invaluable contribution to the literature and historical knowledge of the State. flis name being thus perpetually identified with that of his native State, this Getteral Assembly, from a sense of duty and regard for his memory, expresses this testimonial of its appreciation of his irreproachable character and valued services. See Acts, General Assembly of Kentucky, 1869-70, vol. 1. p. 156. Prior to this, the entire newspaper press of the State, and many in other States, in a spontaneous tribute of praise and sympathy, announced my Father's deathl. OF these, one of the most touching and grateful to the feelings of his fanily, was the following from the Lexington (Ky.) Gazette of February 1, 1870 DEATH OF A VETERLAN.-Judge LEwis COLLINS, of Maysville, author of the best history of Kentucky. ever published, and a work of intense interest, which we are sorry to say is out of print, died in this city on Saturday last. He was for many years editor of the Maysville Eagle, and a writer of great strength and vigor. He will be best known 'hereafter as author of the work spoken of, and for this deserves somer mark of respect from the public, and should have a monument raised to his imernory at the pablic expense, and should be interred in the State Cemetery at Frankfort. Few who lie in- terred in that beautiful spot deserve better of the Stiate than he who has written its history and preserved its traditions in a form that will carry them to the latest posterity. Judge CoL.UNS had attained an advanced age (nearly 73 years), and his death was not unexpected. In this afflictive dispensation of Providence, it wtS no smnll com- fort-the highest comfort earth can give-to know that our bereave- ment was thus regarded as a public bereivement, and that his name and deeds would live on, and be green in the memory of the good people of-Kentucky-the lan I of his birth, the hone of his man- hood, the scene of all his life's labors, his grave. The action of your predecessor' LegiMslat re, an1 those generous individual tributes, started fresh inquiriei all over the State and out of the State, too-for the work thus k'ndly alluded to, "CCOL- LINS' HISTORY OF KENTUCKY." If it were the work that resolu- tion described, no wonder that the popular mind felt that it was eminently worth having and worth reading. Bat all inquiries for it were fruitless-for not a copy had been printed for more than twen- ty years, and not money nor Jove could buy what was not any where for sale. Then came an appeal to me-from many partial friends, who knew that I had been associated for years with my Father as an editor, and had ass sted him in his "History"-to un- dertake the preparation of a new edition, enlarging it, and bringing 3 down to the present the history and statistics'of the State. I shrank from such an undertaking. It was a great and important, one-and as delicate as important. The necessity was a felt one, and the urgency became more urgent. Tihe great State of Kentucky- the mother of statesmen and heroes-had no connected "History" of the last twenty-six years; and no CbHistory" at all in book form now accessible to more than a few thousand of the intelligent minds among her million-and-a-third of inhabithnts. I owed it to my na- tive State, I awed it to my Father's memory-they said, and said again -to take up his work where he had left it off, and add to the chain of recorded history, the other links of startling but not always glorious events of which Kentucky and Kentuckians had been at once the stage and the actors. If it was my -duty, asithey insisted it was-if the State and the people claimed the service, and gener- ously offered the honor, as they assured me-hundreds will bear witness that the duty sought me and the service was claimted at my hands. I did not seek either, but quietly repelled both. Only after such assurances of confidence and regard and encouragement, as were grateful beyond measures. to my feelings, did I consent to undertake the responsible task that is now almost complete. But this pleasing sense of duty begun was as a dream compared to the reality. I might labor, and gather, and write, but who would publishg Echo answered, who! No publisher offered; those whom I approached drew back, and refused me. In despair I came at last to Frankfort, in February, 1871, to lay the case before the General Assembly. Senators and Representatives gave me a respectful hear- ing. Those not already familiar with my Father's book examined it carefully, and listened kindly and encouragingly to my plan of enlarg- ing it. Those to whom that book had been as a household word for a quarter of a century lent me their prompt and cheerful support. They felt the power and the beauty of that sublime thought-so grandly expressed by the old Swiss historian-that GOD 8 IN His TORY. God, as he is in Nature, could be seen everywhere, in all growth and in all life-could be felt in the breeze that fans us, and heard in the thunder that bids us be still in His presence. But how could He be read in history, if the history be unwritten How could the citizen know His dealings with the State, if those dealings be unrecorded How could the children learn that, which their fathers even had not the means of knowing, It was not wise to withhold from the 386,962 children of school age-now already in- creased to 405,719-the knowledge of. h eir State, its founders, its 4 builders, its heroes, its statesmen, its wise men, its good men, their labors and toils and sufferings for the general good, and their par- ticipation in the common glory and success. I offered to supply this felt want in the only practical way. But the expense was be- yond individual means and faith. They united with me in a plan which would bridge over the otherwise insuperable barrier, contract- ing with me to supply to the children of the State, and through them incidentally to their parents and the loved pnes at home beyond school age, the very kind of knowledge which was most inte- resting of all and least accessible of all-the History of the State of Kentucky. They enacted the law some of you now seek to repeal, and of which the Superintendent of Public Instruction seems to think it his sacred duty to thwart the operation. The chosen Representa- tives of the State, of all the people of the State-by the overwhelm- ing vote in the Senate of 25 in favor and only 6 against, and in the House of 53 in favor and only 18 against-deemed it the part of wisdom to preserve the recorded history of the State, and encourage its study as part. of the common school education of the State. You are asked to go back upon Tliis honorable record-to continue in ignorance of her history all the citizens of this proud old State, young and old alike-to violate the sanctity of the State contract, and repudiate an obligation deliberately entered into with one of your own citizens. Will you do it Can you afford to do it Does the interest of the State and the honor of the State demand it of you On the 16th of November last, I was startled-nay, astounded- by receiving the letter of Rev. Dr. Henderson, which he publishes in full on page 26 of his "Initial Report." /-To this letter I imme- diately replied, as follows: COVINGTON, Ky., Nov. 16, 1871. Rev. H. A. M. Henderson, D. D., Superintendent Public Instruction, Frankf/rt, Ky. DEAR SIR: I thank you for the courtesy and candor and moral courage of your astounding communication of INov. 14th, just received, for I think it manifests all these qualities. But I can not thank you for your want of fairness in deciding against me, unheard and ex parte, a matter of vital importance to me, and to a work of great public interest. I trust I may thank you for prudence in keeping to yourself, for the present, your determination; as a publi cation of it, even as a rumoi, will injure me seriously-a matter I 5 am confident you would not desire to do, nor intentionally do. I think I have a right to ask this, as well as to ask you to revise or review 8r reconsider your determination, and to' conform your actions to the requirements of the law itself. As you are not a lawyer, and, in your sacred calling as a Minis- ter of Christ, have not the reputation of a controversialist, I am am sure you are not a quibbler; but allow me in all respect and in no spirit of unkindness, to say that, from your letter, and from the disposition of some persons you have met who are full of unreason- ing and unforgiving prejudice against my book and against me, I fear you have come to adopt the quibble of some second or third- rate lawyer, instead of the plain; practical and positive meaning of the law itself as seen in its language and in the history of its pas- sage. Allow me to call your attention to it briefly: On the 1st day of March, the bill-which had been reported by the Committee on Education, Feb. 28th, favorably (seven for and one against)-was taken up for further consideration [see House Journal, pp. 558, 561]. Mr. Adams offered an amendment, which was subsequently adopted, and was incorporated as part of the bill as it passed. Mr. Hindman moved a substitute, which lookedto the very thing of which you speak, i. e. that all should vote on it, and the book should not be purchased at all except for those voting favorably. This substitute was ably discussed, but was voted down by the extraordinary vote of seven for it and sixty-four against it. So that the idea was condemned, of making it depend upon, a vote of the people. My Father's history, of which I had three copies there, was shown to and examined more or less by every man, Representa- tive and Senator, who was present and voted upon the bill. They passed the bill upon their confidence in the merits of that book, and their faith that I would enlarge and improve it as contracted for in the bill, and their conviction that some such book was needed and ought to be furnished to the children of the State. Both Houses passed the bill, and made, the contract with me, upon their own judgment of the excellence and desirability of the thing not upon the judgment of the people, who (with very few exceptions) could not possibly know anything of the contents or character of the book itself. The amendment allowing the people to take a vote if they chose, when voting as provided by the sclool law, for Trustees, was passed at the instance of several gentlemen who said they preferred having some provision inserted which would enabi e them to say to their constituents, "go and vote againstit if you don't want it." As for the time allowed, or not allowed the regular school election day, then cloae at hand, was selected, so that I might know whether I could go on with the book or not; the object, in part, being to give me the credit to publish the book (which would cost over 10,- 000 to publish the first copy.) Could I wait until April, 1872 or 1873, until careless and dilatory trustees chose to give notice to their school districts The tirh3 contemplated was named in the bill; not left to inference, or to be fixed by any contingency, but settled at once, as the first Saturday in April, 1871. The district might vote not to purchase the book; and if they did so, the Super- intendent's duty was stated; he was not to buy for those so voting, but for all others he is "directed to purchase," etc. As early as the 5th of April, 1871, by long communications in the Louisville Courier-Journal and otherwise, attempts were made to induce or Adrive your predecessor to just the same course you have taken-i. e. torefuse to receive my book when tendered, or to certify to the Auditor so that I could get my pay for them. He was alarmed by such bullying, and wrote warning me that it might not be prudent for me to go on, etc. He thus gave me a "h hearing," or notice of what be might feel bound to do-beJore deciding. Ile went on to submit the constitutionality of the law to the legal ad- viser of the Office and the State, who decided the law in my favor. Mir. Smith, while always treating me courteously and politely, as you have done-gave every reasonable encouragement to have the constitutionality and legality of the law tested. His final deter- mination I learned a few days ago, from his last printed Common School Report-which was not sent to me until I applied by letter to your worthy clerk, Mr. Phil. F. Brown-[see p. 99 of that re- port.] It say4, "No one person has felt that he has a personal in- terest in the matter sufficient to warrant him in getting out an in- junction, and giving bond and security for damages, etc., and incurring the expense of a formidable law-suit." I infer from the entire statement of that report-from pp. 91 to 99-that having exhausted every legal and reasonable means of gratifying the dis- satisfied and grumbling, who were pulling him first one way and then another, he had settled down to the conviction, that he would comply with the direction of the law and purchase from me as per contract. I do hope you will see it your duty to do as directed inwthe law see that the book is made up and bound according to contract, and then purchase, and certify to the Auditor. Your duty, as ldid doWn therein, is plain and unmistakable. I should not suppose you could afford to make yourself responsible in damages to me-by refusing to do what the Legislature has made it your duty to do. Let others give the bond and make themselves responsible, by suing out an in- junction to prevent your doing what the law "Idirects" you to do. But whether you reconsider your determination or not-you have given me full warning, and need not give the matter publicity- thereby injuring me seriously in addition to the other. If you re- main unchanged as to your duty, there is nothing more required of you until I deliver the books to you, some two or three months hence. I have already spent and contracted to spend over fiftoen thousand dollars-so that you see your refusal to take my books will make a serious question of damages. It is not reasonable that I should be made to lose, when the law is on my side ;- and it is quite unlikely that I will quietly submit, when my personal honor, business integrity, and good faith to the public are all at stake. I will call and see you, the first time I come to, Frankfort, and will be pleased to hear from you by letter. Bat do keep the whole matter to ourselves, if possible to oblige me. Very Respectfully Yours, RICHARD H. COLLINS. P. S.-It has occurred to me, since writing the foregoing, that you probably mistake the meaning or effect of the words 'shall notify .... previous to thefirst Saturday in April, 1871." I re- spectfully suggest to you that the words there indicate a duty, but make no penalty; whereas, you insist on it that, by inference, a tre- mendous penalty is attached and results, viz.: the defeat of the whole effect and object of the bill, and the refusal to accept and pay for my books, because certain Common School Commissioners failed, or neglected, or did not get notice in time, to give notice to the trustees. Can you, for one minute, suppose the Legislature intended, to put upon me the penalty of the Commissioners' neglect or inability to do their duty When that amendment was appendced-[remember the Hindman substitute, requiring the vote, was already voted down by 64 to 7, (I am sorry the clerk did not record the vote,) and the Adams amendment was adopted by 57 to 14, which made the vote 8 upon it optional]-it was only the first of March, and time was sup- posed to be allowed of OVER FIVE WEEKS! It so happened, being near the close of the session, that it could not be reached in the Senate for a week, when it passed by 25 to 6, nearly a four-fifths majority (it having passed the House by a three- fourths majority-53 to 18). I paid the enrolling clerks to work extra (out of time), so as to get the bill enrolled and before the Governor at the earliest hour possible. Most unexpectedly to me-quite as much so as your letter now before me, declining to receive the books-the Governor did not sign the bill; but, out of great deference to the remarkable vote in favor of the bill in each House, held it the constitutional time, and let it become a law without his signature. This delayed it (no action of mine, please remember) until the 21st. I was ad- vised of it by telegraph, and went immediately to Frankfort, by riding all night, and on the 22d got the Superintendent (Smith) to write his circular, and took it myself to the printer. Thus I acted in perfect good faith throughout, although more than one suggested to me that it might be to my interest not to hurry off those circulars. I preferred to do right, even if the result should disappoint all my expectations. But I did not expect you to attempt to check me upon the grounds you assign-putting upon me a penalty the law did not contemplate -and that by a total subversion of the letter of the law and total misapprehension of its spirit, and an exercise of power never granted and not intended to be granted to you. The Superintendent's duty was to notify, -and' he did notify promptly. The Commissioners' duty was to notify, which a few of them did, promptly, and by the bitterness of a few persons (among them some Radicals, who had made their threats to do it), carried against me a vote, because the matter was never understood, but misrepresented systematically (as J I will abundantly prove to you when I see you). And now you propose to go outside of, and beyond, the law, and make a meaning for it, and prescribe a duty for yourself, which the law, and those who made it, never contemplated. You have no right to re/use to receive my book, except for those districts which actually voted against and so certified. That was the only limit to my fur- nirshing one copy Jor each district, and the law fixed it. Five hundred and sixty-six (566) districts, according to the let- ter and spirit of the law, declined to take my book, and Superin- tendent Smith has so published, and correctly. Your duty now is 9 to see that I make the books according to contract, and then CeXtify the number delivered. You may cause me heavy loss; but, qnp-like, by involving yourself. If you do it, you will do it conscientioasly, believing it your duty, I know; but it will none the less inv1v e us both in se- rious trouble and loss. I trust and pray you will think of it, long and advisedly and praywrfully; and then NOT DO IT. R. H.C. As the foundation of some comments I propose to submit, I ask you to read and inwardly digest the following truths very forcibly and beautifully expressed by Rev. Dr. Henderson, selected from pages 13, 14, and 15 of his "Initial Report:" "In this country every man is a sovereign, and if he parts with any portion of the royalty of his citizenship, it is to a representative chosen by the exercise of his own franchise. Unless those intrusted with the power of the ballot thoroughly understand these underlying objects of good government, and conscientiously exercise this sacred prerogative, the interests of society are constantly imperilled by ignorant and reckless ma- jorities. We should elevate men for our political protection. An ignorant majority is as capable of the commission of wrong as a despotic Czar. Far better protection of the interests of democratic institutions is the universal education of the mind and the heart of the people, than serried battalions, forts of masonry, and iron-clad fleets. . . . . An application for the abridgment of the benefits, or for the repeal of common schools, is so far an application for the dismemberment and reorganization of the civil order of the State. This great institution of public schools is not only a part of the State, but is imperiously wanted as such for the common training of so many classes and conditions of people. Nothing is so much required in a Republican Government as a homogeneous people. . No child can be said to be well trained-especially no male child-who has not met the people as they are-above and below him, in the seatings, plays, and studies of the common school. Without this, he can never be a fully qualified citizen, or prepared to act his part wisely as a citizen... Without common schools made absolutely free-so that there is no bar to their benefits to any-the disadvantage falls both ways in about equal de- grees [to the State, and to the classes themselves.]" Article 6, section 9, of the Common School Law, approved March 21, 1870, says: "It shall be the duty of the Trustees to invite and- encourage all the in- digentwhite children in the district to attend the school, and to inform them and their parents that such is their right, for which the State pay8. . . No arrangement shall be made for tbe benefit of some individuals of this description to the exclusion of any others." 10 The " representatives chosen by the exercise of the franchise of the sovereigns "-as IDr. Henderson expresses it--enacted a zn D.1 xpese e7 lad four-fifths fn1jority vote in the Senate, and a three-fourths majority vote in the House, the law which directs Dr. Henderson to pur- chase, examine and receive my books; but this law Dr. Jenderson says he will not obey. He says, "the interests of society are constantly imperilled by ignorant and reckless majorities: " and yet he is determined to force another vote (when it is not intended by law) by those who are ignorant of what they would be voting on, and can not possibly judge of, discriminatingly, unless they could personally examine my Father's book." He says, and says most truly, that "the universal education of the mind and the heart of the people, is far better protection of the interests of democratic institutions, than serried battalions, forts of masonry, and iron-clad fleets.' He has served in "serried bat- talions " and been a brave and gallant soldier, and speaks whereof he knows--for the military is now imperilling the very existence of democratic institutions. Why, then, does he plant his gallant body across the path, and say in thunder tones that the children and the people shall not be educated in the knowledge of their State, its history, and the lives and examples of its great and good men-- (of whom several hundred biographies will be contained in my book)--unless I march over his dead body " by a mandamus from the proper court, or by a supplementary act of the Legislature." He argues beautifully for "' the great institution of public schools as not only a part of the State, but as imperiously wanted for the common training ;" and yet puts his foot down upon the only book the representatives of the State, in Legislature assembled, and with remarkable unanimity, have thought to be so much needed by the public schools in addition to what they already have, as to be put into their hands by legislative enactment. They have solemnly de- clared that the 405,71T children of school age must be taught the historv of their native State, and have provided for a book edited and written by a native of the State, whose interests and sympathies are thoroughly identified with the people of the State. And yet Dr. Henderson calls it " a wanton waste of the school revenues" to buy, it, and " totally useless to common schools" to attempt to teach them the history of the State out of such a book ! I fear thie Doc- tor has written with more earnestness than discretion. The Doctor wants "cnmcn schools made absolutely free, with 11 no bar to their benefits to any ;" and the common school law says it is "the right of all [indigent] children to attend school, for which the State pays." The law to purchase Collins' Kentucky proceeds upon this broad and equal principle-and the State has contracted wit-h me for the book, pays for it, and sends it to all the children of the public schools (one for each school), except to such- as have al- ready, by solemn vote, declared they would not have it. I think I have proved, out of his own mouth, that Dr. Hender- son-in all the yearnings of his eloquent, patriotic and gifted soul- is with me in the desire and the intention to do all he can for the intellectual advancement of the young people of Kentucky; and I do not doubt that that includes a knowledge of their own State. I had hoped for some valuable suggestions from him, in extending my book, so as to make it as useful as possiblc. I yet hope for his hearty co-operation in getting the book into every common school, -that the youth may become familiar with the history of their native State, emulate the noble example of its greatest and best men, and, learning to be proud of the old Commonwealth, may all the more surely, and in very trial, prove to be true to it. As to the proposed repeal of the law, I cannot think that many members of the Legislature seriously entertain such a thought. The Constitution of the United States says: "No State shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts." The State of Kentucky has had three constitutions- the first formed in 1792 , the second in 179-', and the present one in 1850. Each of these constitutions, under the Declaration of Rights, has a section which says-a great right expressed in only seven words: " No law impairing contracts shall be made." The Court of Appeals has decided that the " Leg- islature has not thepower to alter or change the vested rights acquired by the corporators under a charter, without their consent." Styge vs. Dillard, 15 Ben Monroe, 359. Also: "Retrospective legislation, where it affects or impairs the obligation of a contract, is prohibi'ed, by the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Ken- tucky." hIenderson Nashville Railroad vs. Dickerson, 17 Ben Monroe, -176. Now, under my contract with the State of Kentucky, as expressed in the "Act directing the purchase of Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky," I have been laboring constantly, since the passage of the Act-giving to it my whole time, the entire time and valuable as- sistance of my two daughters and one son; and the temporary labor 12 of several hundred intelligent (among them some of the very ablest and greatest) citizens of the State, in supplying me information needed in the preparation of what ought to be, and I am confident will be, a work of great public value. Besides this, I have actually expended, and made contracts and arrangements to expend, fully twenty thousand dollars in the preparation and execution of this great work. If the State pays me back, for the books I deliver to her, so much money as I shall have actually expended in money and values, it will be as much as I ever contemplated. If I ever get paid for my labor and trouble, it will be by.the generous appreciation of my fellow-citizens who may purchase the book at private sale. These are my vested rights, gentlemen. I know I am laboring in a noble cause, and am doing a great work. I am trying to so do it that you and every true Kentuckian will be prouder than ever of his State, and of her recorded history; and will think well of me as one of her historians. [My eyesight is fast failing me, and I may yet be known as the blind historian of Kentucky.] I am confident that, as in the case of my lamented father, after my death I will be held in grateful remembrance. But it will be much npire pleasant to have your earnest co-operation and commendation while I live, and now when I need it. My work is more than four-fifths done. Be- fore the close of this session of the Legislature, I expect to show you that I have kept faith with the State-as I expect the State to keep faith with me. It would be an honorable close to my history, to record that-in all her Legislative record of eighty years-no stain of broken faith, no reproach of violated public contract, was done or suffered; but a very mournful and painful duty to record that it was left for the eightieth year of her existence as a State to inaugurate an era of broken State faith and the unsanctity of State contracts. And for what, and in what About the matter of pub- lishing a history of her hitherto honorable career as a State. Who is willing to inaugurate such a day of State dishonor "If any, speak -for him have I offended,! Better, far better, direct, by an amended act, if you think it necessary, the Superintendent of Public Instruction to examine and purchase my books, and certify to the Auditor as the law now di- rects. Better still for thechildren of the State, if in addition to the present law, the Legislature would contract with me for a .School History of the State, so as to furnish it at the lowest possi- ble price, to, be paid for by them, and comprise part of the course of study in-every common school. 13 I hand you herewith a few pages'from my book-printed at Ad- vance Sheets-showing the population of the State, and of its towns and cities, so far as given in each Census Report since 1790; the latitude and longitude of all the principal towns and cities ; sketch of public education in the State; and much other interesting in- formation. The State Library was burned in 1825, when the State House was burned, and many public documents thus destroyed when the Public Offiees were.burned, a few years ago. I have traveled over much of the State, and have bought or borrowed many volumes to enable me to supply what these fires consumed-much State infor- mation and statistics contained only in those books. It would be well for the State to help me obtain a complete set, to be returned to the State Library in a few weeks, as soon as my labors are over. Very Respectfully, RICHARD H. COLLINS. From Hon.. JOHN W. STEVENSON, U. S. Senator, and late Gov- ernor of Kentucky: STATE O0 KENTUCKY, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, FRANKFORT, January 28, 1871. J DEAR SIR: A press of official business, always incident to a session of the General Assembly, has prevented an earlier reply to your favor of the 13th inst. I am glad to hear that you contemplate publishing a new edition of " Col- lins' History of Kentucky." Your venerated father, now passed away, received, as he deserved, the thanks of the Commonwealth for that contribution to her history. It is the best ever published. It is a vade mecum that should be in the hands of our Kentucky youth, and I should rejoice to see a cheap edition of it used as a text-book in our common schools. Wuiat higher incentive to our boys than to make them thoroughly ac- quainted with their own State, and the lives of its distinguished dead It might be done at inconsiderable cost. I hope your effort may prove a success. I have the honor to be very truly yours, J. W. STEVENSON. RICHARD H. COLLINS, Esq., Covington, Ky. From Ron. E. C. PHISTER, late Representative from Mason county, and late Judge of the 10th Judicial District: MAYSVILLE KY., December 12, 1870. R. B. Collins, Esq.: MY DEAR SIR: It gives me pleasure to learn that you contemplate issuing a new edition of " Historical Sketches of Kentucky," published some twenty- 14 five years since by your father, Judge LEWIS COLLINS, deceased. It is a very interesting work and required great research and labor in its prepara- tion. Its place can not, be supplied in the, historical and statistical litera. ture of Kentucky. The Legislature of the State, at its last session, ex- pressed its high appreciation of the work in a resolution passed unanimous- ly by both Houses in reference to the death of your father. Former editions of it haflvng been entirely exhausted, it is very desirable that a new edition should be publishel, bringing down the history and sta- tistics of the State to the present time. The work is of permanent value, and ought to be perpetuated. In view of your connection with the preparation of the original edition, your ability, industry, energy, accuracy, and methodical habits, I know of no one better qualified than yourself for the proposed undertaking. It would, too, be a labor of love with you. I believe that a new edition would meet with ready favor from the public, and that you will be rewarded with deserved success. Very respectfully, E. C. PIIISTER. From lion. Jos. OoNIPIIAN, ex lRepreseDtative from Bracken county, late Judgre of the 9th-Judicial District, and now Chancel- lor of the Covington and other Chancery Courts: AUGUSTA, KY, January 16 1871. Richard II. Collins, Esq.: DEAR SIR: I approve of your plan in regard to the republication of "Collins' History of Kentucky." It is the only useful and truthful history of our noble Comrnmonwealth. Every school district in the State should have it. The poor boy, whose parents can not furnish him with a history of his State, could then read how the "Dark and Bloody Ground" was first settled. Had I the making of the L W, I would require the schoolmaster of every common school in our State to read from ten to twelve pages every day to his pupils from " Collins' History of Kentucky." I do not hesitate to urge the Legislature to pass an act to supply every school district with a copy of your promised edition, and you may rely upon the indorsement and aid of our Representatives. Faithfally, your obedient servant, JOS. DONIPHAN.