For some years I had been engaged in collecting material for a life of my great grandfather, the Rev. William Smith, D. D., Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and in doing so, I read all the Bibliographical and Historical works which I thought could in any way make mention of him. In no case did I find anything said against his character as a man, until I read Wm. B. Reed's Life of his grandfather, Gen. Joseph Reed. His remarks were uncalled for and ungentlemanly; what they were, amount to nothing, as they were untrue; and therefore not worth repeating. My first idea was to speak of Gen. Joseph Reed in the same manner, though with more truth; but finding the truth had been suppressed, and that to publish all I could wish in regard to Reed, would take up too much room in my work, and be departing from my original design, I therefore, concluded to publish all the historical facts in regard to Reed in a small volume by itself, and to [Pg 4]publish such an edition, that it could not be bought up and destroyed.
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