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BETWEEN the years 1793 and 1800, I wrote and printed several Tracts on Docks, with Hints on Commerce, and on other subjects, to promote the formation of Docks and other accommodations for the Port of London. They were generally circulated, but were not designed for publication.
As many of these objects have been long completed, and as copies of some of these tracts still remain on hand, it may not be thought uninteresting to make as complete a collection of them as can now be accomplished, and they will be found in the Appendix. Some few of the smaller tracts relating to the Docks being out of print, and being at this time of little value, it has not been thought worth while to reprint them.
Having had some leisure, and wishing to make myself useful to society, I associated early in life with some of those Committees whose objects were congenial with my own feelings, and as many them had been sanctioned and adopted by the public, they floated down the stream of time by
their own merits, and those who voluntarily tendered their services found their labours amply repaid by their success.
These views and pursuits induced me to procure from Captain Woodward a Narrative of his sufferings at Celebes (which is noticed in the Memoir, page 9), and which I published with an Introduction and an Appendix, containing many well-authenticated details of
escapes from shipwrecks under great hardships; shewing the importance of discipline, union, confidence, and perseverance in the midst of scenes of danger, distress, and abstinence. *
The Memoir, Introduction, and Miscellaneous Part, with some few exceptions, were written within the last two years, and under great disadvantages, as I have been obliged to employ an amanuensis, owing to an imperfection in my sight.
I am indebted to my friend Mr. Alexander for proposing as a frontispiece a sketch drawn by his son, the Rev. D. Alexander, from my bust in his possession, executed by Sir F. Chantrey in the year 1811. I take this opportunity of thanking him for his kindness; and though it is the fashion
* A few copies of this work may still be had of Messrs. Smith, Elder, & Co. 65, Cornhill.