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AND PRACTICE OF INSURANCE IN ALL ITS BRANCHES :
A BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
SECRETARY, AGENCY SUPERINTENDENT, OR OTHERWISE:
A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REPERTORY
OF ALL WORKS WRITTEN UPON THE SUBJECT OF INSURANCE AND ITS
ASSOCIATED SCIENCES :
AN HISTORICAL TREASURY
FROM THE BEGINNING.
CORNELIUS WALFORD, F.I.A., F.S.S.,
I RESPECTFULLY DEDICATE THIS WORK
IN THE HOPE AND BELIEF
THAT ITS CONTENTS WILL BE FOUND OF SUCH INTEREST AND VALUE
AS TO ENTITLE IT
NOT ONLY TO THEIR RECOGNITION, BUT TO THEIR PERMANENT REGARD,
AS THE PRODUCTION OF AN EARNEST FELLOW-LABOURER
IN THE FIELD OF ENTERPRISE
(All Rights of Translation and Reproduction are reserved to the Author.] [Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by J. H. & C. M. GOODSELL,
in the Clerk's Office in the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.]
Some five years since I announced the present work as “in course of preparation.” If I could have foreseen that every leisure moment from that hour to the present would have been required in its completion, I should never have ventured upon that first announcement.
In the course of my investigations for a former work, which has found most extended favour,* I discovered that there remained unwritten the Great History of the Origin and Development of the various phases and branches of Insurance in this country. It became my ambition to grapple with the work. I present herewith the first instalment of my labours. It (the entire work) has cost me many sacrifices--pecuniary, social, personal health. I shall find content in any small rewards that flow from it.
I cannot tell how far the work may even be welcomed in a popular sense here—the depressed state of our Insurance interests I confess causes me some misgivings. But I have one abiding consolation; and that is, that every page of it will receive a hearty welcome on the other side of the Atlantic. There, it is an axiom of the business, that knowledge is power ;-and in that spirit every word written, either upon the former history or present practice of INSURANCE, finds in the great body of Insurance officials, agents, and canvassers, countless thousands of readers. I must own (and without intending the smallest disrespect to Insurance interests here) that the recognition of this fact has had a sustaining influence upon me: it has often flashed across me during the dreary hours of the night, imparting a ray of hope to the heart, and renewed power to the pen.
Regarding the work itself—it must speak for itself. Faults will be found in it, and they will be proclaimed. I need not anticipate them. I shall endeavour to avail myself of all rational criticism in the final preparation of the future numbers.
It is, perhaps, desirable that I should state that the design of the book has undergone some change. It was my first intention to write a series of essays explanatory of the different branches of Insurance, including an account of their origin. In such a plan much must of necessity have been omitted; and my individual views must have influenced the relation of that which was presented. I therefore changed my plan, and resolved to present to my readers the blocks of solid material, even in their crude authenticity,
The Insurance Guide and Hand-book, which has passed through three considerable editions; and which may be regarded in the light of an introduction to the present work.