|About the Book|
This volume was published in 1906. 1 cannot do better than base my theory of governmental action upon the words and deeds of one of Pennsylvanias greatest sons, Justice James Wilson. PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT.With these words Theodore Roosevelt, in a recent oration,*focussed public attention upon James Wilson, who through thevista of the nineteenth century is looming the intellectual colos-sus of the formative years of the Republic, and whose principlesmust eventually be the basis for the solution of those subtleconstitutional problems which result from our closely inter-locked dual form of government. To many in our day, JamesWilson will prove a revelation- to others, to an unnumberedthrong ever increasing with the oncoming years, his governmentaltheories will be a never-failing source of inspiration- and to thenation the Wilson doctrine is the harbinger, the hope and thesalvation for untrammelled forward progress in the field ofdestiny.The object of these pages shall be to place this man in trueperspective before the people whom he loved and in whose service he died. In order to do so, the writer will not confine himself to the enunciation of his personal views, lest in the recital Wilson suffer- but, with wealth of quotation, he will draw fromthe opinions of that little band of constitutional lawyers and his-torians who, in the examination of the great problems of gov-ernmental action, are never satisfied until they have masteredthe principles and sought the sources, and who, in seeking, found James Wilson, luminous, transcendant, constitution-maker, nation-builder- the intellectual giant, in whose train have followed that great galaxy of constitution interpreters Hamilton,Jay, Webster, Bradley, Taney and, peer of all, John Marshallwhose work and whose names are an immortal part of our com-mon heritage.* Dedication of Pennsylvanias new Capitol, October 4th, 1906.