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By Charles Albert Murdock
A Backward Glance at Eighty
Recollections & comment
Charles Albert Murdock
THIS BOOK IS GRATEFULLY DEDICATED
I. NEW ENGLAND
A CAMERA GLANCE AT EIGHTY HUMBOLDT BAY, WINSHIP MAP FRANCIS BRET HARTE (Saroney, 1874) THE CLAY—STREET OFFICE THE DAY AFTER THOMAS STARR KING (Original given Bret Harte) HORATIO STEBBINS, SAN FRANCISCO, 1864—1900 HORACE DAVIS, HARVARD IN 1836 OUTINGS: THE SIERRAS, HAWAII
In the autumn of 1920 the Board of Directors of the Pacific Coast Conference of Unitarian Churches took note of the approaching eightieth birthday of Mr. Charles A. Murdock, of San Francisco. Recalling Mr. Murdock’s active service of all good causes, and more particularly his devotion to the cause of liberal religion through a period of more than half a century, the board decided to recognize the anniversary, which fell on January 26, 1921, by securing the publication of a volume of Mr. Murdock’s essays. A committee was appointed to carry out the project, composed of Rev. H.E.B. Speight (chairman), Rev. C.S.S. Dutton, and Rev. Earl M. Wilbur.
The committee found a very ready response to its announcement of a subscription edition, and Mr. Murdock gave much time and thought to the preparation of material for the volume. “A Backward Glance at Eighty” is now issued with the knowledge that its appearance is eagerly awaited by all Mr. Murdock’s friends and by a large number of others who welcome new light upon the life of an earlier generation of pioneers.
The publication of the book is an affectionate tribute to a good citizen, a staunch friend, a humble Christian gentleman, and a fearless servant of Truth–Charles A. Murdock.
In the beginning, the publication of this book is not the deliberate act of the octogenarian. Separate causes seem to have co—operated independently to produce the result. Several years ago, in a modest literary club, the late Henry Morse Stephens, in his passion for historical material, urged me from time to time to devote my essays to early experiences in the north of the state and in San Francisco. These papers were familiar to my friends, and as my eightieth birthday approached they asked that I add to them introductory and connecting chapters and publish a memorial volume. To satisfy me that it would find acceptance they secured advance orders to cover the expense.
Under these conditions I could not but accede to their request. I would subordinate an unimportant personal life. My purpose is to recall conditions and experiences that may prove of historical interest and to express some of the conclusions and convictions formed in an active and happy life.
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