It would be a futile task for any person to prepare a biography of William Paterson and to repeat all that has been set down on many reams of paper, for Paterson figured extensively in the early days of this country. There are only three sketches of this life that aspire to the title of biography and unfortunately two of these were privately printed and consequently attained but a limited circulation; these three works, the character of which entitles them to be extensively read, are:
First and foremost, "William Paterson," by Gertrude Sceery Wood, teacher of English in the Eastside High School of Paterson. The task which Mrs. Woods set for herself developed into a monumental research, guided by her scholarly attainments.
"William Paterson," by Francis R. North, Principal of Eastside High School of Paterson, a clever compilation of facts which had called public attention to the career of Paterson.
These three works are adapted for consultation by the scholar, but their restricted circulation has kept them out of the reach of the general reader. The present author has availed himself of the extensive collection of data thus furnished, data obtained from almost countless books, pamphlets and newspapers, notably the treasures to be found only in the vaults of the New Jersey Historical Society; this collection of historical facts thus obtained has been augmented from the reminiscences of Lucius Q. C. Elmer, a judge of the Supreme Court of New Jersey; "The Supreme Court of the United States, a History," by Charles Warren; "Glimpses of Colonial Society and life at Princeton College, 1766-1773," by W. J. Mills, and other works of equal merit but less well known.
C. A. S.