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The following Biography contains in a condensed form the Story of the Life of George Stephenson.

The author has been gratified to observe that the opinion which he ventured to express in the Preface to the original work, that such a Life would be found to furnish matter of interest as well as instruction, has been amply justified by the judgments of many able men, as well as by the generous reviews of the book which have appeared, and which he takes this opportunity of acknowledging.

The present work has been prepared in some measure in compliance with a wish generally expressed, that the Biography should be published in a more accessible form for general readers, and also with a view to its being adopted as a manual for the young. To such the author trusts the book will prove attractive as well as useful, by reason of the faithful record which it contains of a true man's career, and the practical lessons which it teaches, of steady industry, patient encounter with difficulties, and unflagging perseverance in the accomplishment of great and worthy objects.

The larger work contains full details respecting the history of the invention of the Locomotive Engine, and vi PREFACE.

of the Eailway system generally, together with the able Eesume by Mr. Eobert Stephenson, of British Eailways and their Eesults, delivered before the Institution of Civil Engineers; and the author would accordingly refer such readers as desire to obtain more full information on those subjects, to that work, which has already attained its Fifth Edition.

The Illustrations to this volume are from sketches made on the spot by Mr. Edward Whymper.

London, April, 1859.


The Northumbrian coal-field — Newcastle-on-Tyne and the neighbourhood

— Northumbrian people and dialect — The pitmen — Engiuemen and

brakesmen — Pumping and winding engines — Colliery tramroads and rail-

ways— Keels and keelmen — Wylam colliery — Birth of George Stephenson

— His parentage — Childhood — Wylam waggon way—Removal to Dewley

Burn—Employed as cowherd — Models clay engines — Labours a-field—

Drives a gin-horse — Birdnesting — Assistant fireman — Jolly's Close —

Newburn —■ Feats of strength — Appointed plugman — Study of the

steam-engine Page 1—20


Improvement of time — Habits — Self-culture — Attempt at artificial egg-

hatching — Curiosity about steam-engines — Resolves to learn to read —■

His teachers, Robin Cowens and Andrew Robertson— Learns arithmetic —

His dog — Learns engine-brakeing — Bill Coe — Removes to Black Callerton

— Duties as brakesman — Improves himself during the night-shift — Wages

— Fanny Henderson—Shoe-mending — Saves his first guinea — Habitual

sobriety — A dead shot — Quarrel with a pitman — His first and last

fight 21—31


Brakesman at Willington — His marriage — Daily life — Attempts to invent

Perpetual Motion—Makes shoes and shoe-lasts—Clock-cleaning—Birth of

his son — Removal to Killingworth — His wife's death — Goes to Scotland

— Improves a pumping-engine — Brakesman at Killingworth — Supports

his infirm father—.Drawn for the militia — Intends to emigrate — Saves

money for his son's education — Takes contract for engine-brakeing — Im-

proves the winding-engine — Improves a pumping-engine — His celebrity as

an engine-doctor 32—47

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