During the last few years of his life, Dr. Barry on occasions spoke to me of his autobiography which he was writing in the intervals that his health permitted him to devote to such work.
When, on April 19, 1931, I spent his 72nd birthday with him at the Convent of St. Anne at Kingston, New York, where he had resided for some time, Dr. Barry told me that he had completed the manuscript of the story of his life with the exception of the last chapter, that chapter to be his impressions and opinions of several subjects pertaining or referring to the Church, and that the manuscript, as far as he had written, was being typed.
Dr. Barry died in New Canaan, Connecticut, on the morning of Thursday, May 28th, 1931, without having written the last chapter or having revised the typewritten copy of his manuscript. As his executor, both the manuscript and the typescript came into my possession. A careful reading inclines me to the belief that there are certain changes which Dr. Barry would have made had he revised the work before publication, but since its publication has devolved as a duty upon me as his executor, I feel that I am more fully discharging that duty by publishing only what Dr. Barry wrote, instead of having it revised by any other hand.
The fact that the manuscript was written at such times as Dr. Barry felt strong enough to do the work during his long illness, and at intervals, sometimes of more than a year apart, accounts in all probability for some of the repetitions, and perhaps for some of the lack of proportion which may be noted in the following pages. It is possible that a revision might have made, as no doubt Dr. Barry's revision would have made, a smoother-reading literary work.
HOWARD I. DOHRMAN