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GEORGE F. HOLMES, LLD,
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
JOHN S. PRELL
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
“We do not pretend to pass any judgment on the merits
We relate opinions
JOHN S. PRELL UBRAZY
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
ELEVEN years and more have elapsed since the first publication of this text-book. This period has witnessed a series of grave transactions, and a surprising increase of the population, productions, and wealth of the country. It seemed indispensable to extend the narrative to the completion of the century since the surrender of the British at Yorktown assured American Independence.
To do this, it was necessary to contract the story throughout, so that the volume might be kept within suitable limits. Matters of secondary importance have been omitted, and greater brevity of statement has been introduced where practicable, particularly in the earlier periods and the War of Secession. There is no longer necessity or propriety in treating the late mournful struggle with the same fulness as before. Moreover, the wondrous perspective of time has already diminished the prominence of many events, and has suffered minor details to melt into the haze of the receding landscape.
Advantage has been taken of the necessity for abridgment, to remodel the narrative in many ways, so as to adapt it more thoroughly to its purpose, without adding to its size. It has thus been rendered virtually a new work, while retaining much of its former appearance.
The changes of disposition will be at once apparent, and will, it is hoped, be approved. Other changes have been made. The paragraphs have been shortened, the structure of the sentences simplified, the expression adapted to the ready comprehension of young pupils. The multiplication of dates and their introduction into the text, however needful for accurate knowledge, are apt to confuse the reader. Only the most important dates have been retained, and they have been transferred to the margin.