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know of him, may we not ask, Who, in all this world of wrongs and inverte things; in this battle with passion and blood; in this maelstrom of temptation an sin—who, left the aroma of a more upright life? who, exhaled a gentler or manlie spirit?
He may have had faults. Who has not? And we would mistake our work t seek to conceal them behind a cloud of periphrasis. It can be said of John H Dillon, that when he died he “took a man's life along with him.” As Thackera wrote of Dick Steele, “Peace be with him Let us think gently of one who wa so gentle; let us speak kindly of one whose own breast exuberated with huma kindness.”
INDIANAPOLIS, June 30, 1879. BEN. DOUGLASS.
This volume is offered to the consideration of all students of American history, and especially those readers who have neither time nor opportunities to extend their historical inquiries through the very large number of printed volumes and manuscripts from which the facts embodied in this work have been compiled. in an Epistolary Discourse addressed to Lord Somers, in 1708, the author of the Discourse, Thomas Madox, says: “The first duty incumbent on a good Historian is, my lord, to convince his reader that what he offers him is true and genuine. It is, therefore, of the greatest consequence to make use of, as much as may be, evidences and memorials of indisputable authority, that are wrote, first, when the matters contained in them were transacted; secondly, by public sanction; thirdly, by those who knew how to express properly (according to the manner of the age) what was to be defined; fourthly, candidly and impartially, or without any design of concealment or imposition. These four are best met with in public records.” The long and careful researches which preceded the preparation of this volume were extended, not only into the details of American colonial history, but into the records of many different races of men, living under various political systems, and maintaining divers forms of religious worship. From these sources I have selected a great number of interesting facts which throw light upon the origin and growth of civilized institutions in North America. Many of these facts are remarkable and important; others, of less moment, may be regarded as brief commentaries upon the manners and customs of the people to whom they relate. No attempt has been made either to magnify or to diminish the real significance of any of the facts which are recorded. As a general rule, they are submitted, without comment, to the consideration and judgment of the reader. The eract words in which certain remarkable statutes were enacted, place before the minds of those who may read them, the most authentic evidence of the official opinions of many early American colonial legislators. Historical truths have been, very often, either overlooked or suppressed by different kinds of prejudices, or transformed into errors by the misleading brilliancy of the style of a historian. “Elegance,” says Sir William Jones, “on a subject so delicate as Law, must be sacrificed, without mercy, to exactness.” Authentic information of many interesting particulars which relate to the religious sentiments, political opinions, and social conditions, that were generally
AS APPLIED TO THE PUBLIC LANDS, PRIMITIVE EDUCATION,
WITH AUTHENTIC RECORDS OF
THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF PIONEER SETTLEMENTS
EMBRACING ALSO A
CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE STATES AND TERRITORIES,
By Jo HN B. DILLoN.
The laws of a nation form the most interesting portion of its history.—Gibbon.