CIVILIZATION is a war--a war of light with darkness; of truth with falsehood; of the illuminated intellect and the rectified heart with the barbarism of ignorance and the animalism of the savage.
The present work portrays a single phase of this sublime conflict. It recounts one of the thousand campaigns of this war. It is an attempt to condense into a single volume, and given an adequate literary expression to, the thrilling history of the struggle between the White man and the Red man for the possession of this continent. It is also intended to be a memorial to a race of heroes. Other countries have esteemed their earliest heroes as worthy the song of the poet and the praise of the historian. With us, the deeds of our fathers are as yet unsung, and their very names are fading from our memory.
This book is historical, but not history. That is to say, it is a truthful account of real events, gathered from a vast mass of authorities. Yet the design has been pictorial rather than geometrical. The author has sought rather to paint a picture than to make a map. In the execution of this purpose he has been nobly seconded by the PUBLISHERS, who have spared neither trouble nor expense to procure for him rare and valuable authorities. The large collections of the public libraries of the country were found inadequate, and booksellers from Boston to San Antonio have been called upon for books difficult of access.
To the vast number of painstaking and truthful writers from whom the author has thus drawn his facts, and perchance even the expression of them, an obligation exists for which no adequate return can be made. The author also takes this opportunity to express his deep obligations to PROFESSOR JOHN CLARK RIDPATH, by whose polished pen and extensive and accurate acquaintance with American history many a defect in this book has been generously obviated. A similar recognition is due to HON. HENRY A. RATTERMANN, whose unequaled library of rare books on American Pioneer History,--especially that part relating to the settlement of the Ohio Valley,--has furnished valuable data for this volume, without which much that is interesting would have been lost to these pages.
The liberality of the PUBLISHERS has extended not merely to the procurement of literary materials, but has also enriched the book with a collection of artistic engravings every way worth of the topic. Supplemented as his own efforts have been by these powerful and generous aids, it is not without confidence that the work is submitted to the public.
DEER PARK, MARYLAND, SEPT., 1883.
|A. L. M.
The Tragedy and Romance of Pioneer Life
Created November 16, 2000
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