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To the deep historic interest expressed by his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, concerning the Aborigines of America, may be traced the production of this Work:-it led the Author originally to write the Israel-Indian Tragedy of “Tecumseh,”—illustrative of the patriotic race of the North, and which composition has received the honour of being dedicated to the Illustrious Prince by Special permission. The publication has been delayed only from the fact, that it would anticipate this branch of the present Work, and might consequently be injurious.
The investigations necessary for writing of North America, called into action the study and observation of years in relation to South America: and in contemplating the newly-discovered Ruined Cities and Temples upon that moiety of the Western Continent,
the very spirit of the Romance of Truth, seemed to find a voice in every Sculptured altar, column, stone, or pyramid; and when upon the enthusiastic pursuit of hidden knowledge, the sudden discovery of early Christianity and its Sacred Promulgator, were identified with the Western Hemisphere, sanctioned as is the discovery by Holy-Writ, History, Tradition,Customs, and the oracular Sculptures of antiquity,+ Language has no power to express the bounding feelings of the heart, when that original vision of the mind, became apparent, as the stern reality of historic truth. Knowing from experience, that Works upon Antiquities, described in language cold as the marbles they illustrate, are not of deep interest to the general reader, the Author has, therefore, avoided the usual frigid style, and has consequently placed around them such fervent, and glowing words, as their novel characters have authorized and demanded. In delineating, also, the History of Tyrus, the chief events only are given; and being rendered, with the artistical pages, con amore, the Poetry of History, and not its dry prosaic qualities will be received by the reader. This will be seen in the descriptions of the classic Remains,— Battles, and Voyages, and especially for instance, in resuscitating the Ruins of Rome, and in the celebrated Tyrian Siege by Alexander of Macedon, but in this style of writing (it is submitted) the Author has not lost sight of that high solemnity demanded by the Philosophy of History; without which, memorials of past ages, or of our Fathers, would be useless. To give a list of works consulted during fifteen years in America, and more immediately for the last two years in England, while writing the Tyrian AEra, would be pedantic: but no Author, sacred or profane, from the first Lawgiver to the present time, having even a remote reference to the Western Hemisphere, has been knowingly omitted; yet being professedly an Original Work, the volume of the brain has been more largely extracted from, than any writer whose works are already before that Public,+to whose final judgment (upon its merits or demerits) the present Author submits the first History of Ancient America with all humility; but he will yield to none in the conscientious belief in the truth of the startling propositions, and the consequent historic conclusions: and that the reader may not imagine that any undue motive dictated to the writer the publication of this Work, the following extract from the Messrs. Longman's letter
upon their own, and their Reader's investigation of this Volume will justify him. “* * * We have fully
considered the publication of your Work on America.
The usual “Table of Contents” has been avoided,
London, June, 1843.