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Although North America comprises several independent sovereignties, and is inhabited by many distinct races of men, yet it has always been separated from other parts of the world, and bound together by relations which render it highly proper to give its history in a single work. Its aboriginal races are all kindred; it was, after ages of total isolation from the civilized world, at once brought into close communication with Europe ; it was all colonized by Europeans within a short period; and it has nearly all become independent of Europe from the operation of similar causes.
Recent events have rendered the history of Mexico and British America more interesting to the people of this country than at any previous period; and have indicated the present as a suitable time for giving to the world, in a single volume, the History Of NORTH AMERICA.
In executing this task, the author has availed himself of the ample collection of historical works, which his studies and writings for many years have led him to amass; and in condensing the history within the limits prescribed for the work, he has endeavoured to avoid omitting any thing which was important to
be comprised in a general history of the North American continent.
The period embraced in this history comprises many events of romantic and thrilling interest; and brings into view many characters who have won the admiration and applause of the world; while its historical details convey many important and useful lessons in morals, military and political science, and legislation.
To the American citizen all that relates to the history of his own country is always interesting; while the condition and character of the contiguous countries present objects of interest of a nature scarcely less attractive.
The pictorial embellishments which are inserted in the work are not intended for mere ornaments. Their use is to impress historical facts indelibly on the mind. This effect of pictures is now so generally acknowledged that they seem to be indispensable, in a book intended for general circulation among the people. For this reason, a very large number has been inserted in the volume; and they will be found by the reader to embrace an unusual variety of interesting subjects.
It is hoped that the work now submitted to the public will be found not unworthy of the same kind indulgence, which has been manifested towards the previous attempts of the author to advance the great cause of popular information.
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Head Piece to Chapter I.
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