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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1815,
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No portion of the would's history can be more interesting 10 the present generation, than that recorded in this volume ; and although of comparatively recent occurrence, it has acquired by neglect much of the freshness and fascination of novelty. The AMERICAN REVOLUTION is an event calculated to exercise a great influence on the present and future destinies of other nations.
To write an authentic 66 HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION," is no light, irresponsible task. We have endeavored to be impartial, and to be careful that no fact should be distorted, or receive a false coloring. Where, as is frequently the case, a considerable difference exists between various authorities, we have endeavored to exercise an unbiased judgment, and to adopt that statement which appeared on the whole, most consistent with Truth. The great principles of civil and religious freedom, the contest for which, in America, aroused the slumbering nations of Europe, can not fail engaging our ardent admiration ; and every Friend of Human Rights, at the present day, can have no hesitation in adopting the words of the immortal CHATHAM,“ I rejoice that they have resisted.” At this moment, the whole English nation, which then, with a few honorable exceptions, was willing to aid her rulers in trampling on the necks of her transatlantic sons, is now sealing her approval of the principles which actuated American Patriots, by her own efforts to establish the truth, that " TAXATION, WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, IS TYRANNY."
In the preparation of a volume like the present, however, it is impossible to give universai satisfaction. Is it not enough that our fathers suffered, without the strife being bequeathed, as an heirloom, to their children? Wisdom suffers antįpathies to die with the generation which has fos- . tered them; and we believe that, were it not for the noxious influence of a portion of the periodi. cal press, both in America and England, the only rivalry between the two greatest countries on the face of the globe would be, in the knowledge and practice of those principles of moral and political science, which are adapted to promote the happiness and welfare of mankind at large. HISTORY requires a distant eminence, from which to take an impartial view of the character and transactions of the recording pen : but little more than half a century has now elapsed since the Colonists first asserted their independence; and the generation, whose arduous struggles achieved so important a result, has passed away to the silent tomb. To give a just and impartial view of the rise, progress, and establishment of the American Republic, has been the design of the work The editor has aimed to do justice without asperity ; to applaud patriotism, but not to justify its excesses ; to condemn tyranny, but not to overlook the virtues of many of its instruments; and to exhibit the kindly prospect of the FUTURE, more strongly than the irritating aspect of the PAST.
The study of History can not be appreciated too highly; it tells to the YOUTH of our country a story full of wisdom, and replete with many a moral-it shows the influence and success of honor and virtue--that vice and dishonor go hand in hand together; and it excites them to noble deeds of patriotism, and calls upon them to do all, and suffer all, for their country.
To the YOUTH OF AMERICA, especially, the present Narrative is invaluable. It tells the price at which all their present rights were purchased-it teaches them their incomparable valve ; and thus renders those in whose hands the destinies of America are hereafter to be intrusted, alive to every encroachment upon them. It relates to a country of greater extent, resources, and beauty, than is possessed by any other single nation under heaven; and to a people, of recent origin indeed, but developing immense powers, and making gigantic progress; to a people above all others interesting to the nations of Europepresenting a refuge for their distressed children-exhibiting a noble example for their imitation; and as exercising no feeble influence on their destiny.
It is not, however, for Youth, alone, that this volume has been prepared. It has been written for ALL-for every age. To mankind at large the subject can not fail to be interesting; and if the preparation of these pages has been executed with a competent measure of industry, candor, and carefulness, they can scarcely fail of being valuable. These the editor has endeavored to ex. ercise, and he hopes not altogether without success.
R.S New York, May 1, 1845.