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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO wit.
DE it remembered, that on the fourteenth day of October, A. D. 1805, in the thirtieth year of the Independence of the United States of America, ABIEL HOLMES, of said district, has deposited in this office, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit : “ AMERICAN “ ANNALS ; or a Chronological HISTORY OF AMERICA from its discovery « in 1492 to 1806, in two volumes By ARIEL HOLMES. D.D. A.A.S S.H.8. a Minister of the First Church in Cambridge. Suum quæque in annuin re« ferre-Tacit. dunal. Vol. I, comprising a period of two hundred years."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intitled, “ An « Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, « and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times there« in mentioned :" and also to an Act intitled, “ An Act supplementary to an Act u intitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of « maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during
the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of « designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”
N. GOODALE, Clerk of the District of
A NEW WORLD has been discovered, which has been receiving inhabitants from the old, more than three hundred years. A new empire has arisen, which has been a theatre of great actions and stupendous events. That remarkable discovery, those events and actions, can now be accurately ascertained, without recourse to such legends, as liave darkened and disfigured the early annals of most nations. But, while local histories of particular portions of America have been written, no attempt has been made to give even the outline of its entire history. To obtain a general knowledge of that history, the scattered materials, which compose it, must be collected, and arranged in the natural and lucid order of time. Without such arrangement, effects would often be placed before causes ; contemporary characters and events disjoined; actions, having no relation to each other, confounded; and much of the pleasure and benefit, which History ought to impart, would be lost. If history however, without chronology,is dark and confused ; chronology, without history, is dry and insipid. In the projection therefore of this work, preference was given to that species of historical composition, which unites the essential advantages of both.
It has been uniformly my aim to trace facts, as much as possible, to their source. Original authori. ties therefore, when they could be obtained, have always had preference. Some authors, of this character, wrote in foreign languages; and this circumstance may be an apology for the occasional introduction of passages, that will not be generally understood. While originals possess a spirit, which cannot be infused into a translation, they recite facts with peculiar clearness
and force. Quotations however in foreign languages an. always inserted in the marginal notes. There also are placed those passages in English, which are obsolete, either in their orthography, or their style. To some persons they may, even there, be offensive; but they may gratify the historian, and the antiquary. The one may be pleased with such marks of authentic documents; the other, with such vestiges of antiquity.
The numerous references may have the appearance of superfluity, perhaps of ostentation. The reason for inserting so many authorities was, that the reader, when desirous of obtaining more particular information, than it was consistent with the plan of these Annals to give, might have the advantage of consulting the more copious histories for himself. Should these volumes serve as an Index to the principal sources of A. merican history, they may render a useful though humble service to the student, who wishes to obtain a thorough knowledge of the history of his country.
Professions of impartiality are of little significance. Although not conscious of having recorded one fact, without such evidence, as was satisfactory to my own mind, or of having suppressed one, which appeared to come within the limits of my design ; yet I do not flatter myself with the hope of exemption from error. It is but just however to observe, that, had I possessed the requisite intelligence, more names of eminence would have been introduced ; more ancient settlements noticed; and the States in the Federal Union more propor. tionally respected. For any omissions, or other faults, which have not this apology, the extent of the undertaking may obtain some indulgence.
Cambridge, Alassachusetts, 10 October, 1805.