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person should possess some knowledge of the history of his own country. It seems nécessary to the existence of true and enlightened patriotism. Youth is the fittest season to acquire this knowledge. It is the season of the most leiSure; the memory is then less incumbered; this knowledge gratifies that curiosity, which is natural to the human mind, and which is peculiarly strong in the early period of life.
Among the first settlers of New England were some of the best and wisest men of the age; men remarkable for their christian piety, patience, fortitude, and benevolent enterprise, deserving a rank among the worthies who have founded empires, enlightened nations, and given glory to the
age and country in which they lived. Its history, in consequence, has been more entirely preserved, and better authenticated, from its first settlement, than that of any other portion of the globe, of equal magnitude and importance. No history is more replete with useful instruction and entertainment. It furnishes many important lessons to warriors, statesmen, and divines. It may be read and studied with much profit by our youth.
The materials for the history of this favoured portion of the world, though abundant, have hi-. therto been scattered in many volumes, too expensive and too disjointed, to be rendered useful to the rising generation. To reduce them to a form, order, and size adapted to the use of the higher classes in schools, and to families, has been our aim in compiling this small work. We have endeavoured faithfully to bring into view the most operative causes, near and more remote, which led to the settlement of New England, with the impelling motives of the immediate agents in this bold enterprise, and to trace the steps by which
she has risen to her present distinguished rank in the political, literary, and commercial world. To render the work interesting to youth, we have laboured to clothe our ideas in plain, familiar language, and to blend entertainment with instruction.
The sources whence we have derived our information have been very numerous, and the most authentic that our country affords. Hazard, Chalmers, Winthrop, Morton, Oldmixon, Mather, Prince, Hutchinson, Minot, Belknap, Trumbull, Sullivan, Williams, H. Adams, together with Winslow'g“ Relation of Remarkable Things, &c.” “Journal of a Plantation,” from Purchas' Pilgrims, Johnson's “ Wonder-working Providences,” Wood's “
Prospect of New England,” Calef's “ More Wonders of the invisible World,” the valuable Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and many occasional sermons, miscellaneous publications, records and manuscripts, have been faithfully consulted, and their essence condensed into this little volume.
Conscious that, in compiling and publishing this work, we have been prompted by an upright regard to the best interests of our country, we commit it to the candorand patronage of the public. We hope the youth of New England will read with pleasure and improvement, what we have written for their particular use,, with labour and delight; that while reading, they will admire, then love, then imitate the shining virtues of their pious forefathers, be emulous to preserve pure their wise institutions, and like them, receive the applause and blessings of succeeding generations.