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TO MY OLDEST FRIEND,
CHARLES S. PALMER, M.A.,
IN GRATEFUL TOKEN OF HIS TRUE AND FORBEARING FRIENDSHIP
FROM SCHOOL-DAYS TO THE PRESENT TIME,
ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.
I til band
The writer has called this book “ Transatlantic Sketches,” to indicate his sense of the slightness of the work he has undertaken.
The more one travels the more does one become conscious of the incompleteness of the knowledge gained in anything short of long-continued residence in a country. The writer in his Sketches has aimed at truth and accuracy ; how far he has attained to these it is not for him to judge. For his account of Barbados alone he claims the merit of a photograph-a plain, true, ugly likeness of an ugly subject.
The extreme fewness of reliable books of travel in the West Indies, and even in the greater part of the United States—a country full to overflowing of interest and instruction—will, it is hoped, excuse the appearance of this unpretending volume.
In speaking of the United States and its people, the writer has been compelled to use the incorrect terms “ America” and “the Americans.” It is characteristic of the inhabitants of the parts comprised within the Union, that they arrogate to themselves the name which belongs to the whole Continent.
In detailing anything likely to give an unfavourable impression of the Great Republic of the West, the words of native Americans have as often as possible been quoted, in order to avoid the appearance even of prejudice, where no prejudice was felt. Where faults or failings are exposed, they have been exposed with the full conviction that they are the faults and failings of brothers, in whose well-being every member of the old English stock has a deep and living interest.