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MARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
THE BEQUEST OF
EVERT JANSEN WENDELL
According to Act of Congress, in the year 1836, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut.
STEREOTYPED BY FRANCIS P. RIPLEY,
AMONG the numerous branches taught in our schools, history justly claims a high rank. It is now considered a necessary part of a good education. The man of business in common life, as well as the professional man, finds frequent occasion to refer to past events. Not only the lawyer and the statesman, but every freeman who gives in his vote to influence the great political interests of the nation, ought to be familiar with the more prominent events of his country's history.
The history of the United States is replete with interest and instruction. The mind is first fixed upon a vast, unexplored wilderness, inhabited only by wild beasts and wandering savages. After many years of toil and danger, our noble ancestors are seen laying the foundations of a mighty nation, and establishing those institutions which are at once the pride and the glory of posterity. Their struggles in war against the Indians, and their steady resistance of the selfish policy of the mother country, afford numerous and striking examples of virtue and patriotism. The establishment of a national government, with its constitution and laws, displays the wisdom and integrity of a body of men, whose example is worthy of universal imitation. The rapid progress of the country from a state of poverty and wretchedness to circumstances of affluence and power, develops all the energies of human nature, and affords many valuable lessons to the youthful mind.
A conviction that a history of our own country, well adapted to the use of common schools, where the great mass of our population begin to complete their education, would be highly conducive to the best interests of the nation; and that every successful attempt at improvement would meet with corresponding encouragement from my fellow-citizens, has induced me to undertake the following work.
I have endeavored to relate the most important events, in the order of time in which they occurred, so as to present unbroken that series of causes and effects, which should be strictly preserved in every work of this kind. I have added a great amount of matter in the
form of notes, consisting of biographical sketches of eminent men, anecdotes, &c., illustrating the text, and at the same time calculated to please and instruct. These, without interrupting the regular narrative, are inserted for the benefit of those who have not access to biographical works, enabling them to form some estimate of the principal characters connected with our history.
The plan of the work the author has had in mind for several years; and, after long experience in the instruction of youth, feels persuaded that it is well calculated to secure the attention of the scholar, and impart a better knowledge of our history, than any other work of its size.
I have divided the history into four periods; the first, extending from the discovery to the first settlement; the second, from the settlement of Jamestown to the Declaration of Independence; the third, extending from this period to the adoption of the Federal constitution; and the fourth, comprising the events from that time to the present. This division appears the most natural and most easily remembered. Too many divisions only perplex the mind; it being as difficult to remember the dates of a great many periods, and connect them with the events included, as to remember the dates of the important events themselves. The questions are printed on the same page with the text, which every one, by a little experience, will find to be of great advantage. In preparing the work, the most approved authorities have been consulted, and special pains taken to render it correct in every important particular. To a generous and discriminating public, it is now respectfully submitted by the author.
Southington, June 1st, 1836.
TO THE TEACHER.-The author would respectfully suggest that the scholar should begin with the Introductory lesson, on the 24th page. The im. portant matter in the Introduction may be more profitably studied afterwards.