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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
T. S. ARTHUR AND W. H. CARPENTER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of
THERE are but few persons in this country who have not, at some time or other, felt the want of an accurate, well written, concise, yet clear and reliable history of their own or some other state.
The want here indicated is now about being supplied; and, as the task of doing so is no light or superficial one, the publishers have given into the hands of the two gentlemen whose names appear in the title-page, the work of preparing a series of CABINET HISTORIES, embracing a volume for each state in the Union. Of their ability to perform this well, we need not speak. They are no strangers in the literary world. What they undertake the public may rest assured will be performed thoroughly, and that no sectarian, sectional, or party feelings will bias their judgment, or lead them to violate the integrity of history.
The importance of a series of state histories like those now commenced, can scarcely be estimated. Being condensed as carefully as accuracy and interest of narrative will permit, the size and price of the volumes will bring them within the reach of every family in the country, thus making them home-reading books for old and young. Each individual will, in consequence, become familiar, not only with the history of his own state, but with that of other states : —thus mutual interest will be re-awakened, and old bonds cemented in a firmer union.
In this series of CABINET HISTORIES, the authors, while presenting a concise but accurate narrative of the domestic policy of each state, will give greater prominence to the personal history of the people. The dangers which continually hovered around the early colonists; the stirring romance of a life passed fearlessly amid peril; the incidents of border warfare; the adventures of hardy pioneers; the keen watchfulness, the subtle surprise, the ruthless attack, and prompt retaliation--all these having had an important influence upon the formation of the American character, are to be freely recorded; while the progressive development of the citizens of each individual state from the rough forest life of the earlier day to the polished condition of the present, will exhibit a picture of national expansion as instructing as it is interesting.
The size and style of the series will be uniform with the present volume. The authors, who have been for some time collecting and arranging materials, will furnish the succeeding volumes as rapidly as their careful preparation will warrant.
The history of Kentucky, here introduced to the reader, is the first of a series of popular state histories, now in course of publication. The aim has been to present a graphic picture of the progress of the state, from its first settlement by Daniel Boone down to the present time.
The fierce and incessant inroads by which the savages sought to drive the first settlers from their favourite hunting-grounds; the capture of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes, by General Clark; the expeditions of Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne; the attempts made by Spain to sever Kentucky from the Union; the machinations of Burr and his fellow-conspirators; the services of the volunteers from Kentucky in the war of 1812, and the more recent invasion of Mexico, have all been recorded : briefly in some respects, but always fully whenever they came within the scope of state history.
Kentucky occupies a peculiar position in relation to her sister states. Previous to the explorations which led to the erection of block-houses and rudely fortified stations by the early pioneers, the western Indians had fondly clung to the hope that the Ohio River would remain the boundary line between the