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DISTRICT OF MARYLAND, 88.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fifteenth day of October, in the *********forty-fourth year of the Independence of the United States of Amer.

SEAL. ica, H. M. Brackenridge, of the said District, hath deposited in this the office, the Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words and figures following, to wit:

“A Voyage to South America, performed by order of the American government, in the years 1817 and 1818, in the frigate Congress. By H. M. Brackenridge, Esq. secretary to the mission.

“The glimmerings which reach us from South America, enable us only to see that its inhabitants are held under the accumulated pressure of slavery, superstition, and ignorance. Whenever they shall be able to rise under this weight, and to show themselves to the rest of the world, they will probably show that they are like the rest of the world.”-JEFFERSON'S NOTES ON VIRGINIA.

In conformity to an Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “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 also to the Act, entitled, “An Act supplementary to the Act, entitled, “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.”

PHILIP MOORE,
Clerk of the District of Maryland.

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PREFACE.

A COMMON complaint is, the want of information on the subject of South America, but the meaning of all who make it, is not precisely the same. By far the greater number, having given but little attention to the geography and history of that vast continent, seem to think that the deficiency lies in the stock of information already accumulated. This, however, is a mistake; for the works already published, ancient and modern, are sufficient to occupy years of study. The writings of Robertson, and Raynal, are to be procured almost every where; although the works of Herrera, Garcilasso, Ovei. do, and others, are extremely rare, yet, they have furnished materials for numerous compilers. In times comparatively modern, the writings of Ulloa, Humboldt, Depons, Molina, and Azara, contain a fund of information with re: spect to the geography, statistics, and history of New Spain, Venezuela, Peru, Chili, and La Plata. Without naming any others, it would require at least six months, to become master of all the information laboriously collected by these authors.

It is not then altogether the deficiency in the stock of information possessed by the public, which furnishes a just cause of complaint; the fault must, in some measure, be attributed to those who complain, for not availing themselves of what is within their reach. The study of South American affairs, has not yet become fashionable; persons who possess the most minute acquaintance with the different countries of Europe, have scarcely given themselves the trouble to become familiar with the mere geographical outlines of our great southern continent. To what cause are we to attribute this want of curiosity, with respect to the most important portion of the globe? The works on South America, it is true, are many of them voluminous, but there is no want of abridgements and compilations. Thompson's Alcedo, Walton on the Colonies, Wilcox's Buenos Ayres, and Bonnycastle's South America, can, without difficulty, be procured by those who are desi. rous of obtaining a general acquaintance with the subject. I was more surprised at the number of excellent works on South America, than

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