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Harrison William, his escape
Harmar Gen. his excursion
killed by Cressup, &c. 36. 148. 167 McKnit defeated
Holder John Capt. defeated
Hardin Capt. crossed Ohio, &c.
Hubbell Capt. defeats Indians
Mercer county made
infest the country
Marshall John, agent
Indian hostilities suspended
Muter George, &c. letter
addresses the people
Johnson Robert Col. settles
Kentucky, ancient annals, by C.
Kentucky, description, &c.
with Col. Marshall offers for
258 May George appointed surveyor
358 Montgomery's station attacked
Memorial to Virginia
315 Ohio river, its sources
436. 441 O'Fallon, his enterprise
443 Oldham Col. commands militia
11 Overture to treat, from Spain
Kenton Simon in Kentucky
Kincheloe's station surprised
Kenton and Clark settle Lawrence
[BY THE AUTHOR.]
TWELVE years have elapsed since I determined to write and publish & history of Kentucky; and nearly that term has expired, posterior to the ap pearance of the first, of two volumes, which were intended to comprise the work. Why it was not accomplished, needs no explanation at this time. Adhering to the original design, its execution has been attempted, by revising the former volume, extending it to 500 pages, and writing a second, of equal size. Which are respectfully offered, TO THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY,—and of which, it is hoped they may profit.
The former Introduction, will accompany this edition-it appearing still appropriate, and expressive of my sentiments.
Viewing the preface to a book, as a kind of antechamber, where the author, and his readers meet, to hold free conference; in which the former, if he can, is to prepare the latter, for a favourable reception of what he is about to offer them; this will be so employed: but without an apology for my own defects. Believing, nevertheless, that the motive with which any thing is done, must always make an essential constituent of its merit, I shall not hesitate to say, that PUBLIC UTILITY, has been the predominant object of my labour. While the wisest of books, teacheth, that "no man lighteth a candle, and putteth it under a bushel, but on a table, that it may give light to those in the house." The parable in the text, it will be perceived, may find an easy solution in the publication of a book, by its author. If it manifests vanity, so it does also benevolence-especially, when the paramount design is, to diffuse information, as the candle doth light to the household.
That history has not been more beneficial to mankind, than there is reason to conclude, from the state of the public mind, it has been, is not merely because men seldom profit by the experience of others but also, because, from the intrinsic difficulties in the case, it has seldom been written in republies of a peaceful character, or especially, where their civil transactions furnish its subjects, until after both its precepts, and examples, have, in a great mea-. sure, lost their application and effect. While military annals, filled with different topics, having no such difficulties to encounter, are readily supplied; and, accordingly, every where furnished.
The history now offered, is in some of its material parts, an experiment, and may hereafter become an example. Allusion is made to those parts, which apply to the constitutions, and the laws: and which are predicated upon the assumption, that our government is but in its infancy-that it has much to reform-and that the only way, by which it can attain perfection, is, impartially to detect its errors, see whence they flow, and then, with a sound discernment and honest intention, correct them.
Another reason, why history has not imparted all its benefits to mankind, is, that it is not sufficiently read by adequate numbers, to produce a general opinion of practical, moral, and political results. While its place, if Occupied, is supplied by newspapers-whence are propagated every kind of opinion; of course, not only those which are correct, but as frequently, those which are entirely the reverse--when, to be able to perceive the right from the wrong, some previous reading of a more general nature, seems to be ne
cessary. Not that history is infallible, or newspapers unuseful: but the for mer, being written under the direction of one will, is more likely to be consistent; and by the multiplicity of its facts, presents more extensive views.
Again, history, although it treats of recent occurrences in our own country, in ever so proper a manner, yet owing to prepossessions, of a personal or party nature, may fail of its merited attention, and effect. The author is either somebody, or nobody. If the former, it is more than probable, that he has belonged to one, or the other, of the parties, which at different times, have agitated and divided the state, or the United States: and then, he will be suspected of partiality, and his book read, by opponents at least, with a jealous and suspicious eye. But to exercise any judgment, the most impartial author must discriminate between right, and wrong; and award his decisions accordingly. If he exposes the leaders, or the principles of a party—adherents and followers are offended. Those who are wrong however, and especially if they have power on their side, refuse to yield their opinions, or to correct their course-while they all join to blast the author, that they may suppress his book.
In such a state of things, history is read by one portion of the community, not to be studied for information or improvement, but to be criticised and execrated, because it does not promote the party purposes, of a possible majority. Reasons analagous to those expressed, exist in every popular government, against writing a history of the last half century-being the period which mine embraces. A large number of the individuals who figured in the scenes described, are still living; and where the actors are dead, their immediate descendants may now occupy the stage. Suppose the author to possess every requisite quality, and qualification, for the work-impartiality must be one of them. Admit that he descends to the delineation and exhibition of personal character. He would, it is certain, find many persons whose principles, talents, and amiable dispositions, it were a pleasure to recount, elucidate and record.
To treat of these only, would prove him partial, and offend the rest of the same party, reciprocally. But, what popular favourite could bear an examination of his political conduct for twenty years past? Suppose one, the least exceptionable, selected, his course retraced-his measures scrutinized--his motives developed-his tergiversations noted-his inconsistencies set in array against him-his pretensions, feints and deceptions, as by him played off upon the people themselves, shewn--and the general selfishness of his patriotism duly exposed: to most honest men who would examine the portrait, it would be repulsive. What then must a faithful delineation of those be, who have not the ground work of a good moral character; and hardly a virtue with which to begin the picture? And yet, such there are. Consider what that history would be, which should collect and display the transactions of such men to public view. Not that I have attempted the task. On the contrary, deeming it expedient to decline personal history-since the prevalence of party feelings; although to the generality of the readers of the histories of other countries, peculiarly interesting and agreeable; and which might have been made entertaining in this; yet the defect is to be acknowledged in the history of Kentucky.
Ford's, I have qught a compensation-to myself. in the reflection that invidualeace, and complacenc of mind, were left unmolested--and to the reader, that even the wility of the work was enhanced by substit: ting the results of public deliberation, to de ails af personal occurrences That infot, the fair way of estimating the seal character of a FREE PEOPLE, is by understanding their constitution of governm nt the spirit of their legisla tion and the genius of their institutions; while the better part of history, lies on giving to trese a faithful representation; rather than in retracing the steps which led to them, farther than illustrations demand.