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HISTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS,
Canding of the Pilgrims to the Present Time.
A NARRATIVE OF THE PERSECUTIONS BY STATE AND CHURCH IN ENGLAND;
POWER; THE BIRTH OF INDEPENDENCE; THE FOR-
ITS EARLIEST INFANCY TO ITS
PRESENT HIGH POSITION.
GEORGE LOWELL AUSTIN,
AUTHOR OF "LIfe of longfeLLOW," "LIFE OF FRANZ SCHUBERT," "AUSTIN'S HANDBOOK
B. B. RUSSELL, 57 CORNHILL.
Is the following pages I have sought to trace the sequence of events which constitute the history of Massachusetts from the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620, to the present time.
Masachusetts has a history which both she and her sister States nay well regard with pride. Within her borders were sown the seeds which have given birth to a great people. Hither ame, and lived, and died, its early founders. Here America freedom raised its first voice, and here "it still lives in tle strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit." h the words of her greatest orator and her most eminent satesman, "Massachusetts needs no encomium. There she is, behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history, the world knows it by heart."
While seeking to overlook nothing of interest and importance in the history of the State, I have purposely refrained from imparting to the narrative that completeness and fulness of details which one might be led to expect in a work of greater pretension.
In a work of such character, prepared intentionally for the general public, and not for the political student, the historian can lay no claim to originality. As another has said, "It is not his province to create facts, but to take those already furnished" in the best sources of information. The
researches of earlier writers have been such as to render almost unnecessary any special investigations on the part of those who come after them. It remains only for the later to corroborate their statements and to weigh carefully their conclusions.
In the preparation of my work, I have endeavored to make the best use of the material afforded me, and lave relied, for the most part, on those writers who were cortemporary with the events which they describe. At the same time, I have had constantly before me the works of the principal later historians, and have derived no small ɩdvantage from the published collections and proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and from its volumes of lectures upon the early history of the State. In the arrangement of my matter, I have in general followed the plan adopted by Barry, whose larger history is by far the most comprehensive and valuable, that has yet appeared. It is to be regretted that so studious and conscientious a work should have been allowed to pass out of print.
It is believed that the present volume is the first attempt yet made to trace the history of the State since the year 1820. The period intervening between that date and the present time is full of interest and of vital importance, alike to the citizen and to humanity. It has witnessed the growth of many conflicting opinions, the rise and development of new parties in the political arena, the sudden outburst of passions which had long been dormant, the vindication of right, and the abolition of wrong. Last, but not the least, the epoch has been characterized by a struggle which, beginning in distrust, has rendered discord and disunion forever impossible, and has strengthened the ties of a mighty nation.
I am under obligations to the library of Harvard College,
CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 15, 1883.
to the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and to the Boston Public Library, all of whose treasures have been freely at my service. To many persons, whose names I need not mention, I stand indebted for valuable suggestions, the loan of rare material, and encouragement. I again acknowledge to them my gratitude.
To the people of Massachusetts I commend whatever there is of worth and interest in the volume here set before them.