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COPYRIGHT, 1915, 1921, BY





The Athenæum Press


The use of selected material from primary sources to illustrate and enliven the narrative of the textbook has become so general and has proved so valuable that there is no further need for apology or explanation in the introduction of a book of historical readings. In selecting the material for the present volume the author has sought to give the student a sense of the number and variety of sources - acts of Congress, decisions of courts, proclamations and messages of presidents, records of debates, party platforms, charters, pamphlets, memoirs, diaries, letters, plays, poems, etc.—that are available for the illustration of American history.

A unique feature of the book is the frequent employment of two or more extracts for the elucidation of a single topic, these extracts either furnishing cumulative evidence from different sources or presenting conflicting or divergent views of different authors. For example, Nos. 14, 17, 37, 40, 45, 68, 81, 91, 93, 104 illustrate the type of the "cumulative group of extracts," while Nos. 24, 30, 34, 39, 59, 74, 94, 106, 114, 116 represent the "conflicting group." The value of such groups is twofold: they not only help to save the source-book from the generally merited reproach of scrappiness, but they furnish the student with just what he is likely to miss in the study of the textbook, namely, the realization that on every important historical and social question there is and has been a variety of opinion and judgment.

Although the readings can be used to advantage with any textbook on the subject, they have been planned especially as a companion volume to the author's "American History," following the text chapter by chapter and section by section. There are constant references to the History in the notes, and beneath each marginal title of the Readings a number in brackets refers to the page of the History where the subject illustrated by the reading is treated in the narrative.

A few of the extracts are taken from secondary works; and due acknowledgment is made to D. Appleton and Company for the passages from Professor McMaster (Nos. 45, 70), to the Century Company for the quotations from De Tocqueville (Nos. 67, 74) and Nicolay and Hay (No. 87), to Houghton Mifflin Company for the description from John S. Wise (No. 95), to Charles Scribner's Sons for the pages from Robert Louis Stevenson (No. 112), and to Messrs. Ziegler and McCurdy for the extracts from Alexander H. Stephens (Nos. 89, 97).

It is hoped that the detailed Table of Contents will serve the teacher as a working bibliography of the sources of American history. It can be best supplemented by the comprehensive "Classified Bibliography" in Part II of Channing, Hart, and Turner's "Guide to the Study and Reading of American History" (Ginn and Company, 1912). The reference in the case of each extract in the Readings is to the publication in which the source from which that extract is taken is most available for the teacher. Hence compilations of documents and editions of statesmen's works have been freely cited. The original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and syntax (or the want of it) have been left unchanged in the Readings.

The author wishes to express his thanks to the efficient staff of the loan and reference departments of the library of Columbia University for their constant and willing courtesy in supplying his needs, and to Professor James Harvey Robinson, the general editor of this series of textbooks and readings, for his sympathetic interest and valued suggestions at all stages of the work.



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