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FROM ORIGINAL PICTURES BY LEUTZE, WEIR, POWELL, CHAPMAN, VANDERLYN, CHAPPEL, AND OTHER
27 BEEKMAN STREET.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of New York.
Printed and Stereotyped by BILLIN AND BROTHER, 20 North Williain Street,
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,
THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT TIME.
J. A. SPENCER, D. D.
IF HISTORY be, as it is, PHILOSOPHY TEACHING BY EXAMPLE, what a grand and glorious lesson does the History of the United States teach to the world! Who can listen to it without feeling that he lives in an age and belongs to a country whose fame is destined to be immortal! What nation ever before made such strides onward to greatness and might? Where before were ever seen so plainly the thews and sinews of the youthful giant, as in the career of this great Republic? What people ever sprang from such an origin, or ever had such progenitors as this of ours? Look where we will in ancient story, and we find no parallel whatever; look where we will in modern nations, and it is impossible to find a nation and a people so fully enjoying and prizing liberty and equality as the people of the United States of America.
These are no vain boastings; these are not the idle persiflage of conceited pretension: these are words of truth and fact.
Little more than two centuries ago there were a handful of hardy men and women on the rock-bound coast of North America: a single seed dropped into the earth, which has brought forth a harvest of millions. They endured the toils and privations of self-imposed exile; they grew up jealous of the liberty they possessed; they fostered learning; they planted schools and colleges; they were frugal, thrifty, zealous, enterprising, brave, and ever ready to strike for home and country. And what a work they accomplished !
Statesmen, historians, men of science, philosophers, poets, divines, jurisconsults, mechanics, soldiers, sailors—where are the superior of ours? What names crowd our annals, names that were not born to die! What results stand out, patent to the eyes of all men, of our fathers' far seeing wisdom and energy and undying love for liberty !
Surely a nation whose territory extends from ocean to ocean; whose ships are on every sea and trade with every people in the wide world; whose population is increasing at a ratio almost incredibly great; whose undeveloped resources are as yeć hardly conceived of and nowhere realized; and whose vast regions of hill and vale and water courses offer homes to the whole human family; surely, such a nation well deserves the choicest efforts of the artist and the scholar to illustrate its history, and render as familiar as household words its wondrous story of onward and upward progress.