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The purpose and plan of this volume of 'The Library of Southern Literature may be gathered by a reference to the table of contents. It does not contain the left-overs from the preceding thirteen volumes but serves rather as their complement. The history of a nation's literature or of a part of a nation's literature cannot be adequately written if the compiler confines himself to the names of the known masterbuilders. Such a method would exclude ballads and folksongs. It would exclude the countless short poems and incisive sayings, the songs and stories that wander unattached through literature but that none the less embody and in time re-create a people's ideals. Even when the name of the writer is known, the poem may assume an individuality apart from that of the poet. The poem lives but has not bulk enough to entitle its author to a place among poets. “The Star Spangled Banner" and “Dixie," for example, reflect history and have helped to make history. They belong, therefore, to literature, though their authors may not be entitled to formal recognition among American poets.
This volume, then, has an individuality of its own. While it is related to the preceding volumes, it has also a certain completeness in itself.
To all who have rendered assistance in the compilation of this volume I wish to record my grateful indebtedness, especially to Professor Hugh Mercer Blain, of the Louisiana State University; Professor Morgan Callaway, Jr., of the University of Texas; Mr. Madison Cawein and Colonel R. T. Durrett, of Louisville, Ky.; Superintendent Lawton B. Evans, of Augusta, Ga.; Mr. F. P. Gamble, of Atlanta, Ga.; Professor Lancelot Minor Harris, of the College of Charleston; Mr. J. Wallace Hoyt, of Atlanta, Ga.; Miss Mary B. Jenkins, of Natchez, Miss.; Mr. Lucian Lamar Knight, of Atlanta, Ga.; Mrs. Susan P. Lee, of Lexington, Va.; Mr. G. C. McKinley, of Milledgeville, Ga.; Mr. W. B. Meacham, of Fort Mill, S.C.; Mr. George Michie, of Charlottesville, Va.; Mrs. Jennie C. Morton, of Frankfort, Ky.; Professor H. O. Murfee, of
Marion, Ala.; Mr. F. T. Norvell, of Richmond, Va.; Mr. Hugh F. Oliver, of Buena Vista, Ga.; Mr. Herbert Putnam, of Washington, D.C.; Professor Franklin L. Riley, of the University of Mississippi; Mr. John Wilson Townsend, of Lexington, Ky.; Miss Anna Seeley Tuttle, of the University of Virginia; Mr. George Platt Waller, Jr., of Montgomery, Ala.; Mr. B. E. Washburn, of Rutherfordton, N.C.; Dr. L. R. Wilson, of the University of North Carolina ; and Miss Adina De Zavala, of San Antonio, Texas.
It should be needless to say that selections have been admitted into this volume solely on their merits.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CHARLOTTESVILLE,
February 22, 1910.