Journal of a Residence in America (Classic Reprint)


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Excerpt from Journal of a Residence in America

A preface appears to me necessary to this book, in order that the expectation with which the English reader might Open it should not be disappointed.

Some curiosity has of late been excited in England with regard to America its political existence is a momentous experiment, upon which many eyes are fixed, in anxious watching of the result; and such ao counts as have been published of the customs and manners of its societies, and the natural wonders and beauties of its scenery, have been received and read with considerable interest in Europe. This being the case, I should be loth to present these volumes to the English public without disclaiming both the intention and the capability of adding the slightest detail of any interest to those which other travellers have already furnish ed upon these subjects.

This book is, what it professes to be, my personal journal, and not a history or a description of men and manners in the United States.

Engaged in an arduous profession, and travelling from city to city in its exercise, my leisure and my Opportunities would have been alike inadequate to such a task. The portion of America which I have visited has been a very small one, and, I imagine, by no means that from which the most interesting details are to be drawn. I have been neither to the south _nor west; consequently have had no opportunity of seeing two large portions of the population of this country, - the enterprising explorers of the late wildernesses on the shores of the Mississippi, and the black race of the slave states, - both classes of men presenting peculiarities of infinite interest to the traveller the one, a source of energy and growing strength, the other, of disease and decay, in this vast political body.

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