« PreviousContinue »
MOST EMINENT PERSONS IN NORTH AMERICA FROM ITS FIRST SETTLEMENT,
AND A SUMMARY OF THE
HISTORY OF THE SEVERAL COLONIES
AND OF THE
BY WILLIAM ALLEN, D. D.,
PRESIDENT OF BOWDOIN COLLEGE ;
Soc., and of the Hist. Soc. of Maine, N. Hampshire, and N. York.
Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo. Virg.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM HYDE & CO.
Eutered, according to tie Act of Congress, in the year 1832, by
To the First Edition.
who have passed away,
The following work presents itself to the public with no claims to attention, but such, as are founded upon the interest, which may be felt in the lives of Americans. Finding himself a few years ago in a literary retirement, with no important duties, which pressed inmediately upon him, the author conceived the plan of this Dictionary. He was de sirous of bringing to the citizens of the United States more iuformation, than was generally possessed, respecting the illustrious men of former times, the benefactors and ornaments of this country,
He persuaded himself, that if he could collect the fragments of biography, which were buried in the mass of American history, or scattered amidst a multitude of tracts of various kinds, and could fashion these materials into a regular form, so as to place before the eye our great and good men, if not in their full dimensions, yet in their true shape, he should render an acceptable service to his countrymen. This work with no little labor he has now completed; and the inexperienced artist, in his first essay, can hope only, that his design will be commended. He wishes chiefly, that as the images of departed excellence are surveyed, the spirit, which animated them, may be caught by the beholder.
As an apology however for the deficiences and errors of various kinds, which may be found in the work, a full exposition of his plan and some representation of the difficulty of executing it seem to be necessary.
It was proposed to give some account of the persons, who first discovered the new world; of those, who had a principal agency in laying the foundations of the several colonies ; of those, who have held important offices and discharged the duties of them with ability and integrity; of those, who have been conspicuous in the learned professions ; of those, who have been remarkable for genius and knowledge, or who have written any thing, deserving of remembrance; of the distinguished friends of literature and science ; of the statesmen, the patriots, and heroes, who have contended for American liberty, or aided in the establishment of our civil institutions ; and of all,whose lives, bright with Christian virtue, might furnish examples, which should be worthy of imitation. It was determined to enlarge