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PAST AND PRESENT
HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.
IN TWO VOLUMES,
GENERAL AND LOCAL HISTORIES AND DESCRIPTIONS OF EACH OF THE STATES, TERRI-
FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE PACIFIC.
PRESENTING VIEWS OF ALL THE CITIES AND PRINCIPAL TOWNS-PUBLIC BUILDINGS ----
THEIR PART THE RESULT OT OVER
16,000 MILES OF TRAVEL AND FOUR YEARS OF LABOR.
BY JOHN WARNER BARBER,
PUBLISHED BY HENRY HOWE, NO. 111 MAIN-STREET.
SOLD EXCLUSIVELY BY SUBSCRIPTION.
Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1861,
BY HENRY HOWE,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern Dis
trict of Ohio.
MORE than four years since, we contracted with Mr. John W. Barber to travel over the United States, collect materials, and take sketches for a work upon the entire country, on the original plan, first adopted by him, a quarter of a century since, in the Historical Collections of Connecticut. The result is, the book you hold.
The task has been faithfully performed, and the work will interest MORE MINDS than any as yet published upon the favored land, we Americans cherish as our own. The book appeals alike to State and National pride, and contains a vast and varied amount of information upon our whole country never before embodied, much of which could only have been obtained, as was this, by personal travel, observation and inquiry: and we state also, at a cost which, if anticipated, would have prevented the commencement of the enterprise--that is full fifteen thousand dollars before the paper was bought upon which to print it. We now are glad it has been expended, as we thereby render the publication more worthy--a HOUSEHOLD BOOK for every American family, attractive to all, and an heirloom to posterity, to show them their country, ITS PAST AND PRESENT, illustrated with views of its cities, towns, and objects of interest, as they exist in these our days.
Our part in its preparation has been mainly confined to adding to the original manuscripts of Mr. Barber, whom we thus introduce to you. He is a plain old gentleman, who began life with only the solid education Connecticut gives all her sons-born at the close of the administration of George Washington, in the century that is past--with no especial pride, except in being a descendant of the Pilgrims, of whom he is a genuine, honest, and most unmistakable offshoot. His life has been one of untiring and useful industry, chiefly passed in compiling books, every page of which has been created with a view to benefit the public. No man living, in the Union, has taken so many views of places in it, as he, in making drawings for this and his various State works. His books have gratified all classes, the learned and unlearned, the old and young. A personal anecdote is proper here. On a time, in the years now gone, we were rattled over the paving stones of Broadway in an omnibus, and holding the first bound volume of a State work, the result of the joint labor of Mr. Barber and ourself. An elderly gentleman, in neat, and as we thought, somewhat humble attire, leaned over to look at our book: then putting an inquiry, which we answered, he rejoined I have Mr. Barber's Connecticut and Massachusetts, and I shall want that.” À moment later the vehicle stopped and our questioner left us. you know who that old gentleman is that spoke to you?” asked a fellow passenger, also a stranger. "No sir." “ That," added he, “is Chancellor KENT.”
On an adjacent page is a testimonial from Noah WEBSTER, which hits two points-shows the penmanship of the celebrated author of the American Dictionary of the English Language, and presents his opinion of the ability of Mr. Barber to prepare a historical work. Both then were townsmen. The venerable, slender form of Webster, in the garb of a gentleman of the old school, with broad brimmed hat, shading a benignant, scholarly face, with Quaker-like cut coat, short breeches and buckle shoes, was, at that period, a pleasant and daily object to be met moving modestly along under the proudly arching elms of New Haven.
As we have intended this work as an AUTHENTIC RECORD of every important event and date in American history, we would be thankful, if any error of moment should be discovered, that notice should be given us, so that in future editions it can be corrected. In conclusion, we expect, as we have a right to expect, from our countrymen, that the work will be received in the happy spirit that values what is effected, rather than the miserable one which demands a completeness unattainable excepting in the ideal. With this simple, unstilted talk to the reader, upon a purely business matter, we close.
TESTIMONIAL FROM NOAH WEBSTER, L.L.D.
John N Barber & haph Willard are coller
collecting materials & me-
The above is a fac-simile of the hand-writing of Dr. Webster, the author of the American Spelling Book, and the American Dictionary of the English Language, commendatory of the Connecticut Historical Collections, by John W. Barber, author also of this work. That publication was the first of a series of State works, prepared in the same manner. This work, “ Our Whole Country, or the Past and Present of the United States,” is essentially on the same plan.