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Dedicated

TO

THE BRAVE AND INDUSTRIOUS CITIZENS OF

ILLINOIS,

AND

TO ALL THOSE WHO INTEND TO BUILD A HOME THERE,

MAY THE FLOURISHING AND FERTILE

PRAIRIE-STATE

UNFOLD, FROM YEAR TO YEAR, MORE AND MORE GLORIOUSLY;

AND

MAY VIRTUE, WEALTH, AND HAPPINESS,

FOR EVER

HAVE THEIR ABODE WITHIN

HER BORDERS.

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In presenting this book to the Public, it seems proper to me, to make a brief, but candid and respectful, mention of the motives which have induced me to write it, as well as the means I adopted to collect and secure, in 3 reliable form, the large amount of material and truthful information that will be found to make up its contents.

Having for a long while past endeavored. in seeking to aid and direct the great mass of the emigration from Europe, to find and to point out what seemed the best way to the advancement of their welfare, my attention was early given to the remarkable developments which have been, and are still, made in the Western States. While thus employed, I made myself fully acquainted with the prevalent literature of the West, and became a close observer of “the progress of events” in the new States. Through this employment, and by such observations, my judgment, I trust, has been rightly matured, so that I may freely utter my own convictions, as entitled to some weight, that Illinois is, if really not the most attractive, at least one of those States which offer the amplest guarantees for the rapid thriving and ultimate success and welfare of those who may seek to establish for themselves a “ Home in the West.”

After having thus sedulously made myself acquainted with the character of the West in general, and especially still more carefully studied everything relating to Illinois, I resolved upon the preparation of this work; and, for the purpose of facilitating my labors, I made a personal visit through the State, in the fall of the year 1855, and examined things with my own eyes. It has not, however, been my object to write a merely pleasing and saleable book, without the strictest regard to the authenticity and truthfulness of its statements. Well knowing the aptitude of even the most honest observer and candid writer, while travelling through a State in order to gain a more intimate knowledge of it, to be filled with false first-impressions, misapprehensions, and monotonous judgments, I have not, therefore, solely relied upon my own personal observations and experience; but sought, in all that I have

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