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Civitas, incredibile memoratu est, adepta libertate, quantum brevi creve-
No. 230 Pearl-Street.
Southern District of New York, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 22d day of August, in the 50th year of the independence of the United States of America, Charles Wiley, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, tó wit:
History of the United States, from their First Settlement as Colonies, to the Close of the War with Great Britain, in 1815.
"Civitas, incredibile memoratu est, adepta libertate, quantum brevi creverit." Sallust.
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled "An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
JAMES DILL, Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
THE following work was begun many years since : the appearance, soon after, of several books, on a plan nearly similar, and the want of sufficient leisure, induced the Author to relinquish his design. Perceiving, from the subsequent offer of a premium for the best written work of the kind, that another was wanted, he resumed and completed his undertaking.
It was his purpose to present a correct and interesting narra tive of all the important events in the history of his country: to exhibit, in a strong light, the principles of political and religious freedom which our forefathers professed, and for which they fought and conquered; to record the numerous examples of fortitude, courage, and patriotism, which have rendered them illustrious; and to produce, not so much by moral reflections, as by the tenor of the narrative, virtuous and patriotic impressions upon
the mind of the reader. It was his aim to render the book worthy to be read, not only in the academies and schools of his country, but by that very numerous portion of his fellow citizens, who have seldom the opportunity to peruse more voluminous productions; and by those who might wish to review their studies, and fix in their memory the succession of events : and it was also his aim to exhibit a style which should be correct and pure; should be free from ambitious ornament, and from those faults with which the writers of this country have been too justly charged. He by no means supposes that he has accomplished all he aimed at.
It was thought indispensable that a history, intended to be accessible to all, should contain some account of the different states of the union; in order that many prejudices, the offspring of ignorance, might be removed ; and that the injurious effects,
which must flow from an acquaintance with the history of a single state only, might be avoided. It was the correct remark of an able-writer, that the hstory of colonies generally affords but two interesting eras, that of their settlement, and that of their independence: 10 both of these the author has more particularly directed his attention.
Let those who imagine that no book can do good that is not a great book, consider that every American should be acquainted with the history of his country, and that a voluminous history would not be read by one twentieth part of the population ; that, on most minds, the same or even stronger impressions would be made by a work well written on the plan of this, than by a minute, and of course often tedious, detail of every event; that the perusal of such a work, in early life, must excite rather than gratify curiosity; that much, very much good would be done, should a knowledge of the important events be communicated, and correct impressions be given, to those who would otherwise remain entirely ignorant: and that, in fact, this book contains more than many an octavo of high price.
But while it is important that no American citizen should be ignorant of the principal events in the history of his country, it is the indispensible duty of all, who can enjoy the opportunity, to read and to study the larger and more particular histories which have been published. There is little danger that this small and favored class will neglect this duty. The danger is greater, that much the must numerous portion of the populationthat portion in whose hands are the destinies of the republic would read nothing on the subject should expensive works only be published.
Ar a meeting of the American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres, held at the City-Hall, in the city of New-York, October 20, 1920,-Hon. Brockholst Livingston, First Vice-President, in the chair; Rev. John B. Romeyn, D. D. Clerk,—the following preamble and resolution, offered by W. S. Cardell, Esq. seconded by the Rev. Doctor Wainwright, were unanimously adopted:
As the proper education of youth is, in all communities closely connected with national prosperity and honor; and as it is particularly important in the United States, that the rising generation should possess a correct knowledge of their own country, and a patriotic attachment to its welfare;
Resolved, that a premium of not less than four hundred dollars, and a gold medal worth fifty dollars, be given to the author, being an American citizen, who, within two years, shall produce the best written history of the United States, and which, with such history, shall contain a suitable exposition of the situation, character, and interests, absolute and relative, of the American Republic: calculated for a class-book in academies and schools. This work is to be examined and approved by a committee of the institution, in reference to the interest of its matter, the justness of its facts and principles, the purity, perspicuity, and elegance of its style, and its adaptation to its intended purpose.
By order of the Academy,
ALEX. Mc LEOD, Recg Secry.
The undersigned, being appointed a committee with full powers to examine the several works submitted, and award the medal and premium in pursuance of the above resolution, having perused four books offered by different authors, according to the conditions required, have selected one as being the best of the four; and after referring it to its author for such minor corrections as might render it inore acceptable to the public, do now finally adjudge said medal and premium to be due to the writer of the work recently printed, entitled,
“A HISTORY of the UNITED STATES, from their first Settlement as Colonies, to the close of the War with Great Britain, in 1815. “Civitas, incredibile memoratu est, adepta libertate, quantum brevi creveriz."
WM. P. Van Ness,