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JAMES STUART, Esq.
“ The true state of every nation is the state of common life.”
IN TWO VOLUMES.
C EDINBURGII :
AND WHITTAKER AND CO. LONDON.
If the following pages have any merit, it consists merely in their conveying, in plain language, a faithful and candid representation of the facts which the author observed and noted in the places where they presented themselves. He has not been accustomed to write for the press, and makes no pretensions to literary attainments. The observations which he made in America are now given to the public, solely from a conviction that they furnish a greater variety of minute details regarding the every-day habits, and the social condition of the people, in those parts of the United States which he visited, than can be found in any similar publication of recent
date. The statements and documents with which the reader is here presented will also tend, it is to be hoped, to expose the mistakes of some late writers, who seem to have visited these States under the influence of strong prejudices and preconceived opinions. Though the author travelled wholly free, as he thinks, from any such biases, and with an earnest desire to inform himself aright as to the matters to which he directed his attention, he cannot but be sensible that a stranger must occasionally fall into errors, when writing of a country of such vast extent, where the customs of the people, and many of the institutions, not only differ essentially from those with which he has previously been acquainted, but are in fact very different in the United States them
The author farther hopes that his Notes will be found to contain such information, geographical and historical, as travellers generally wish to possess respecting a country which they may have occasion to visit, as well as hints, which may be of some value to emigrants from Europe to the
United States,—especially to the State of Illinois, and the other parts of the great valley of the Mississippi. Perhaps, too, these pages may not be without use in directing future travellers from Europe as to the route they should follow, in order to see the objects of greatest interest in the United States, or in enabling them to make those inquiries to which their peculiar pursuits have reference.
The form of a Journal, preserving dates, and occasionally referring to individuals, where that could be done without any breach of delicacy or propriety, is adhered to, as affording the best evidence of accuracy and authenticity, as well as possessing other advantages. Several of the most popular American writers on Great Britain have followed this course.
It affords in many cases data, from which the public may form an opinion of the probable correctness of the statements laid before them, and the weight to be attached to them.
The author has made great use of Mr Darby’sView of the United States, and of Mr Timothy