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SELECTIONS FROM

EARLY AMERICAN WRITERS

1607-1800

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EARLY AMERICAN WRITERS

1607-1800

EDITED BY

WILLIAM B. CAIRNS

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN LITERATURE

IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1922

All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT, 1909,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published May, 1909.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co. - Berwick & Smith Co.

Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

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THIS volume contains selections from the works of representative American writers before Washington Irving. It is intended for use in the class-room by students who are making a fairly detailed study of American literature, and for reference and assigned reading by those whose work is more elementary or more cursory. A book of extracts always offers a poor substitute for access to complete works; but since a fairly good library of early American writings can be found in only a few cities of the country, a collection like that which follows seems to have some reason for existence.

Teachers of American literary history are coming pretty generally to recognize that some knowledge of the temper and the manner of Colonial and Revolutionary writers is necessary to the full understanding of their successors. There is less general agreement, however, as to the authors and works that best repay study. In deciding what to include in this volume I have been guided to a great extent by my own experience with college classes, though I have given much weight to suggestions kindly offered by the publishers and by other teachers. My aim has been to make the collection representative and useful for its purpose, not necessarily to give the best writings of the time. Thus, Cotton and Shepard have proved in my experience well adapted to stand as representatives of the early New England divines; but I am not rash enough to say with certainty that either of these men was greater than Hooker, Eliot, or others of their contemporaries. In some cases it will be obvious that I have chosen passages to show a writer's weakness, as well as his excellences. I cannot hope that the collection will suit any one person, but I trust that it may

contain enough acceptable material to make it useful.

Although it is unlikely that a book of selections will be made the basis of any scholarly research, I have felt bound to make the

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