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Entercd according to the act of congress, in the year 1832, by M'Carty & Davis, in the clerk's office of the district court of the eastern district of Pennsylvania.


To furnish the public with a concisc history of America, from its discovery to its present state of civilization and importance, is an undertaking of such general utility, that the attempt, if it even fall short of complete cxcculion, has a claim to a considerable share of indulgence. This is morc especially the case, when the writer has 10 follow a historian of such great and just celebrity as Dr. ROBERTSON, in at least onc-half of the work.

To composc such an historical cpitome as is desiraple, from scattered materials, is a difficulty of such magnitude as wholly to discourage the attempt; and to abridge che pages of so great an original, where there is nothing superfluous, nothing the reader would wish to be omitted, is a design which seems 10 border on temerity. But this abridgement has been preferred, because it is attended with the least chance of disappointment; and it is not

ishonorable to borrow, when the obligation is candidly [ acknowledged.

Dr. Robertson's history has, therefore, bccn implicitly followed in what relates to South America. His arrangement of the subject, bis chronological order, and his very style have been adopted, as the best that can be chosen. To condense his details, to introduce only the most prominent and characteristic events, has been the principal effort, and invariable purpose of the cpitomizer: cndeavoring to preservc, unbroken, the connexion and continuity of events; and 10 present the reader with a brief, but interesting, view of one of the most important eras in the annals of the world.

So far the writer travelled with pleasure :—but, in tracing the subsequent part, the history of North America, he has cause to regret ihe absence of so pleasing


and faithful a guidc-being obliged to collect materials from different sources, of all the British settlements in North America, from their first landing to the final separation from the parent state.

The settlement of these colonies being made at different periods, with charters of incorporation extremely variant, and with governments as distinct as their geographical boundaries, rendered a history of the British empire in America very complex and difficult. From this heterogeneous mass, the writer has endeavored, with considerable labor, to cducc a summary of those evenis that paved the way to thic American Revolution ; and this Synopsis will constitute an introduction to the future histories of the l'XITED STATES.

In that portion of the work which succeeds the confederation of the colonies, and the consequent declaration of Independence. we set our fect on surcr ground: We revive events that happened in our own memory; and of which there are faithful records within reach of thic gcncrality of our readers. In treating on this part of the subject. it is not a very casy task, wholly to avoid that collision of opinions which is inscparable from frec governments, and which constitutcs so great a part in the annals of United America: but though difficult, the writer has endca vored to avoid it; confining himself, as much as possible, to a history of facts, and to those only that are of a national concern. His principal object has bcen to picsont liis readers witn a comprchensive view of the whole, without any respect to the politics of a single state or party; and to excite, if possible, a zeal for the general welfare and honor of our common country:--How far he has succeeded in this, as well as other parts of the work, must be left to the candid reader; to whom it is now very respectfully submitted.

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