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THE YOUNG MEN
This volume is respectfully dedicated to you, and as the des tiny of this great state soon will be, so this book is delivered to you for safe keeping. In writing this volume, my thoughts have always rested on you, in the full confidence that you will carry out all the great measures of your fathers; that you will rectify our errors, and keep pace with the age in which you will live. Your fathers have done more than they even ask you to do. They have even gone ahead of the age in which they lived. Their toils, sufferings and privations have been but feebly depicted by me in this work, because, I did not wish to boast in their names of what they had done, as a duty which they owed to their children.
The liberties of this country, have been preserved by those who achieved them; and their sons have also preserved them until very recently; but great efforts have been made, are making, and will be made to pull from beneath it, all the main pillars, on which our temple of liberty rests. So far as I could in this volume, place before you the principles of your fathers, as the cynosure of liberty, I have fearlessly done so.
I have every where, spoken exultingly of the future, but my young friends, candor compels me to confess, that all such
passages, in my writings, of late years, have been written with a heavy heart. However, to you, under the direction of a kind Providence, kind indeed to you, I commit my volume, and all the aspirations which I feel, for your prosperity, in common with your parents and friends.
If this Republic must be destroyed, it will be effected by destroying the liberty of speech and of the press, on some particular subject, at first; but extending its encroachments, all freedom of speech and of the press will be blotted out. In that case the party then in power will seize the occasion to intrench themselves in the high places, and unless the people shed rivers of blood, those in office will remain an incubus on the body politic. When that day arrives, rather than yield up the liberties of this country, to the men who are aiming at their destruction, I would prefer to see our own Ohio, breasting the storm of war, alone, if need be, and our citizens, either maintaining their ground valiantly, and victoriously, or dying gloriously. If Liberty ever quits this Union, may her last footsteps, tinged with blood, be imprinted deeply on every plain and every hill of Ohio. My young friends! we live in an eventful period, and you can hardly expect to sustain the liberties of this country, without the utmost vigilance. Watch the men in power at Washington city. What I say to you, I say to all—watch them, because they need it—watch yourselves—watch all parties, and resist every encroachment on your rights. Beware of too closely following any party, and be sure not to adhere too much to any popular favorite. Bitter experience teaches us to do so no more.
CALEB ATWATER. Ohio, June 25, 1838.
The history of this work, which has been on the author's hands, more than twenty years, since it was originally projected, demands a few remarks. That it has cost me no small portion of an extended life, is true, but, whether my friends will affix to it, a value commensurate with what of labor, care, diligence, time and money, which it has cost me, I do not know. Its plan is my own, and was long since made known to the public, who appeared to approve of it, twenty years since. Two portions of the original history have been already published, relating to our "ancient works,” and to the “Indians” who once inhabited the territory now included within the state of Ohio.
The Natural History has been greatly abridged from my original manuscripts, with the hope of rendering that part of my work, acceptable to common readers. My Geological survey cost me much time and money, unaided by any government patronage. Whether I shall proceed to fill up my original plan, and continue the work, in a second volume, must be, as it is, left for my friends to determine, whose decision I will obey, and by which, I will abide.
Truth has been my polar star in writing this, my last volume. Method and perspicuity, have not been forgotten by me.
Two subjects, that is, a history of the legal and medical professions, are omitted, in this volume. CHARLES HamMOND, Esquire, is the person to write the history of our laws, our lawyers and our judges; and to publish it, in
his valuable volume of Reports. Dr. DANIEL DRAKE is as' clearly indicated by his position and information, to give us a history of the medical profession in this state, in his Medical Journal. To those gentlemen we naturally look to fill up the chasm, which we have purposely left for them.
Relying on the patronage of our fellow citizens, so liberally and so promptly extended to me, on all former occasions, I have been at the expense of Stereotyping, this first History of Ohio.
Its mechanical execution, shows what is daily doing in Cincinnati, in the arts of book making. It is an Ohio production, in all its parts, fairly representing the views and feelings of a large majority of the reading people of this state. The number of copies of this work hereafter to be issued from the press, will depend solely on the public demand for it. I shall publish butone thousand copies at a time, and deliver them, at any point in the state, where there shall be a demand for them. None will ever be left for sale, on commission.
On taking leave of my friends, who have so long encouraged me to proceed in my literary labors, I have only to thank them, for all their kindness to their old friend,
CALEB ATWATER. Cincinnati, June 25, 1838.
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