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The Journal of a residence in Chile should naturally have been placed between the two visits to Brazil, which are the subject of the writer's former volume. The reasons for dividing the Journals have been given in the preface to that of the residence in Brazil.
The Introduction to the present volume is, perhaps, its most important part. Of the first six years of the revolution in Chile, no account is to be procured, either from the offices of the secretaries of state, or among the papers of the actors in the scene. During the few wretched days that elapsed between the defeat of the Patriots at Rancagua and their crossing the Andes, the whole of the public papers and documents that could be collected were burnt, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the Spaniards, who might have persecuted those families who remained in their country, and whose names might have been found among those of the Patriots. Hence until 1817, no records are to be traced even in the hands of government; and until the middle of 1818 nothing whatever was printed in Chile; so that a few years hence all remembrance of the early period of the revolution in that country may be lost.
It was the writer's good fortune while in Chile, to become acquainted with several persons, who, having participated either as