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A COPIOUS SELECTION OF THE MOST INTERESTING FACTS, TRADITIONS, BIOGRAPHICAL
SKETCHES, ANECDOTES, ETC.
RELATING TO ITS
HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES,
BOTII GENERAL AND LOCAL,
TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF EVERY COUNTY AND ALL THE LARGER TOWNS
IN THE STATE.
56 NORTH THIRD-STREET.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1843,
By GEORGE W. GORTON, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Pennsylvania.
AUG 13 '40
The design of this work is not to present a history of the state in the usual form, and with the ordinary chronological arrangement, but to embody and preserve in one volume its local history; and while it comprises all the great events in the general history of the state, these events are so located in the order of arrangement as to associate them more intimately with the places where they occurred. There are many important, but isolated facts, and a hundred little episodes and anecdotes, of thrilling interest to the inhabitants of the region where they occurred, which History, in her stately march, cannot step aside to notice. The short biographical sketches, interspersed throughout this work, of men distinguished in their own community, but not much known beyond, seldom find an appropriate place in a history of the ordinary form; and yet it is important that they should be preserved.
The proverb says—"Charity begins at home.” The study of history ought to begin at home also : yet how many men are there in this state, as in others, who are far more familiar with the history of England, or with the career of Alexander, Cæsar, or Napoleon, than with the events that have occurred upon the very fields which they themselves are tilling! And this arises not so much from the want of intelligence on the part of the people, as from the lack of proper books and documents within their reach. It is believed, therefore, that a work of the kind here presented is needed by the intelligent yeomanry of the state, for whose use it is especially intended ; and the compiler hopes that, while it may serve to enliven their long winter evenings, it will awaken in their minds a spirit of inquiry into the history of their own immediate neighborhoods, and at the same time furnish them with a fund of instructive incidents relating to the more distant sections of the state.
The Outline History has been brought down to a period many years later than in any of the histories of Pennsylvania hitherto published. The topographical and statistical information em. bodied in the work, is designed to connect the history of the past with the present state of manners and improvements, and to present the features of the two periods in striking contrast : and although to some minds these details may seem out of place in an historical work, yet it should be remembered that the statistics of to-day may become the history of ten years hence. Many of the facts here recorded, both statistical and historical, may seem trivial, or tediously minute to the general reader; and yet such facts have a local interest, and for that reason have been inserted.
In accordance with the prevailing taste of the age--and a laudable taste it is the work is embellished with wood engravings. These, with very few exceptions, are from drawings made on the spot expressly for this work. Some of them will preserve the appearance of ancient edifices and monuments now rapidly yielding to the hand of time: and those representing towns, villages, and modern edifices, will not only convey to the readers of the present day some idea of those objects, but enable posterity, if the book should ever reach them, to contrast our age with theirs.
Care has been taken in selecting the extracts which compose the main body of the work, to exclude mere dry details and tedious official documents, and to give selections of such a character as will interest the sympathies of the heart, while they refresh the memory and instruct the mind. In making extracts from newspapers, and from other writings originally intended for a special class of readers, the compiler has frequently taken the liberty of abridging their language, in order to include the material facts within the restricted limits which must be here assigned to them.