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An Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and Georgia, Volume 1   By:

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AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE COLONIES OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA.

In Two Volumes.

VOL. I.

By ALEXANDER HEWATT

PREFACE.

The author of the following performance presents it to the public, not from any great value he puts upon it, but from an anxious desire of contributing towards a more complete and general acquaintance with the real state of our colonies in America. Provincial affairs have only of late years been made the objects of public notice and attention. There are yet many, both in Great Britain and America, who are unacquainted with the state of some of these settlements, and with their usefulness and importance to a commercial nation. The southern provinces in particular have been hitherto neglected, insomuch that no writer has savoured the world with any tolerable account of them. Therefore it is hoped, that a performance which brings those important, though obscure, colonies into public view, and tends to throw some light upon their situation, will meet with a favourable reception.

As many of the inhabitants of the eastern world will find themselves little interested in the trifling transactions and events here related, such readers will easily discover in what latitude the author wrote, and for whose use his work was principally intended. They will also soon perceive, that this history, like that of Dr. DOUGLAS respecting a northern settlement in America, is only a rough draught, and far from being a finished piece; and the author will frankly and candidly acknowledge it. The case with respect to him is this, to which he must beg the reader's attention. Having been several years a resident at Charlestown in South Carolina, he was at some pains to pick up such original papers and detached manuscripts as he could find, containing accounts of the past transactions of that colony. This he did at first for the sake of private amusement; but after having collected a considerable number of those papers, he resolved to devote such hours as could be spared from more serious and important business, to arrange them, and form a kind of historical account of the rise and progress of that settlement. For the illustration of particular periods, he confesses that he was sometimes obliged to have recourse to very confused materials, and to make use of such glimmering lights as occurred; indeed his means of information, in the peculiar circumstances in which he stood, were often not so good as he could have desired, and even from these he was excluded before he had finished the collection necessary to complete his plan. Besides, while he was employed in arranging these materials, being in a town agitated with popular tumults, military parade, and frequent alarms, his situation was very unfavourable for calm study and recollection.

While the reader attends to these things, and at the same time considers that the author has entered on a new field, where, like the wilderness he describes, there were few beaten tracks, and no certain guides, he will form several excuses for the errors and imperfections of this history. Many long speeches, petitions, addresses, &c. he might no doubt have abridged; but as there were his principal vouchers, for his own sake, he chose to give them entire. Being obliged to travel over the same ground, in order to mark its progress in improvement at different periods, it was no easy matter to avoid repetitions. With respect to language, style and manner of arrangement, the author not being accustomed to write or correct for the press, must crave the indulgence of critics for the many imperfections of this kind which may have escaped his notice. Having endeavoured to render his performance as complete as his circumstances would admit, he hopes the public will treat him with lenity, although it may be far from answering their expectations... Continue reading book >>


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