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The History of Peru   By:

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On page 7, it is mentioned, incidentally to the main fact that H. P. Woodworth received 528 votes for the Legislature that he was elected. This is an error. He was defeated, notwithstanding the large and almost unanimous vote he received in Peru.

On mature reflection the writer concludes that he will mitigate his statement concerning the "breadth" of that cake of ice described on page 39. For "length and breadth" the reader will please substitute "extent" this is positively all the abatement that can be made.

On line 5, page 64, the word "upon" and on line 17, page 77, the word, "but" have intruded themselves very mysteriously. Please to consider them as omitted.

With these emendations he commits his first born to the waters of public approval or condemnation, begging for it all the indulgence which conscious incapacity can justly claim.


It can hardly be said that a town of a population of three thousand six hundred and fifty two souls, dating back but about twenty years to its first rude tenement and solitary family, can have any history. The events of any public interest are so few, and their importance so small, that no reasonable hope can be entertained that their recital will be any thing but a matter of indifference to others than the present or former residents, or those connected with them by ties of consanguinity, or having an interest in its advancement and prosperity. It is true that at some future time, the record may be useful to the historian, if it should be so fortunate as to survive. The statistics have been collected with care and considerable labor, and are believed to be correct and reliable. Beyond this the writer claims no merit for the work. The anecdotes and events related, not strictly statistical, have all transpired under his personal observation and knowledge, during a residence dating back to the embryo town.

Most persons who have had the temerity to undertake the relation of cotemporary events, and to speak of cotemporary actors, have received more kicks than coppers for their pains. How far the writer will escape their general fate remains to be seen. Knowing the dangerous ground whereon he was treading, he has endeavored to confine himself to the simple relation of undisputed facts, abstaining from all comments and speculation thereon. He has not set himself up as a public censor or a public eulogist. It is not to be supposed that he has been without partisan and prejudiced views of public questions. These he has endeavored to suppress and to "render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsars." Nor has he undertaken to draw a rose colored picture for the benefit of Eastern Capitalists, or those seeking a home in the west to throw bait to Gudgeons. In fact, it will be admitted, that his picture is of the soberest and dullest kind of grey. Would that it could be here and there touched with lighter and more cheerful hues; but truth is inexorable, and demands the strictest loyalty from those who worship at her shrine.

The people of Peru may be a little curious to know why a person, whose pursuits in life have been hitherto very far removed from those of a writer for the public eye, should have undertaken a task for which previous practice and experience have so little qualified him. He begs to assure them that it was entirely an accident no literary ambition prompted him at all. To be sure he had heard that

"'Tis pleasant sure to see one's name in print, And a book's a book although there's nothing in't,"

but that was not it. Having a little leisure, he had undertaken to gather and condense some statistics of the town for the publisher of a Directory of La Salle County. Having commenced the task he became interested therein, and extended his researches and remarks to a length quite too formidable for their original purpose. But he resolved not to hide his light under a bushel hence the present infliction which he hopes will be borne with commendable fortitude... Continue reading book >>

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