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With the idea of a Dedication to this my New Edition of the Biography and History of the Indians, your name was coeval. The association was inseparable; nor could it have been otherwise, as it seems to me, in the mind of any young man of New England, engaged in a similar undertaking. For it would be absurd, were he to ask kimself, “Who has been the most prominent assertor of the red man's rights in his country's councils, or the most ardent friend of the young men of his own race?” Under these considerations, therefore, to say nothing of my own gratification, I could not do otherwise than assign this page to you; and could the author be assured, that his work would be as long remembered, for any merit contained in it, as the name he is gratified to honor, his anxiety for its fate would from that moment cease.
However great the disparity may appear, when the value of my labors are considered, in respect to those of others, it must be remembered, that one of the most predominant traits in your Excellency's character, is your readiness to extend a fostering hand to all such as are engaged in laudable undertakings. The well-informed do not require to be told, that
many a well-directed mind has been diverted from a pursuit in which it would have excelled, but for the cold and blasting hand of the hypercritic. Such, however, it has not been my lot, yet, to encounter ; and although the countenance of one, illustrious in the annals of true criticism, may not further protect me, I have the satisfaction of believing that the success of my
labors can scarcely be affected by the unkindness of crities.
Accept, Dear Sir, my most grateful acknowledgments for all former kind attentions, and believe me
Yours in duty,
S. G. DRAKE.
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Owing to the destruction of the stereotype plates of this work by fire, on the night of the 30th of September, 1835, I was under the necessity of going over the whole ground again. The plates had but just been completed, and a small edition taken off, when that calamity befell them. After having the work stereotyped, I intended that additions to all future editions should be appended to the ends of the several books, which were paged separately on that account; and, although I have revised the whole throughout, and made additions in almost every page, yet I thought it best to adhere to my original plan of paging each book by itself, to accommodate future additions, should it 'be thought advisable to make any.
The amount of reading on a page of the former editions was nearly equal to two common octavo pages, yet the page of the present has been very considerably enlarged, thereby vastly increasing the amount of information in the same number of pages. Parts of the work have been rewritten, and many facts, which were before noticed out of their natural order, have been inserted in their proper places.
For the kind hints of friends, by which the work has been benefitted, 1 Teturn them many thanks. My acknowledgments are especially due to one, who, two years since, unsolicited, furnished me with some of the most important documents upon the affairs of the modern Creek Indians. It is to the same gentleman ‘I dedicate this edition of the work.
Extract from the Preface to the Third and Fourth Editions.
Those unacquainted with the nature of such undertakings may .complain that we should publish before we had filled up all vaoancies in our documents, and hence have been able, not only to have been completely full upon every head, but at the same time to bave given a more continuous narrative of the wbole. This object, could it have been attained, would have been as gratifying to the author as to the reader. But we can assure all such as are disposed to censure us upon this score, that, had they been obliged to turn over, compare, examine and collate one fourth as many volunges and defaced records as the author has in compiling INDIAN BIOGRAPHY, they would abandon their censures by the time they had well entered upon their labors.
Works of this kind will always appear premature in some respects, (to their authors, if no others,) for the reason that there is no end to the accumulation of materials. A writer may think himself in possession of every material necessary for his undertaking, may write and print his work, and the next day discover facts of so much importance, as to make it appear to his mind, that all he has done is of small value, compared with his last discovery. This should not deter us from putting into a state of preservation, by printing, from time to time, valuable matters, even though they might be much improved by withholding them for a time ; because, from various occurrences, the best collections are extremely liable to be scattered, and irrecoverably lost.
Should an author resolve not to write upon a subject until every thing upon it should be collected, and in his possession, it is pretty certain he never would begin ; and his labors, however well directed or long exerted, or however valuable to himself, might, by a common accident, be lost to the world in even a shorter space of time than an hour.
There have also fallen into our hands several of the most rare portraits of 'distinguished Indians, several of which have been engraved expressly for this edition. They may be relied upon as exact copies of the originals. That of the “LADY REBECCA,” the savior of Virginia, more properly Mrs. Rolfe, who was no other than the renowned POCAHONTAS, must gladden the heart of every antiquary. Few could have known that such existed; but it has existed, and we lay it before the public with high gratification: all, we feel confident, will treasure it up as a pearl of great price.
The likeness of SAGOYEWATHA may be relied upon as a faithful one. Several of the author's friends, who have seen him, attest the fact. All we can say of NEAMATHLA, and OUTACITE, is, they are faithful copies, and doubt not they are correct likenesses.
Some have called our portrait of the great Wampanoag sachem a “sorry" one. We are not to blame for it. We wish our fathers had left us a better; but it is not our manner to slight a book because it is small, or because its covers are defaced, or a portrait because it does not exactly correspond with our idea of a man. We had an exact copy made of the old print which accompanied Dr. Stiles's edition of CHURCH'S HISTORY OF Philip's WAR,* which it is supposed he had copied from an original painting of KiNG PHILIP, still said to be in existence. If this be true, and our copy be a faithful one, we want no other. At any rate, we do not like to part with it until we can substitute a better one.
We have mentioned + the existence of portraits of the four Iroquois chiefs who visited England in 1710 ;--these the author is exceedingly happy in possessing ; and, although not being able, on account of the expense, to enrich this edition with copies of them, be bopes they will be engraved in due
* Printed at Newport, R. I. by Solomon SOUTH WICK, 1772.-The first edition had no plates : it was printed at Boston, by B. GREEN, in the year 1716. Copies of both editions are in possession of the author.
+ See Book V. Chap. I.
tine; which if they are, persons possessing the work may procure them separately.
The author submits his work with some confidence, from a consciousness of having used great exertions to make it useful, and of having treated his ubject with the strictest impartiality. All verbiage has been avoided, and pain matters of fact have been arrived at by the shortest and most direct course. Circumlocution, the offspring of verbiage, is a fault of modern book-makers; and every observer must have been forcibly struck by the contrast of a modern title-page and the rest of the book; in the former, multum in parvo is true to the letter, and that page is too often the only one in which it is to be found throughout a performance.
There may be some, probably, who will look into our book to see what we bare said upon some facts known to them, and be much disappointed in finding that we have not noticed them at all. To such we can only say, we have given other facts instead of them ; in other words, we have filled our book as full as it would hold. And, although we may not always have selected the best matter, we thought, at the time of writing, we had; and when our information is further extended, we may agree better with those who shall find fault with us.
Extract from the Preface to the First Edition.
The following notices have been thrown together within a few months, although many years have elapsed since the author began the collection of materials, and set about gaining a knowledge of this kind of history.
The first adventurer in any untrodden path must often find himself embarrassed for want of landmarks by which to direct his course. This will be apparent to the reader. But he will not be the first to whom it has been thus apparent. A small edition is now offered, which, if well received, will be much improved and enlarged, and placed at the public disposal.
It will be remembered by some, that, in an edition of Church's History of Philip's War, published by the author five years ago, he advertised in a note upon page ninety-seven of that work, that he had it in contemplation to publish a work of this kind. This he considers a redemption of that pledge.
The edition of Hubbard's Indian Wars, which he some time since announced as preparing with large notes, is in a forward state.
Acknowledgments are due to several individuals, who have, directly or indirectly, aided the author in his work; and he can only express his regret that he is not indebted to more, equally eminent in this branch of American antiquities. The Reverend Dr. Jenks, to whom, by permission, his work is dedicated, has many thanks for his kindness in facilitating his researches in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society ; as also Mr Joshua Coffin, of Boston, and the Reverend Dr. Harris, of Dorchester, who have obligingly loaned him several valuable manuscripts; and Edward D. Bangs, Esq., Secretary of State, for his politeness in accelerating the examination of our State Papers.