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Eastern District of Penrsylvania, to wit:

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the thirtieth day of Otta L. S.

ber, in the fifty.third year of the Independence of the United

States of America, A. D. 1830, CAREY & LEA, of the said district, Snoooo.

bave deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors in the words following, to wit:

“The Water-Witch, or the Skimmer of the Seas. A Tale; by the author of the Pilot, Red Rover, &c. &c. &c.

• Mais, que diable alloit-il faire dans cette galère ?" :: In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the Encouragement of Learuing, by securing the copies of Mapa Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned :" And also to an Act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, “An Act for the Encouragement of Learn. ing, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extend ing the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching hio torical and other prints."

D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the

Eustern District of Pennsylvania.

STEREOTYPED BY J. HOWE,

4!

PREFACE.

CHRISTENDOM is gradually extricating itself from the igno rance, ferocity, and crimes of the middle ages. It is no longer subject of boast, th at the hand which wields the sword, never held a pen, and men have long since ceased to be ashamed of knowledge. The multiplied means, of imparting principles and facts, and a more general diffusion of intelligence, have conduced to establish sounder ethics and juster practices, throughout the whole civilized world. Thus, he who admits the conviction, as hope declines with his years, that man deteriorates, is probably as far from the truth, as the visionary who sees the dawn of a golden age, in the commencement of the nineteenth century. That we have greatly improved or. the opinions and practices of our ancestors, is quite as certain as that there will be occasion to meliorate the legacy of morals which we shall transmit to posterity.

When the progress of civilization compelled Europe to correct the violence and injustice which were so openly practised, until the art of printing became known, the other hemisphere made America the scene of those acts, which shame prevented her from exhibiting nearer home. There was little of a lawless, mercenary, violent, and selfish nature, that the self-styled masters of the continent hesitated to commit, when removed from the immediate responsibilities of the society in which they had been educated. The Drakes, Rogers’, and Dampiers of that day, though enrolled in the list of naval heroes,

were no other than pirates, acting under the sanction of com missions; and the scenes that occurred among the marauders of the land, were often of a character to disgrace human na ture.

That the colonies which formed the root of this republic escaped the more serious evils of a corruption so gross and so widely spread, can only be ascribed to the characters of those by whom they were peopled.

Perhaps nine-tenths of all the white inhabitants of the Union are the direct descendants of men who quitted Europe, in order to worship God according to conviction and conscience. If the Puritans of New-England, the Friends of Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, the Catholics of Maryland, the Presbyterians of the upper counties of Virginia and of the Carolinas, and the Huguenots, brought with them the exaggeration of their peculiar sects, it was an exaggeration that tended to correct most of their ordinary practices. Still the English Provinces were not permitted, altogether, to escape from the moral dependency that seems nearly inseparable from colonial government, or to be entirely exempt from the wide contamination of the times.

The State of New-York, as is well known, was originally a colony of the United Provinces. The settlement was made in the year 1613; and the Dutch East India Company, under whose authority the establishment was made, claimed the whole country between the Connecticut and the mouth of Delaware-bay, a territory which, as it had a corresponding depth, equalled the whole surface of the present kingdom of France. Of this vast region, however, they never occupied but a narrow belt on each side of the Hudson, with, here and there, a settlement on a few of the river flats, more inland.

There is a providence in the destiny of nations, that sets at nought the most profound of human calculations. Had the dominion of the Dutch continued a century longer, there would have existed in the very heart of the Union a people opposed to its establishment, by their language, origin, and habits. The conquest of the English in 1663, though unjust and iniquitous in itself, removed the danger, by opening the way for the introduction of that great community of character which now so happily prevails.

Though the English, the French, the Swedes, the Dutch, the Danes, the Spaniards, and the Norwegians, all had colonies within the country which now composes the United States, the people of the latter are more homogeneous in character, language, and opinions, than those of any other great nation that is familiarly known. This identity of character is owing to the early predominance of the English, and to the circumstance that New-England and Virginia, the two great sources of internal emigration, were entirely of English origin. Still, NewYork retains, to the present hour, a variety of usages that were obtained from Holland. Her edifices of painted bricks, her streets lined with trees, her inconvenient and awkward stoops, and a large proportion of her names, are equally derived from the Dutch. Until the commencement of this century, even

language of Holland prevailed in the streets of the capital, and though a nation of singular boldness and originality in all that relates to navigation, the greatest sea-port of the country betrays many evidences of a taste which must be referred to the same origin.

The reader will find in these facts a sufficient explanation of most of the peculiar customs, and of some of the pecul.iar practices, that are exhibited in the course of the fol.

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