History of The Discovery and Settlement of The Valley of the Mississippi,
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EXCERPT (Preface):The records of the first European colonies in the Valley of the Mississippi are distributed sparsely through the archives of foreign governments, and are to be found published only in fragments and hasty sketches, interspersedMoreEXCERPT (Preface):The records of the first European colonies in the Valley of the Mississippi are distributed sparsely through the archives of foreign governments, and are to be found published only in fragments and hasty sketches, interspersed through miscellaneous works and periodicals, so that a connected and concise account of their rise and progress is not accessible to those who desire to trace their history. In like manner, the early records of the Anglo-American settlements west of the Alleghany Mountains, and their extension over the Valley of the Mississippi, are concealed chiefly among the archives of the several states and territories, or among the voluminous documents of the Federal government, thus placing any connected account of these infant colonies equally beyond the reach of common research. Other fragments, pertaining to the early history of the western settlements, are enveloped in private memoirs, narratives of individual observers loosely compiled, and meriting but slender claims to the confidence of the discerning reader.Hence that portion of the reading public who are desirous of tracing the true history of past events in the rise and progress of the new states in the Valley of the Mississippi, free from the glosses and episodes of visionary writers, are excluded from any concise and connected history of the whole West, which discloses correctly the progressive changes, and notes the order in the chain of events, in their advance from isolated, feeble frontier colonies, to populous, wealthy, and enlightened states.To supply this desideratum, and to present a concise and comprehensive detail, a complete but condensed narrative of American colonization west of the Alleghanies is the object of the present work. In this undertaking, the author has endeavored to connect the history of the French and Spanish colonies, which have had their important agency in the destiny of the American Republic, with those of the Anglo-Americans in their advance upon the tributaries of the Ohio River.The blending of these three great branches of European emigration in North America has resulted in the formation of a great and powerful Republic, the wonder, if not the admiration, of the civilized world, teeming with an enterprising and ever-active population, proud of their origin from the three great nations that have successively held dominion in the Western World.