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A Year's Residence in the United States of America Vol 3
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PREFACE TO PART III.
849. IN giving an account of the United States of America, it would not have been proper to omit saying something of the Western Countries, that Newest of the New Worlds, to which so many thousands and hundreds of thousands are flocking, and towards which the writings of Mr. Birkbeck have, of late, drawn the pointed attention of all those Englishmen, who, having something left to be robbed of, and wishing to preserve it, are looking towards America as a place of refuge from the Boroughmongers and the Holy Alliance, which latter, to make the compact complete, seems to want nothing but the accession of His Satanic Majesty.
850. I could not go to the Western Countries; and, the accounts of others were seldom to be relied on; because, scarcely any man goes thither without some degree of partiality, or comes back without being tainted with some little matter, at least, of self-interest. Yet, it was desirable to make an attempt, at least, towards settling the question: "Whether the Atlantic, or the Western, Countries were the best for English Farmers to settle in." Therefore, when MR. HULME proposed to make a Western Tour, I was very much pleased, seeing that, of all the men I knew, he was the most likely to bring us back an impartial account of what he should see. His great know ledge of farming as well as of manufacturing affairs; his capacity of estimating local advantages and disadvantages; the natural turn of his mind for discovering the means of applying .to the use of man all that is furnished by the earth, the air, and water; the patience and perseverance with which he pursues all his inquiries; the urbanity of his manners, which opens to him all the sources of information: his inflexible adherence to truth: all these marked him out as the man, on whom the public might safely rely.
851. I, therefore, give his Journal, made during his tour. He offers no opinion as to the question above stated. That I shall do; and, when the reader has gone through the Journal he will find my opinions as to that question, which opinions I have stated in a Letter, addressed to Mr. BIRKBECK.
852. The American reader will perceive, that this Letter is intended principally for the perusal of Englishmen; and, therefore, he must not be surprised if he find a little bickering in a group so much of a family cast.
10th December, 1818.