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IRVING'S LIFE OF WASHINGTON
gtbribgtb for % Wi&t of Schools
WITH INTRODUCTION AND CONTINUATION, GIVING A BRIEF OUTLINE
OF UNITED STATES HISTORY FROM THE DISCOVERY OF
AMERICA TO THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
PUBLISHED BY GINN & COMPANY
LIBRARY OF THE LELAND STANFORD JR. UNIVERSITY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1887, by
J. S. Cushing & Co., Printers, Boston,
It is generally conceded, we believe, that the results of the study of history in our schools are very unsatisfactory. The pupils neither receive very distinct impressions nor acquire a love for the study of history that will lead them in after years to pursue the subject further. The attempt to enumerate all the minor events of history has obliged editors so to condense their statements, to keep the books within the proper limits, as to rob them of that easy flow of language so necessary to any work of general interest or literary merit. The study thus becomes tedious and confusing to the child, who is not able to make a proper distinction between important and unimportant events. The present book proceeds on an entirely different plan. At the outset, by omitting freely the unessential points, room is given for a more careful and extended view of the leading facts, interspersed with anecdote and biography, the side lights so necessary for an interesting presentation of a country's history.
The life of Washington, a type of the noblest manhood, the central figure in the greatest epoch of our history, will tend especially to fix in the reader's mind the important events of this period.
Although this volume is so much abridged, it preserves the inimitable language of Irving and retains the vivid interest of the original. The work as a whole possesses a wonderful degree of unity. It well deserves to be called a Classic History of the United States, and to stand, on account of its subject-matter and diction, by the side of the other great masterpieces of literature in our series of " Classics for Children."
Constant study of such great classic models will tend to the cultivation of a taste for good reading and a ready use of the mother tongue.
GINN & CO.
Through the courtesy of Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons we are allowed the use of Irving's Life of Washington from which to make this abridgment.
It is some time since my friends, the publishers of this book, urged upon me the desirableness of making an abridgment of Irving's Life of Washington, such as might prove useful as a reading-book in schools, and of supplementing the story by a brief introduction and continuation presenting the most instructive points in the history of the United States, from the first settlement of the country by Europeans down to the close of the Civil War. In following this suggestion, I have not simply abridged Irving's work, but have occasionally interwoven text of my own with his, in view of results that had not been reached in his time. I have done this but sparingly, however. The introduction and continuation make no pretence to completeness, even as outlines. I have sought in them only to arrange some of the cardinal events of American history in suchwise as to illustrate, in view of what went before it and came after it, the significance of Washington's career.