« PreviousContinue »
DAVID SAVILLE MUZZEY, PH.D.
Out of monuments, names, words, proverbs,
FRANCIS BACON, The Advancement of Learning
GINN AND COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Athen æum Press
The use of selected material from primary sources to illustrate and enliven the narrative of the textbook has become so general and has proved so valuable that there is no further need for apology or explanation in the introduction of a book of historical readings. In selecting the material for the present volume the author has sought to give the student a sense of the number and variety of sources — acts of Congress, decisions of courts, proclamations and messages of presidents, records of debates, party platforms, charters, pamphlets, memoirs, diaries, letters, plays, poems, etc. that are available for the illustration of American history.
A unique feature of the book is the frequent employment of two or more extracts for the elucidation of a single topic, these extracts either furnishing cumulative evidence from different sources or presenting conflicting or divergent views of different authors. For example, Nos. 14, 17, 37, 40, 45, 68, 81, 91, 93, 104 illustrate the type of the "cumulative group of extracts,” while Nos. 24, 30, 34, 39, 59, 62, 74, 94, 106, 114, 116 represent the
conflicting group.” The value of such groups is twofold: they not only help to save the source-book from the generally merited reproach of scrappiness, but they furnish the student with just what he is likely to miss in the study of the textbook, namely, the realization that on every important historical and social question there is and has been a variety of opinion and judgment.