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Historical Dictionary ;
ARTICLES SELECTED CHIEFLY FROM
NATURAL AND Civil HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY,
Author of the Selection, entitled “ Beauties of the Bible."
From the Hudson Edition, with sundry emendations, re.
trenchments and enlargements.
PRINTED BY WEBSTERS AND SKINNERS,
tors of the Copy-Right.
Edue T 98, 13.767
WASVAED COLLEGE LIBRARY
GIFT OF THE
in the Independence of the United States of America, EZRA SAMPSON, of the said District, hath deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the Right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, to wit:
" The Youth's Companion, or an Historical Dictionary; consisting of articles selected chiefly from Na" tural and Civil History, Geography, Astronomy, Zo“ology, Botany and Mineralogy, arranged in alphabet“ical order. By Ezra Sampson, author of the selec“ tion, entitled “ Beauties of the Bible."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, 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 for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned, and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints.'
EDWARD DUNSCOMB, Clerk of the District of New-York.
ANY readers of this book who can find
little or nothing in it but what they knew as well before, are respectfully informed that it is not meant for them, but for people whose advantages have been fewer, or whose knowledge is less extensive. It is designed more particularly as a Companion for Youth ; yet so as not to be a useless companion for mature age. Much in a small compass, has been my aim; and as I have generally named the authors to whom I am indebted, so the reader will know to whose writings he may have recourse for a more enlarged view of some of the subjects which are here given in compendium.
Among the Geographical articles many places are mentioned for the sake of relating some historical facts connected with them; while other places of much more importance have been unnoticed. The articles on Astronomy are derived from respectable authorities : they can hardly fail to excite in the mind of the reader, some ideas of the astonishing power and wisdom of the Creator. Matty particulars in this compilation are on the subjects of Zoology and Botany : the study of these sciences is both useful and delightful, and is recommended by the example of Solomon, who “ spake of trees, from the cedar tree that was in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall; and spake also of beasts, and of fowls, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” As a knowledge of the history of animals, and of plants or vegetables, conduces to human safety, convenience, and sustenance, so it tends also to improve and exalt the moral sentiment ; foras. much as the workmanship displayed in the structure of the meanest animal that breathes, or even of the most unregarded vegetable that grows, infinitely surpasses all the works of men.
A multitude of things which are here related or described, as they point directly to a superintending power and all-wise contrivance, might be used as subjects for moral and religious reflections, such reflections, being obvious and easy, I have generally left to be made by the reader. If this, however, should be thought by some serious and good minds to be a culpable omission, I might plead the example of the Sacred Historians, who briefly recorded facts involving most important moral principles, and left them without comment.
I have endeavored to weave into this work, various traits of the human character; insomuch, that besides numerous sketches of the history of man in civilized societies, it describes, though with the utmost brevity, a greater number of savage tribes, particularly of America and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, than can easily be found described in any other book of an equal size. It was found necessary to reject a considerable number of articles which were prepared for this book, lest it should exceed the intended bounds; and perhaps, for want of a more correct judgment, some of the discarded class may be better than some which have been admitted. But though I may have erred in judge ment, I have not been sparing of my best endeavors; the fruits of which are offered to the public, not without diffidence, nor yet without hope.
Recommendations of the Work. The Rev. DaviD PORTER, D. D. of Catskill, has favored us with his opinion, as follows :
“ I have examined the Historical Dictionary with some care, and think it contains as rich a compendium of facts, concisely and elegantly expressed, as any work of its size within the compass of my knowledge. It is a book in my opinion admirably adapted to youth; and such is its real merit that I am convinced that it needs only to be known to entitle it to the universal patronage of schools and academies throughout our country.
“ The book contains an epitome of science, chaste, moral, and beautifully descriptive ; and it cannot fail both to entertain and instruct.
The Rev. JOHN CHESTER, of Hudson, transinits to as the following remarks :
“ The Historical Dictionary, in the opinion of the subscriber, is a most important and valuable acquisition to the schools of our country. Its learned and judicious author has manifested uncommon discrimination and ability in his work. The Dictionary is extremely interesting and instructive to the scholar, who, as he learns to read, stores his mind with facts which are always useful. It is a kind of Text Book, the usefulness of which out lives the period of pupilage, and may be retained with advantage among the number of those works which will always amuse and instruct the person of mature age. It is, in my opinion, one of the best school books with which I am acquainted, and has a fair claim to esteem and patronage.
Mr. ASHBEL STRONG, well known for many years as an instructor in several academies in this state, and who has had the best opportunity of becoming acquainted with the merits of this book, has favored us with his remarks:
Sampson's Historical Dictionary is, in my opinion, one of the best school books ever published. It contains in the compass of a few hundred pages a great variety of important historical, geographical and philosophical facts, ranged in alphabetical order, and expressed in a neat, concise and perspicuous manner. The book is well adapted to the capacities of youth, and extremely well suited to engage their attention. I have kept it in constant use among my pupils ever since its first publication, and think it needs only to be generally known to gain the fullest credit and currency in our academies and schools. ASHBEL STRONG."
The following remarks on the Historical Dictionary were made by the learned SAMUEL WILLIAMS, L. L. D. author of the History of Vermont, in a letter to a friend." I thank