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BY THE AUTHOR OF “CRIMSON PAGES,” “LIVES OF EMINENT
MEN," "GREAT INVENTORS," ETC.
The design of this book is not in any way to attempt the solution of knotty difficulties as touching the gradual and natural development of civilisation amongst the human race. Whether or no any particular race, left entirely to its own resources, could ameliorate its own condition, as one of the necessities of the progress of things, is a subject on which the author of this volume does not propose to enter.
By Pioneers of Civilisation, the writer intends those who, in various, and indeed in very opposite, ways, have been the means of helping the savage out of barbarism, or of introducing a condition of social life before which the savage vanished. There is the Soldier, whose conquests lead to conciliation, as Britain was treated by imperial Cæsar. There is the Adventurer, who, for gain and glory, robs and kills, as did the Spaniards in the Americas. There is the Explorer, who only seeks to institute friendly relationship, as did old Captain Cook, and as Livingstone is still doing. There is the Man of Peace, who only seeks to live in amity with a strange people, as did the Puritans and Penn. There is the Trader, who seeks the extension of the bounds of commerce, as people have
done every where. There is the Settler, who, leaving the old home and the overcrowded country, finds room for his energies in our rapidly increasing colonies. There is the Missionary, who, moved by pity for the condition of the barbarian, and inspired by promises of heavenly assistance, as well as impressed by heavenly injunction, goes forth to preach and to teach that which he holds to be revealed truth.
All these lines, drawn from a wide circumference, appear to meet in a common centre, -namely, the civilisation of mankind, and the progress of the human race.
In preparing these sketches, the writer has compiled from many sources, old and new. If in any instance he has failed to mention an author from whom he quotes, the omission has been purely unintentional on his part.