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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by JAMES R. ALBACH, in the

Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of Missouri.



In presenting a second Edition of this work, the projector and proprietor believes the occasion appropriate for an explanation of such circumstances as induced the undertaking.

From his earliest recollection, the study of the history and geography of our country, has afforded pleasures to be derived, in an equal degree, from few other sour

The memories of childhood recall the delightful emotions ever experienced from listening to recitals of thrilling events, and descriptions of distant scenes.

The gratification of similar emotions, or rather a passion for an acquaintance with historical and topographical facts relative to the “Great West,” but particularly such as might elucidate its beginnings, rise, and progress towards its future destiny, has been a principal employment of the publisher for nearly thirty years, during which time he has traversed most of that extensive region, and visited nearly every memorable spot, for the means of forming an enlightened judgment, and correct ideas of men and events in times past. Nothing, however, of the materials or knowledge thus acquired, was collected with a view to publication, being solely

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the natural and incidental results of researches, entered upon and pursued for his private gratification.

A change of circumstances, however, seemed to justify an alteration of purposes; consequently, in 1844, promulgation was commenced by written and oral lectures; as one thought originates another, in 1845 the idea of publishing in book form, first occurred.

The proprietor, then residing in Ohio, submitted his plan to several gentlemen of eminent standing, who at once gave it their cordial approbation. A prospectus was immediately circulated, and patrons by hundreds, obtained throughout that community.

Demonstrations of future popularity, sufficient to ensure a successful issue, having thus been made, an engagement was entered into in the spring of 1846, with the late Rev. James H. PERKINS, of Cincinnati, by which he took charge of the compilation, and prepared the work for the press; and no one acquainted with that deservedly esteemed and lamented gentleman, need be informed, that the trust could not have been committed to better or more able hands.

A volume of 600 pages appeared before the close of that year: but an obligation to publish at the promised time, made it necessary, somewhat, to depart from the projector's plan, and to present the book in a form not deemed the most eligible.

In view of this circumstance, together with a desire to extend and amplify the sketches of Illinois, Missouri, and other communities more recently developed, the present Edition was resolved upon: which is a revision of the first, enlarged by the Rev. John M. Peck, of Illinois, a gentleman well calculated for this duty, from his long residence in the West and familiarity with the history of those portions less elaborately treated of in the former Edition. Notwithstanding, this edition is still not arranged in strict accordance with the plan originally projected, yet it is believed that for general accuracy and especial fulness of detail, it may be commended to its readers in its present form as worthy of attention.Although it is not presumed to be wholly free from errors and imperfections, it will be found to contain a faithful narrative of memorable events, deserving the perusal of western people, especially the young, and the descendants of our Pioneers, to whom the volume is most respectfully DEDICATED.

JAMES R. ALBACH. St. Louis, May, 1850.

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