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Bo IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-ninth day of February, A.
IN offering to the citizens of Maine a work relating to their own State, under a title so comprehensive as that prefixed to this, a hazard is incurred, either that expectations may be excited, which neither the talents of the writer nor the means at his command will enable him to satisfy ; or that a just estimate of those talents and means will repress all expectations of any thing deserving the degree of attention which the title may seem to claim.— With some it may seem questionable whether materials can be found for any satisfactory, or even tolerably accurate, account of the subjects referred to ; while with others it may be supposed that the most abundant materials are easily attainable for their exhibition and elucidation in the most perfect manner.—Anticipations founded on either of these opinions will probably fail to be realized. Materials ought to exist in the archives of the State for a detailed view of its concerns in all respects. To some extent they do exist; but they are far from perfect in most particulars; in some they are exceedingly limited and loose, even in cases where a sufficient degree of fulness and accuracy might reasonably have been expected ; and on some subjects are totally deficient.—Such as have been obtained from this as well as from other sources, are exhibited or referred to in the course of the work, and of their extent, and of the use which has been made of them, the public will judge.
An apology is due for many errors and imperfections, and for the entire omission of some articles which might have been expected to appear. The first of these will find an excuse in the fact that circumstances, not under the control of the writer, unavoidably delayed the preparation of the work for the press until the time when it should have been published, and that therefore the compilation and arrangement of a considerable part of the materials, and final revision of the whole, were necessarily in hand simultaneously with the correction of the press. To those acquainted with such subjects, this will account for and excuse many errors.—With respect to the second, it was intended to devote some portion of the work to a distinct consideration of the absolute and relative wealth of the State, and its different component parts—value and importance of its lands—facilities for—kinds, extent, and expediency of, internal improvements— and its general resources ; but the time when the publication must be completed was limited, and an important part of the materials for these subjects could not be obtained until after this time. It was thought better therefore to omit their introduction altogether for the present; in the hope that circumstances will permit, at a future time, a more extended notice of them, and under greater advantages for useful results, than was possible at present.