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A NARRATION OF THE ADVENTURES OF THE AUTHOR IN TEXAS,
AND A DESCRIPTION OF THE
SOIL, CLIMATE, PRODUCTIONS, MINERALS,
TOWNS, BAYS, HARBORS, RIVERS, INSTITUTIONS, AND
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE INHABITANTS
OF THAT COUNTRY ;
THE PRINCIPAL INCIDENTS
OF FIFTEEN YEARS
R E V O L U TION IN MEXICO:
A CONDENSED STATEMENT OF INTERESTING EVENTS
IN TEXAS, FROM THE FIRST EUROPEAN SET-
TLEMENT IN 1692, DOWN TO THE
By COL. EDWARD STIFF.
PUBLISHED BY GEORGE CONCLIN.
ENTERED according to act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred forty, by
WEST THIRD STREET.
The great and increasing emigration to Texas, taken in connection with her present position, former history and prospective career, were the primary causes which induced the author to compile a volume, entitled the TEXAN EMIGRANT; yet, in doing so, he has embodied other and dissimilar information, as well as such as will safely conduct emigrants to favourable localities, and in a cheap way acquaint them with things necessary to be known-and he has supplied such data as will enable those thinking of a removal, to knowingly decide if it is expedient to seek a home in the new Republic or not.
Desiring at all times to pursue the quiet and retired walks of private life, the author of the following work would not have made his travels in Texas the leading subject of a publication, had not her vast and luxuriant plains and other more romantic scenery, first suggested the idea —an idea that has grown in streugth every day, since the effect of combined causes, not the least among which may be mentioned the fact of the entire absence of any work on the subject, from which can be extracted such information as comes home to the every day pursuits of men, or one that has been written with that independence of thought, and strict impartiality, which should ever be the aim and end of the Historian who aspires to an enduring and honourable fame, when he shall sleep with his Fathers.
The excess of kindness in the bosoms of many of the Author's friends has, on different occasions, prompted them to proffer their advice and assistance; but whether an innocent vanity is an inherent principle in the bosom of any man, or whether the Author has mistaken his calling, remains yet to be seen. He frankly acknowledges that he is and has been determined to express his own opinions; to wear all the honours and bear all the obloquy which this volume may call forth. Were he now to submit his labours to a committee of particular friends, there is much reason to fear they would reverse the history of the Hatter's Sign, narrated by Dr. Franklin, and in place of leaving the only valuable part about it, might make large additions of useless matter, while defacing the paints, for which the Author indulges a fraternal feeling, nearly allied to that of a fond parent for a darling child.
In the composition of the work, if the Author has studied, it has been to produce an original and correct picture. He has selected no model-it is an off-hand production throughout; and if, under such circrmstances, it were impossible to avoid colours which may have been used before, it is not the result of a mind affected with the spirit of plagiarism, but the natural offspring of desultory reading, and intercourse with the world, and that sort of instinct which has at all times imperceptibly drawn him away from fixed fashions and rules.
Had he departed from the usual tenor of his way, he would have approached much nearer to the orders of the day; yet those who are impartial in their judgments will esteem his labours none the less because emanating from a pen wholly untrammeled and uninfluenced by any man or set of men; and whatever course he might have pursued, he could not have escaped the shafts of criticism, levelled, as they always are, at every Author who does