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Submitted by Bob Johnson
Source: MAP AND SKETCHES of BUREAU COUNTY, ILL. by N. Matson
Preface to his 1867 Plat Book of Bureau County:
To the Public - In presenting these sketches to the public, the author is aware that criticism will be made, with regard to their correctioness. In a work of this kind, more or less errors will appear, this has been guarded against, as much as possible, by getting the statements of one person, and comparing them with that of another, and again calling on them for revision and correction, when accounts do not agree in this way, many errors have been detected, that could not have been done otherwise.
Many of the early settlers are dead, or moved to other States, and it has been with much difficulty these itmes have been collected. Twenty years ago, it would have been comparatively easy; but twenty years hence it could not be done at all, with any degree of certainity.
The reader, before condemning any statements made in these sketches, that does not agree with his preconceived opinions, will please examine all the facts in connection with them, in so doing, he will find these statements correct in the main, and if it does not meet the wish and the expectation of the public, they will bear in mind it will cause investigation that may lead to further information on these points. At any rate, all will admit, it is a move in the right direction.
This is not inteded as a full and complete history of the County, but merely to collect and preserve facts in relation to its early settlement, so that at some future day a full and elaborate history may be given.
The author had prepared, in detail, an account of many incidents connected with the early settlement of the County, mostly of things that came under his own observation, within the last thirty years, some of which are rather spicy, and were intended as an offset to the monotony of the statistics that appear in these sketches, but after the consideration came to the conclusion not to publish them. However, they may appear at some future day.
This little work makes no pretension to refined literature, or a classical arrangement as regards style, matter, or language; but a simple statement of facts as they exist. Had fiction or romance controlled the thoughts of the writer, a very different story might have been produced; after all, it may be doubted whether imagination could invent a more romantic story than some of the facts conncected with the early settlement of this county.
There are some things relating to the Black Hawk war, not generally known, which may appear strange to the reader; they are taken from the statements of Shaubena and other Indians, while in conversation with the author, a short time after they occurred, and are undoubtedly true, as they could have no object in misrepresenting them.
There are many persons among the early settlers to whom the author feels under great obligations for furnishing information on various points, and deserve credit for so doing, but they are so numerous, to give all their names, would enlarge this volume beyond its present limits; therefore he will say to all, they have his thanks for their assistance and for services rendered. - The Author
Princeton, Ill., Jan., 1867
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