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the volumes less repulsive to the general reader, than collections of historical societies usually are. The plan of preparing the matter in the order of time, will conduce to this, and entitle the volumes to the name which will be given them of 'Annals of Virginia.''

Before publishing those annals, it has been thought best that there should be a preliminary volume giving an account of the discoveries in this western hemisphere until the invasion of Mexico in 1519; and of the voyages to and along the Atlantic coast of North America down to 1573. The chairman of the executive committee, from whom this account was desired, had, otherwise, ample occupation for all his time. To execute in a manner satisfactory to himself, the important work entrusted to him and his able coadjutor by the general assembly, namely, the revision of the general statutes of Virginia, he had found himself under the necessity, during its progress, of diminishing considerably his professional business. For him, at such a time, to compile what the committee wished, was, to say the least, extremely inconvenient. He saw no way in which it could be done, except by his taking for it, in lieu of other relaxation, a part of each night for several months. In this way he has accomplished the volume; it goes from him now to the members of the society, prepared as well as his other engagements would permit.

A good deal of matter not generally known, will, it is thought, be found in it. Nearly all the accounts which it contains, of voyages to Florida, and some of the other accounts, have been translated from “Voyages, relations et mémoires originaux pour servir a l'histoire de la découverte de L'Amérique, publiés pour la première fois en Français, par H. Ternaux.” From 1837 to 1841, twenty volumes were published in Ternaux's Collection, all of which have been examined in the preparation of this volume, so far as their connection with the subject made it proper.


RICHMOND, August 1848.

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