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The author of the following pages entertaining the belief, that their publication might be acceptable to his fellow-citizens, has committed them to the press, in the hope that his readers may derive something of interest and entertainment from their perusal. In taking this step, he has had many misgivings. Diffident of his ability to invest his subject with the interest that belongs to it, he would have been loath indeed to give The Annals of Annapolis' publicity, had it not been for the absence of any such publication.
It must not be supposed by his readers, that this work is intended to supply the place of biography, The lives of eminent citizens form a part of the history of the times in which they acted and flourished, but that minuteness of detail which belong to such efforts is neither within his reach, nor within the scope of this design. Eminent men are occasionally mentioned, when they are necessarily associated with the annals of the city, but, at the same time, many citizens of learning, parts and patriotism, must escape particular mention in such a work as this.
He has gathered his materiél from the records and documents within his reach. He is greatly indebted for much of it to 'Bozman's' and 'McMahon's Histories of Maryland, Henning's Statutes at Large of Virginia,' The Maryland Gazette,' a series of essays under the caption of “The Annapoliad,' 'Bacon's Laws of Maryland,' and 'Eddis's Letters from America,' and to a late venerable Lady of Annapolis, for many traditionary reminiscences.
He bespeaks for this publication the clemency of a generous public.
The original design in collecting and arranging the materials contained in this volume, was merely to give some outlines of the Annals of Annapolis, but so limited were the records and documents on that head, that it was from necessity partially abandoned. In those periods where nothing immediately connected with Annapolis was found, incidents in relation to the history of the Province and State of Maryland, have been introduced.
The labour in doing this was greater than the compiler anticipated. But if any reader shall find entertainment, or be gratified by its perusal, the Author will not be disappointed.
The authorities and documents from which these pages have been compiled, are generally acknowledged. It would be difficult, and perhaps unnecessary, to name particularly every source from which information has been obtained. For the use of that rare and valuable file of papers, The Maryland Gazette, acknowledgments are here 'tendered to Jonas Green, Esquire, the descendant of the first venerated and venerable printer of Maryland.
Many defects will doubtless be apparent in the style of this work, but when it is remembered that no claim to skill in literary composition is made (and fortunately but little or none was required in this undertaking) the generous and the learned will overlook all such deficiencies as may meet the eye of the critic, and do justice to the intention and object of this collection. · Being in possession of some original letters from general Washington and a few other distinguished! men of his day, which it is believed have not hitherto been published, they are placed in an Appendix to this volume, and perhaps will form the most interesting part of it.
Fearful that the importance of the facts that are detailed, may be overlooked, from the want of skill in setting them forth, this volume is now given to the public for what it is worth; even a small tribute to the history of his native State, will, he trusts, be acceptable to his fellow-citizens.
ANNAPOLIS, Dec. 1840.