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PREFACE.

Very little need be said by way of Preface to the present volume. Cities, like individuals, have ever found the utility of giving publicity to the advantages they possess. The respective claims to public consideration of almost all the larger American cities have already been set forth, and no inconsiderable sagacity has been displayed in the preparation and issue of these advertisements. It cannot be denied that Louisville has equal claim upon the community for a fair hearing with many of these cities, and this may serve as the apology which custom seems to render necessary for the publication of this volume.

Louisville has attained her present rank and position without having resorted to any of the factitious means so generally employed to promote the progress of cities. A singular apathy in this regard has always pervaded this community, and the present prosperity of the city is the result only of fortuitous circumstances, of individual and unorganized effort, or of local causes. The following extract from one of a series of very able articles, published several years ago in the Louisville Journal, conveys a very caustic and severe, but, at the same time, a very just and merited rebuke of this apathetic indifference to political progress which has been characteristic of this city. The author says: “In the recent book of Judge

Hall entitled “The West its commerce and navigation," it is stated that “Louisville keeps no account of its business." Such is really the fact; we have no business organization no chamber of commerce, no mercantile clubs - no Exchange, no place “where merchants most do congregate.” Our city Fathers keep no record of our increase or doings, and it is doubted whether the Mayor or Council, with the Assessors and Collectors to advise with, can either guess or reckon our present population within 4,000, or the number of respectable tenements erected last year within 200 of the truth. There is not a series of our newspapers or price currents to which a stranger has the right of access; if, indeed, there be an entire series of either to be found in our city. Occasionally a Directory is got up and contains a few statistics gathered without system or concert, and necessarily imperfect, and these even are rarely set before the public eye. Other cities have had for years the most skillful trumpeters and gazetteers; their men of influence and wealth have contributed largely of money and time (more important than money) not only to make their city attractive but to show off those attractions. Does anything agitate the public mind, whether religious, political, or financial — whether it relates to the commerce of the lakes, famine in Ireland, or an armory or hospital on the western rivers, they seek to be the first to write and the first to speak; they raise one committee to gather and another to publish every fact and argument which will make the excitement enure to their benefit. All this is unobjectionable. Other cities have great attractions, and there is no reason why these should not be known; the gospel itself requires publication; but in this democratic country are we to allow any other city to take a higher position than that to which she is entitled by her skill, strength and capacity? Is it not high time to advertise the cheapness and good

ness of our wares?

If Cincinnati send a special agent to Germany with the cards of þer lot-holders and a map of this country, represented as a narrow strip with New York at one terminus and Cincinnati at the other, can we not extend the survey to Louisville, and add the name of this city to the catalogue published in Europe."

These remarks are hardly less merited now than at the time when they were published. The last two years, it is true, have awakened new energies and brought about a greater disposition to prompt and efficient action in promoting a useful business organization and in setting forth the claims of Louisville in a properly attractive light. Much time, however, has been wasted and much valuable material has been lost by the long delay in this matter. To endeavor to restore this lost time and to replace a part at least of this valuable material, is one of the prominent objects had in view in the preparation of this history.

The want of interest which is generally felt in mere statistical details, even if ever so carefully compiled, coupled with the fact that there is really much in the history of Louisville which is capable of interesting the general reader, have induced me to prefer offering to the public a historical detail of the rise, progress and present position of the city, instead of following the course which has been pursued by most writers of local history. It is no part of the design of this volume to eulogize Louisville beyond its deserts. The greatest care has been taken to prevent any tendency to exaggeration in all the statistical parts of the work, and the object constantly had in view has been to present both to citizens and strangers an authentic and reliable statement of all that is useful or interesting in the past and present history of the city. It is due to myself to state, that, as may readily be supposed from what has been said above, I have found great difficulty in procuring the necessary data for even this unpretending volume. And if the town reader should find any errors or omissions in these pages I cannot help but hope for some leniency at his bands in view of the fact that this is the history of a city which has never possessed an official record of any kind, and that even the material which has been procured at divers times and in distant places has cost no inconsiderable amount both of time and trouble in the search.

The present statistics of the city were carefully collected by personal application and investigation; and I desire to express my profoundest acknowledgments for the kindness and interest with which my wishes were met and forwarded. With but one single exception, every information which I could have desired was freely furnished, and many valuable suggestions were offered which I have since found extremely useful. I also desire to express my acknowledgments to Mr. R. Harlan, of Frankfort, for his kind assistance in the tedious and laborious work of examining the census reports.

In closing a task which has occupied such moments of leisure as I could reclaim from the more serious pursuits of life for about eighteen months, I cannot but hope that the result of this tedious labor may really compass the end for which it was intended. I can claim nothing for the book on the score of literary merit; the style is one entirely different from anything which I have heretofore attempted, and the volume does not seek to claim rank as a literary production. If, however, it will serve to contribute a moiety to the prosperity of

my

native city; if it will serve to add one industrious and enterprising man to the number of her citizens, I shall be satisfied that this labor has not been in vain, nor this exertion spent for naught.

BEN. CASSEDAY.

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