From Wilderness to Statehood: A History of Montana, 1805-1900

From Wilderness to Statehood: A History of Montana, 1805-1900

From Wilderness to Statehood: A History of Montana, 1805-1900

From Wilderness to Statehood: A History of Montana, 1805-1900

Excerpt

This History of Montana was completed by Dean J. M. Hamilton several years prior to his death in 1940. This volume through Part X was planned as the first of a two volume work. Dr. Hamilton had come to Montana in its last months as a Territory, and he had played an important part in the entire period of statehood. His friends looked forward to the kindly but penetrating insight which he would give to the movements which made up the history of this period. However he continued to carry such a heavy load of teaching and administrative duties until his last year that he finished only one of the some ten parts which he had projected for the second volume. This has been included here as Part XI which narrates the beginning of state government. This section blends equally well as the culmination of the efforts of the territorial period or as the beginning of a volume on statehood.

Publishers were loath to take this volume without the promise of a second which would portray the history of the State. So scattered is the source material, however, and so few the basic studies of the period of statehood, that now, almost twenty years later, materials are not yet available from which to write a history of the State with anything like the detail and clarity with which this volume is written.

Those who have had the opportunity of reading this history in manuscript have liked it. Detail and interpretation are included here that are not available in any other published history. At the present time no major history of this period of Montana is available for general purchase. This volume, therefore, is being offered largely as it was written some twenty years ago, not only as a memorial to Dr. Hamilton, but because it will supply a valuable history of the period it covers.

The manuscript was professionally edited in 1942 by F. Milton Willis, and grateful acknowledgment is made for his careful work. The present editor has largely confined his efforts to shortening certain sections where incidents outside of the scope . . .

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