The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies

The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies

The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies

The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies

Excerpt

Probably the author owes the reader an explanation for a departure from her chosen field of research, the Civil War and Reconstruction Period in American history, to a field so remote as the Colonial Period. Years ago, while she was wavering in her choice of fields, she began a study of the Colonial Agent of the American Colonies and had gathered a vast mass of notes from American archives and from the Public Record Office in London. Before she was able to put them into written form, the great bulk of the notes was destroyed in a fire. One small packet escaped the flames. For years she could neither bring herself to begin the study afresh nor to consign the small remaining fragment of her work to the flames.

A few years ago a sabbatical leave, which afforded opportunity for research in England, revived thoughts of this subject. To her great surprise and delight the writer found that this subject was still virgin ground and so the little batch of notes was lovingly dug out of the dust-covered box in which it had lain buried.

A somewhat hasty return to America precluded consultation of some manuscripts in one of the provincial ports of England as the author had planned. Since then the war has intervened so that it seems advisable not to delay longer the publication, especially as it is highly unlikely that she would have found any important data to change conclusions or to throw significant light on the work of any official who functioned in London.

Since the second edition of notes was collected in England, although her subject had been duly announced, the scope of the work has been whittled away until practically only the southern agents are left. Even so, a certain unity manifests itself in the history of this group of agents.

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