ANNALS OF TRYON COUNTY
BY WILLIAM W. CAMPBELL
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION
In presenting this volume of Annals to the public, I would wish to say a few words as to its origin. It is a right which every reader of a book, purporting to be a record of facts, possesses, and may exercise, to examine its authenticity, and to demand whence the author has drawn his conclusions. In the fall of 1830 a society was formed in the village of Cherry Valley for literary purposes generally, but especially for collecting facts illustrative of the natural and civil history of that section of country. I had been often requested to collect and imbody the events of its civil history, and was again solicited to prosecute this branch of inquiry. I at first contemplated writing only the history of Cherry Valley. Born and reared in that valley, I had, from early life, been in some degree familiar with the incidents which had occurred there. They were interwoven with my earliest impressions; and I entered upon the business of arranging and compiling them with an interest which the subject, perhaps, did not merit. Upon examination, I found its revolutionary history connected with that of the valley of the Mohawk, and thinking I might, from the documents and information which I had obtained, throw some light upon the comparatively imperfect history of that valley, during that interesting period, I dropped the original plan, and adopted the one which I have followed in the subsequent pages. I have, however, dwelt more particularly upon the events which occurred in Cherry Valley; not that they were more important or interesting, but partly from reasons before mentioned, and partly for the reason that an accurate account of the minute transactions of that settlement was immediately within my reach, and upon the authenticity of which I could rely with the greatest confidence.
Some of the written documents were obtained in the office of the Secretary of State, but most of them from the venerable John Frey, one of the chairmen of the Tryon County committee, and who is now standing almost upon the brow of a hundred years – a monument of other days. Several gentlemen, relatives or descendents of those who acted conspicuous parts, have very politely furnished me with original papers. To all of them I would here most sincerely tender my thanks. Some of the accounts, merely traditionary, have been obtained from persons conversant and on intimate terms with the actors; but most of them from those who could say to me, "pars magna fui." Under these circumstances, it is possible that there may be errors. I have, however, in all cases, compared the statements where they varies; and I flatter myself that I have generally arrived at the truth. I may be mistaken; but I have written nothing which I do not believe to be true.
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