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History of Harrison and Mercer Counties, Missouri, From the Earliest Time to the Present

History of Harrison and Mercer Counties, Missouri, From the Earliest Time to the Present

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Excerpt from History of Harrison and Mercer Counties, Missouri, From the Earliest Time to the Present: Together With Sundry Personal, Business, and Professional Sketches and Family Records, Besides a Condensed History of the State of Missouri, Etc

The design of the present extensive historical and biographical research is more to gather and preserve in attractive form, while fresh with the evidence of truth, the enormous fund of perishing occurrence, than to abstract from insufficient contemporaneous data remote, doubt ful or incorrect conclusions. The true perspective of the landscape of life can only be seen from the distance that lends enchantment to the view. It is asserted that no person is competent to write a philo Sophical history of his own time; that, owing to imperfect and con?icting circumstantial evidence, that yet conceals instead of reveals the truth, he cannot take that correct, unprejudiced, logical, luminous and comprehensive view of passing events that will enable him to draw accurate and enduring conclusions. The duty, then, of a histo rian of his own time is to collect, classify and preserve the material for the final historian of the future. The present historian deals in fact; the future historian in conclusion. The work of the former is statistical; of the latter, philosophical.

To him who has not attempted the collection of historical data, the obstacles to be surmounted are unknown. Doubtful traditions, con?icting statements, imperfect records, inaccurate public and private correspondence, the bias or untruthfulness of informers, and the gen eral obscurity which, more or less, envelops all passing events, com bine to bewilder and mislead. The publishers of this volume, fully aware of their inability to furnish a perfect history, an accomplishment vouchsafed to the imagination only of the dreamer or the theorist, make no pretension of having prepared a work devoid of blemish. They feel assured that all thoughtful people, at present and in future, will recognize and appreciate the importance of their undertaking, and the great public benefit that has been accomplished.

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