Sara Grimes McBeth
No doubt an apology will be expected by an exacting and discriminating public, for the presumption of adding "one" to the world of books already written; especially in such an age as this. when our land is teeming with the millions, who from deeds of noble daring and patient, both suffering, both on the field of battle, and the no less trying conflict between truth and error, justly merit the highest place in the temple of fame.
To such we cheerfully accord the high position; but alongside with the gallant, and brave who have so nobly fought, and decisively won, the great battles that should save our country with its fertile soil, and highly-cultivated fields, from the desecrating tread of the usurper, would I claim a place for the humble pioneer, who reduced the immense forests to fruitful gardens, and converted the mighty oaks and hickorys that waved their imperial heads with undisputed dominion above the rich soil that sustained them, into the convenient habitation of' men.
But for the mon and women whose lives have been spent in
privation and toil to render our own loved land the
free,--it never would have been worth the Blood it cost to save it. It was not our territory that the
ever-to-be-honored soldiers shed their blood to save; but our homes--the sanctity of the social compact--these were
to be preserved inviolate, even though it cost the blood of millions. And now while I ask for myself an humble
place, a simple nook, in the great wide-spreading temple that is towering toward the heavens, having inscribed
upon its scroll the names of the illustrious living and dead, from Washington to Lincoln, and many more who are
justly entitled in the names of "good," and "great," among such for myself I ask no place, but for my
fellow-laborers, who with me have aided in bearing the heat and burden of the day, I ask an honorable place in the
records of the past.
That any honor or any praise would ever accrue from the publication of such a book as this, never mingled with the motives that prompted to the work. It was first suggested by the oft-recurring request of my children when seated around the fireside, saying, Father, this is a good time to tell us some stories," and was finally expressed by some of them in a wish that these same stories might be written or printed, that they could be transmitted to a future generation, to show what had been the deeds of some of their ancestry. To gratify this desire of my children's, I first determined to write them, and have published in small pamphlet form, enough so
half of them could not be confined to a pamphlet size. I saw, too, that the pages written were rife with instruction,
and so determined not only to favor my own family and friends, but also the world at large, with the fruits of my
experience in frontier life; not because the events herein marrated were connected with my unimportant self, but
because in my own experience you have the experience of thousands, who with me entered the wild woods, and
subdued not only the beasts that inhabit them but the forests themselves, and rendered the vast country over which
they held dominion, suitable for the habitation of man.
If this little Work awakens a single emotion of gratitude in the hearts of the young, who will soon enjoy all
the fruits of the labor of the pioneer, and if in the hearts of theose still living, who with myself have experienced
all that these pagesdescribe, there revive pleasing remembrances, the wish of the Author is fully gratified.
S. E. EDWARDS.
Napoleon, Henry Co., Ohio.