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Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 / Personal recollections and observations of General Nelson A. Miles embracing a brief view of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate: and the story of his Indian campaigns, with comments on the exploration, development and progress of our great western empire
(1896)

Chapter I. In New England fifty years ago,   pp. 17-24 PDF (4.1 MB)


Page 17


CHAPTER 1.
                  IN NEW ENGLAND FIFTY YEARS AGO.
PLCRPOFsi' oF THIS BOOK -TTHE SENTIMENT OF COUNTRY UNIVERSAL- A DEMOCRACY
NATURAL IN
            TflE CITANGE FROM PRIMITIVE LIFE TO TIHE PRESENT, AND THE MEN
WAI-o
      AR;J~  - EXELY NEW ENGLAEND COLONISTS - INFLUENCE OF CLIIATE - MAS-
        SA(ftl'8I1STTS - THE INFLUENCE OF NEW- ENGLAND IDEAS IN OUR HISTORY
              THE IND)IEAN IN NEW ENGLAND - LIFE THERE FIFTY YEARS
              A(o - THE AUTHOR'S YOUTH AND ANCESTRY - STORIES
                  AND THEIR EFFECT UPON INCLINA.TION - BEFORE
                    TIHE WVAR  EARLIEST MILITA&RY TRAINING.
T is mlly purpose in this volume to write concerning a subject that
  is nearest the heart of every true American-Our Country,
  and its eventful changes and transformations as I have observed
  tliein during the brief period of my own life.
     I)oubtless the most refined and enlightened of the human
 race Jmest comprehend and appreciate the sentiment expressed by
 the words " m-y Country." But we know that he whom we are
ecustomied to consider the most stoical savagye also ehirishes tfhp
   saline thought and feeling to an intense degree. The warrior standing
amid the primeval forest, or on the crest of some butte towering above
thle pra1irie, or beneath the shadow of some mountain, also has this sublime
inspiration. It has been said that patriotism is a narrow sentiment, and
tlhLt onie's love for mankind ought not to be bounded by the ocean's
tides, the course of rivers or the trend of mountain chains. And yet we
caL1nnot but feel a deep and special interest, a just pride, in contemplating
our own country. Its remarkable history, its character, unlike that of
aiy other, its institutions and system of government, its prosperity, its
i11ftiagit-udle and grandeur, are all without precedent or rival. In fact
there seems to be something in the very atmosphere of this country that
i1 sl)ires l 1(lependence, liberality and freedom  of thought and action.
Tlhee (qualities are not characteristic of those only who have taken
loSsession of this country, but also of its original occupants. I shall
have occasioil to renmark later in these pages, that the customs and
govern-nenlts of the aborigines were purely democratic.   The voice,
    M-2                                                           (17)


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