Mitchel, Martin; Osborn, Joseph H. / Geographical and statistical history of the county of Winnebago ... to which is prefixed a general view of the state of Wisconsin, together with a census table from its first settlement to the present time.
Preface, pp. -5 ff. PDF (730.5 KB)
PREFACE. When we look upon the broad expanse of a mighty River, after contemplating its width and depth and the velocity of its current, which pours its world of waters into the bosom of the great deep, the mind naturally floats up the majestic stream in search of the great fountain whence it flows. When we traverse an ancient empire and behold its walls, its pyramids and other products of almost infinite labor away back in the darkness of unrecorded time, the mind wanders up the current of past ages, until inquiry burdens the imagina- tion with countless questions: demanding when, by whom, and for what purpose these prodigies of human skill and in- dustry were performed. We carefully trace the broad river through all its windings, from its influx to the ocean to its farthest mountain stream and remotest headspring. and in- stead of a mighty kingdom of overflowing waters, disgorging a perpetual flood, we find, far up some ragged mountain, a cleft rock, weeping a pearly stream, no bigger than an ox might drink; and deep in some tangled dell a spring boils up, whose modest stream, half hid by moss or leaves, struggles for the association of its affinities, till it meets its mountain sister. United they rush on with redoubled energy to meet in kind embrace ten thousand thousand sister streams, which, from as many sources, find their devious ways to meet and form this mighty river. If the history of a nation could be as accurately traced through the course of time, as the channels of a river, we should find their head spring and fountain source in some se- cluded dell in a vast wilderness, where a few solitary individ- ulsi, Ike the far off mountain spring, unknown to tlbgreat.
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