Page images
[blocks in formation]

ENTERED. According to the Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by

George P. PUTNAM, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District

of New-York

JOHN F. TROW, Printer und Siereotyper,

49, 51 and 53 Ann-st., N. Y.


While revising a chronological manual, in compiling which I had, at the age of fifteen,* employed many midnight hours, I have found material assistance in the tables prepared by my late friend, D. A. Talboys, publisher, of Oxford, England, usually called the Oxford Chronological Tables. In the alphabetical part of the volume, the comprehensive and useful Dictionary of Dates, by Haydn,t has been incorporated almost entire, with such additions relating to the United States as were necessary to its completeness, and with continuations to the present year.

The contemporary tables which I had formerly prepared, had cost much diligent application, and I was glad to find on collating them with the more recent works, that some slight additions only were needed to make them as full and complete as was desirable for the purpose in view, viz. : a convenient and portable volume for reference, not over-burdened with details, but indicating to the intelligent reader all the great landmarks of history in their order of succession; and showing also what was going on at the same time in different countries. To render this glance more comprehensive and clear, many of the details in the former tables are now omitted, as they are given more at large in the alphabetical part of the volume.

To a reader of history the utility of such a glance at contemporary persons and events, is too obvious to need illustration : but while the more elaborate and ponderous works of Blair, Talboys, and

* Chronclogy-An Index to Universal History, &c. 12mo. Leavitt, NewYork, 1833. The volume has been long out of print.

† Fourth edit. 8vo. Lond., 1847. That work needs no praise here.

others, are available to the historian or the merely literary man, they are usually repulsive to the general reader, for the very reason that they contain too much for ordinary purposes; their very elaborateness serves to puzzle and to mystify.

What is here aimed at is simply to indicate, in brief and suggestive terms, the succession of the prominent occurrences and of the governments in the chief nations of the world-enough merely to recall to the reader of history the full pictures of these events, and to enable him to classify them correctly in his memory.

. The alphabetical part of the volume gives, in most cases, more full and ample references to the same historical facts; but still the whole work is but an index to the ources of knowledge—a Dictionary of Dates. It has been planned so as to facilitate access to the largest amount of useful information in the smallest possible compass.

There are some discrepancies among the authorities, as to names and dates—especially in the Middle Ages--and in some instances the dictionary varies from the tables; but these instances are not numerous or important.

The Biographical List at the close of the volume will contribute, it is presumed, to render the contemporary tables far more variously useful than would be at first supposed By ascertaining from it the dates of birth and death of any eminent person, the tables will show at a glance what events happened, and what other eminent persons lived during the life-time of that individual.

It would be superfluous to say more by way of explanation. That such a volume can be quite free from imperfections is not to be supposed; but the compiler trusts that it will be found to answer all reasonable expectations, as a compact manual of reference to the World's Progress in Arts, Literature, and Social Life, as well as in Politics and Government.

G. P. P.

« PreviousContinue »