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The English speaking people have been a race of pamphleteers. Whenever a question-religious, political, military or personal-has interested the general public, it has occasioned a war of pamphlets, which, however partisan and transitory, were in a manner photographs of the public opinion, and as such have been used and valued by students and publicists.
The rarity and consequent difficulty of reaching this class of literature has been, however, a great obstacle to its use as sources of history. The name of pamphlet tells the purpose of these little publications. Written hurriedly, to effect a purpose for which there is not enough time or matter for a more elaborate volume, they are thrown by after a brief circulation and before a decade has passed, the edition has disappeared, and if any are still in existence, they are only to be found in the few public and private libraries which have taken the trouble to secure these fugitive leaflets.
The recognized value of these tractates in England has led to very extensive republications; and the Harleian Miscellany, the Somers Tracts, the issues of the Roxburghe, Bannatyne, Maitland, Chetham, Camden and Percy societies and the reprints of Halliwell, Collier, and M'Culloch, not to mention many minor collections, have placed several thousand of them within the reach of every one. But in America few attempts have been made to collect this kind of literaturePeter Force reprinted a series of pamphlets on the early settlement of the United States and a work of similar scope on Canada, containing reprints of the so called “ Jesuit Relations” was printed under the patronage of the Canadian gov