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This is an overview of one of the books in the Pennsylvania section of the Mid-Atlantic States group of our American County Histories collection.
This volume is offered to the public as a contribution to the history of Bucks county. The writer does not flatter himself that the subject has been exhausted. It has been his effort to present the essential facts pertaining to the development of the county in such relation to each other as to indicate the various motives and influences which have led to the present results. Pioneer life in the original counties of Pennsylvania was not such as to afford opportunities for brilliant action. The peaceful precepts of the Friends precluded the thrilling experience of the border as well as the pomp and pageantry of glorious war, and the story of the origin and development of this portion of the state is significant in its moral rather than in its material aspects.
The “Book of Arrivals,” often quoted from and the basis of all certain information regarding many of the pioneers of the county, is given in full, with lists of those who have served the county in a public capacity. The latter have been compiled at a considerable expense of time and labor, and are thought to be as complete as it is possible to make them. The sketch of the early history of the state, prepared by Prof. Samuel P. Bates, will be found in abbreviated form in the introductory chapter. The biographical sketches, for the most part, have been arranged alphabetically under the several township headings in the latter part of the volume. This arrangement has been adopted as the best means of affording convenience of reference, and relieving the narrative portion of tedious digression. The large number of these sketches has necessitated, as brief treatment as the circumstances would warrant, and the editor has been compelled to chiefly depend upon the members of the respective families for the accuracy of the facts set forth. No pains have been spared to make this department accurate, and it is believed that it constitutes an interesting portion of the work, which will increase in value with the lapse of years.
In the preparation of this book great assistance has been derived from the various newspaper contributions to the history of the county, none of which have been more useful than the writings of “Iron Mask,” a nom de plume which only thinly veils the authorship of the present scholarly editor of the “Bucks County Intelligencer.” The writer has been greatly aided by the use of the valuable historical library and collections of Judge Richard Watson, and of books from the libraries of other gentlemen of Doylestown; by the valuable suggestions and scrap-books of Judge Harman Yerkes and Mr. Henry D. Paxson, the files of the “Intelligencer,” and the archives of the local historical society. The chapters on the townships were prepared by Mr. Herbert C. Bell; the chapter on geology by Charles Laubach, Esq., of Riegelsville; and the biographical sketches by Mr. F.L. Beers (assisted by Miss Anna Le Compte), to whose editorial supervision this difficult department was assigned. To each one of the many, to whose encouragement and aid the success of this enterprise is largely due, the editor wishes to express his indebtedness to, and appreciation of their kindness and assistance.