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The Portland Sketch Book


Library of Alexandria
The object of the Portland Sketch-Book, is to collect in a small compass, literary specimens from such authors as have a just claim to be styled Portland writers. The list might have been extended to a much greater length, had all been included who have made our city a place of transient residence; but no writer has a place in this volume who is not, or has not been, a citizen of Portland, either by birth or a long residence. Therefore, all the names contained in these pages are emphatically those of Portland authors. Among those who were actually born here and either wholly, or in part educated here, will be found the following names, most of which are already known to the world of literature. S. B. Beckett—James Brooks—William Cutter—Charles S. Daveis—Nathaniel Deering—P. H. Greenleaf—Charles P. Ilsley—Joseph Ingraham—Geo. W. Light—Henry W. Longfellow—Grenville Mellen—Frederick Mellen—Isaac McLellan, Jr.—John Neal—Elizabeth Smith—William Willis—N. P. Willis. Considering the population of our city—hardly fifteen thousand at this time—the list itself we apprehend will be considered as not the least remarkable part of the book. It was the design of the Publishers to furnish a book composed of original articles from all our living authors, and to select only from those who have been lost to us; but though great exertions were made, the editor found much difficulty in collecting original materials, even after they had been promised by almost every individual to whom she applied. According to the original design, each living author was to have contributed a limited number of pages; but after frequent disappointments, all restrictions were taken off; each writer furnished as many original pages as suited his pleasure, and the deficiency was supplied by selected articles. In her selections, the editor has endeavored to do impartial justice to our authors, and, in almost every instance, she has been guided by them in her choice. If in any case she has been obliged to exercise her own judgment, in contradiction to theirs, it was because the publishers had restricted her to a certain number of pages, and the articles proposed would have swelled the volume beyond the prescribed limits. Original papers are inserted exactly as they were supplied by their separate authors. A general invitation was extended; therefore it should give no offence, if those who have contributed largely fill the greater portion of the Book, to the exclusion of much excellent matter, which might have been selected. Several writers who did not forward their contributions as expected, have been omitted altogether, as the editor could find nothing of theirs extant which was adapted to a work strictly literary