The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950 Page: 97
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will be. This reprint is published for The Institute of Early
American History and Culture at Williamsburg, Virginia, and
contains, as just pointed out, an introduction of twenty-five pages
by Professor Louis B. Wright.
The title page of the original edition reveals that the book
contains four parts. The first part is a running account of the
history and government of Virginia from its founding to the
year 1705. The second part describes the natural products and
the "conveniencies of the country," as the author states, and
points out how both are suited to trade and improvement. The
third part deals with the religion, laws, and customs, in war and
in peace, of the native Indians of Virginia; and the fourth part
deals with "the polity of the government and the improvements
of the land" as they prevailed in Virginia when Beverley was
writing. Robert Beverley directed his work particularly to Rob-
ert Harley, speaker of the House of Commons and one of Queen
Anne's secretaries of state, and figured that since it was "an
honest Account of the ancientest, as well as most profitable Col-
ony," the account "ought naturally to address it self to the Patron
of the Plantations."
Beverley's preface is a gem that anyone would enjoy reading.
Since he was writing as a traveler who "are of all Men, the most
suspected of Insincerity," he was trying to protect himself against
that suspicion by the reader. French travels, he said, were given
to hyperbole and romance. He tried to write more "in the Com-
pass of Probability" and to be "contented to be less Ornamental
[and] more Sincere," as English writers had a reputation of
being. "Truth desires only to be understood," he wrote, "and
never affects the Reputation of being finely equipp'd. It depends
upon its own intrinsick Value, and, like Beauty, is rather con-
ceal'd than set off, by Ornament." Earlier books on the colonies,
Beverley averred, were "none of 'em either true, or so much as
well invented. .... I have endeavour'd to hit the Likeness; though,
perhaps, my Colouring may not have all the Life and Beauty I
Professor Wright's contribution to this work as editor is a list
of thirty-four notes for his own introduction and of fifty notes for
the text proper. Professor Wright lists three pages of principal
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 53, July 1949 - April, 1950, periodical, 1950; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101126/m1/117/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.