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Title: Francis Parkman.
Author: Brown, William Wells, Little, Frances, Company.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Francis Parkman

[Image: Little Brown and Company Logo]

Little, Brown, and Company.

Copyright, 1896,
by Little, Brown, and Co.

University Press:
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U. S. A.

Francis Parkman.

"One of the convincing tests of genius is the choice of a theme, and no
greater felicity can befall it than to find one both familiar and fresh.
All the better if tradition, however attenuated, have made it already
friendly with our fancy. In the instinct that led him straight to
subjects that seemed waiting for him so long, Mr. Parkman gave no
uncertain proof of his fitness for an adequate treatment of
them."--James Russell Lowell.

The greatest of all American historians was indeed exceptionately
fortunate in his choice of a subject. Writing as he did of the
colonization of North America from the landing of Champlain, and of the
warfare between France and England for the control of the American
continent, his theme is so closely allied to his own countrymen that it
must always have a special interest for them and for the people of
Canada, upon the early history and settlement of which country he has
thrown so much light, and in regard to which he has aroused such great
attention. Notwithstanding physical infirmities, he lived to complete
his work, and to bring his series of historical narratives down to the
year 1760, when Canada passed with the death of Montcalm from the hands
of the French to be ruled by the nation that had fought more than half a
century for its possession.

The remarkable series of histories grouped under the general title of
"France and England in North America" may truly be termed the life work
of their gifted author. He was but a youth of eighteen at Harvard
College when he conceived the plan of writing a history of the French
and Indian Wars, and his vacations at that time were passed
adventurously and in a way which familiarized him with scenes in which
the actors in his historical drama had moved. In the year 1846 he made
with a friend his notable journey across the continent, to the desert
plains and mountains and the Indian camps of the far West. "I went,"
says the author in the preface to the fourth edition of "The Oregon
Trail," "as a student, to prepare for a literary undertaking of which
the plan was already formed. My business was observation, and I was
willing to pay dearly for the opportunity of exercising it." He camped
among the Sioux Indians, listened to Indian legends, and studied Indian
customs, but paid dearly indeed for the opportunity, for he became
through the exposure an invalid for life.

"The Oregon Trail," an autobiographical narrative of the journey, was
first published in 1847 in the Knickerbocker Magazine; and four years
later the author gave to the world his first historical work, "The
Conspiracy of Pontiac," pronounced by the eminent historian, Dr. John
Fiske, "one of the most brilliant and fascinating books that has ever
been written by any historian since the days of Herodotus." From that
year until the completion of his work with the publication of "A Half
Century of Conflict" in 1892, he occupied himself with the preparation
of his series of historical narratives, "France and England in North
America," laboriously searching through the French archives and
elsewhere for his authorities, and dictating to an amanuensis at such
times as the condition of his health would permit. The authorities he
collected from the large number of documents and letters examined fill
seventy folio volumes of manuscript, and are in the possession of the
Massachusetts Historical Society. The wealth of material was selected
from immense accumulations in France, England, and America, mostly
unpublished and in manuscript. Personal visits had to be made to the
Archives de la Marine et des Colonies, the Archives de la Guerre, and
the Archives Nationals at Paris, and the Public Record Office and the
British Museum in London, to obtain manuscript copies, it being
necessary to have the authorities constantly at hand. The colonial
records of Massachusetts, New York, and other States were also carefully

The initial volume of the series, "Pioneers of France in the New World,"
was published in 1865. It is divided into two parts. I. The Huguenots in
Florida. II. Champlain and his Associates. He described the subject of
the proposed series as the attempt of Feudalism, Monarchy, and Rome to
dominate the American continent, the rise and growth of North America,
and the conflict of nations, races, and principles for its mastery. He
had for the scenes of his great historical pictures the whole United
States and Canada, from Quebec to Florida and Louisiana, and from
Massachusetts to the Western Frontier. In the preface to "Pioneers of
France in the New World" Parkman epitomized his purpose in a passage
which was given a place of honor in Edmund Clarence Stedman's "Library
of American Literature." He said:--

"New France was all head. Under king, noble, and Jesuit, the lank, lean
body would not thrive. Even commerce wore the sword, decked itself with
badges of nobility, aspired to forest seignories and hordes of savage
retainers. Along the borders of the sea an adverse power was
strengthening and widening, with slow but steadfast growth, full of
blood and muscle,--a body without a head. Each had its strength, each
its weakness, each its own modes of vigorous life: but the one was
fruitful, the other barren; the one instinct with hope, the other
darkening with shadows of despair. By name, local position, and
character, one of these communities of freemen stands forth as the most
conspicuous representative of this antagonism,--Liberty and Absolutism,
New England and New France.... The expansion of New France was the
achievement of a gigantic ambition striving to grasp a continent. It was
a vain attempt.... Borne down by numbers from without, wasted by
corruption from within, New France fell at last; and out of her fall
grew revolutions whose influence to this hour is felt through every
nation of the civilized world. The French dominion is a memory of the
past; and when we evoke its departed shades they rise upon us from their
graves in strange, romantic guise. Again their ghostly campfires seem to
burn, and the fitful light is cast around on lord and vassal and
black-robed priest, mingled with wild forms of savage warriors, knit in
close fellowship on the same stern errand. A boundless vision grows upon
us; an untamed continent; vast wastes of forest verdure; mountains
silent in primeval sleep; river, lake, and glimmering pool; wilderness
oceans mingling with the sky. Stick was the domain which France
conquered for civilization. Plumed helmets gleamed in the shade of its
forests, priestly vestments in its dens and fastnesses of ancient
barbarism. Men steeped in antique learning, pale with the close breath
of the cloister, here spent the noon and evening of their lives, ruled
savage hordes with a mild, parental sway, and stood serene before the
direst shapes of death. Men of courtly nurture, heirs to the polish of a
far-reaching ancestry, here, with their dauntless hardihood, put to
shame the boldest sons of toil."

Mr. Parkman did not at once achieve popularity, but his "Pioneers of
France" received cordial appreciation and even aroused enthusiasm among
writers and critics. The tributes to this and subsequent works are not
surpassed if equalled by those accorded to any previous writer. "In
vigor and pointedness of description, Mr. Parkman may be counted
superior to Irving," said the New York Tribune. The London Athenæum
accorded him "a place alongside of the greatest historians whose works
are English classics." The late George William Curtis referred to his
theme as "a subject which Mr. Parkman has made as much his own as Motley
the 'Dutch Republic,' or Macaulay the 'English Revolution.'" "He has
taken," said The Spectator, "musty records, skeletons of facts, dry
bones of barest history, and breathed on them that they might live." His
books have been pronounced "as fascinating as any of Scott's novels;" he
has been termed "Easily the first of living historians;" his
descriptions of Indian life have been described as unsurpassed, and his
sketches of lake and forest scenery praised as "of exquisite beauty."

"Pioneers of France in the New World" was followed in 1867 by "The
Jesuits in North America." "Few passages of history," said the author,
"are more striking than those which record the efforts of the earlier
French Jesuits to convert the Indians. Full as they are of dramatic and
philosophic interest, bearing strongly on the political destinies of
America, and closely involved with the history of its native population,
it is wonderful that they have been left so long in obscurity."

The historian, in this as in all his works, endeavored to write with the
utmost fairness, basing all his conclusions on authorities and
documents. In the preface to a later work, "A Half Century of Conflict,"
he says: "The statements of secondary writers have been accepted only
when found to conform to the evidence of contemporaries whose writings
have been sifted with the greatest care. As extremists on each side have
charged me with favoring the other, I hope I have been unfair to

The third volume in the series, "La Salle and the Discovery of the Great
West," appeared in 1869, and embodied the exploits and adventures of the
first European explorers of the Valley of the Mississippi, the efforts
of the French to secure the whole interior of the Continent, the attempt
of La Salle to find a westward passage to India, his colony on the
Illinois, his scheme of invading Mexico, his contest with the Jesuits,
and his assassination by his own followers. The leading personages in
this remarkable narrative are the intrepid Cavelier de la Salle, Henri
de Tonty, his lieutenant, Hennepin, the historian of the expedition,
Joliet and Marquette, the explorers of the Mississippi, etc. This volume
is of especial value and interest to the people of the Northwest,
giving, as it does, the early history of their own homes.

Five years elapsed before the author was able to complete the fourth
volume of the series, "The Old Régime in Canada," which was published in
1874. In the preface he quotes De Tocqueville, who said: "The
physiognomy of a government can best be judged by its colonies, for
there its characteristic traits usually appear larger and more distinct.
When I wish to judge of the spirit and the faults of the administration
of Louis XIV., I must go to Canada. Its deformity is there seen as
through a microscope." Mr. Parkman, in "The Old Régime in Canada,"
portrayed the attempt of the monarchical administration of France to
make good its hold on the North American continent. "The means of
knowing the Canada of the past," wrote Mr. Parkman, "are ample. The pen
was always busy in this outpost of the old monarchy. The king and the
minister demanded to know everything; and officials of high and low
degree, soldiers and civilians, friends and foes, poured letters,
despatches, and memorials, on both sides of every question, into the lap
of the government." Among the strikingly important events treated of in
this work are the Jesuit Missions to Onondaga, the Holy Wars of
Montreal, the heroic death of Dollard and his companions at Long Saut,
the foundation of the Laval Seminary, the chastisement of the Mohawks,
the importation of wives for the Canada emigrants, the transplantation
of feudalism into Canada, the development of trade and industry in New
France, etc.

An entire volume of the series is devoted to the Life of Count
Frontenac, the great French governor of Canada. "Count Frontenac and New
France under Louis XIV." was issued in 1877. Parkman describes him in
the preface as "the most remarkable man who ever represented the crown
of France in the New World. He grew with every emergency and rose equal
to every crisis. Under the rule of Frontenac occurred the first serious
collision of the great rival Powers.... The present volume will show how
valiantly, and for a time how successfully, New France battled against a
fate which her own organic fault made inevitable. Her history is a great
and significant drama, enacted among untamed forests, with a distant
gleam of courtly splendor and the regal pomp of Versailles." A large
portion of the volume is devoted to the warfare between the French and
English, including the Iroquois Invasion, the attack on Schenectady, the
unsuccessful Massachusetts attack on Quebec under Sir William Phips, the
border warfare against New England, and the war in Acadia.

With the possibility that he might not live to complete his design, Mr.
Parkman passed over the period between 1700 and 1748, and for seven
years devoted himself to the preparation of Montcalm and Wolfe, the
longest of his works, issued in two volumes, in 1884. His popularity had
been, since the publication of "Pioneers of France," constantly
increasing, but "Montcalm and Wolfe" at once directed universal
attention to his writings, and gave him a greater reputation than he had
achieved by all the previous volumes of the series. The subject, a great
one, had never before received the study and research given to it by
Parkman. He visited and examined every spot where events of any
importance in connection with the contest took place, examined documents
in the archives and libraries of France and England, great numbers of
autograph letters, diaries, etc., had access through the permission of
the present Marquis de Montcalm to all the letters written by General
Montcalm to members of his family in France, searched the voluminous
records of the colonial history of New York and Pennsylvania, and used
in the preparation of the work a large amount of unpublished material,
the papers copied in France alone exceeding six thousand folio pages of
manuscript. He began the work with sketches of the condition of England
and France and the Colonies in the eighteenth century (1745), treated of
the conflict for the West, the conflict for Acadia, the colony of
Virginia under Dinwiddie, and the defeat of Washington at Fort
Necessity, the death of Braddock, the removal of the Acadians, the
expedition against Crown Point, Shirley and the Border War in 1755-1756,
and the arrival of Montcalm, the first volume concluding with chapters
on the massacre at Fort William Henry.

The second volume opened with a description of the events in the years
1757-1758, sketched the character of Intendant Bigot, discussed Pitt and
Newcastle, described the Siege of Louisbourg, the destruction of Gaspé
by Wolfe, the death of Howe at Ticonderoga, the expedition of Bradstreet
against Ticonderoga, the evacuation of Fort Duquesne, and Governor
Vaudreuil's jealousy of Montcalm. More than half of the volume is
devoted to the expedition against Quebec under Wolfe, the capture of the
Heights of Abraham, the death of Montcalm and Wolfe, the fall of Quebec,
and the description of the ruins of the town, the volume closing with
chapters on the Fall of Canada and the Peace of Paris.

The work was reviewed in the United States, in Canada, and in England as
a masterpiece of military history and the first authentic, full,
sustained, and worthy narrative of these momentous events and
extraordinary men.

The author's physical condition greatly retarded the completion of his
labor; but in 1892, fifty years after he had planned his history, he was
able to finish his task with the sixth part of the series, "A Half
Century of Conflict," in two 8 volumes, the preparation of which had
been put aside, as previously stated, in order that he might write the
work which he considered of the utmost importance to his design,
"Montcalm and Wolfe." "A Half Century of Conflict" covers the years 1700
to 1748, and makes the series form a continuous history of the efforts
of France to occupy and control the American Continent. The importance
of the at one time almost unhoped for completion of this great literary
enterprise received due attention on all sides.

"The completion of this history," said the New York Times, "is an event
that should awaken interest wherever historical genius can be
appreciated. Since Prescott, Motley, and Bancroft, Francis Parkman alone
has thoroughly sustained American reputation in this field. He has not
only sustained, but has measurably increased that reputation, for his
work ranks with the most brilliant and lasting historical undertakings
that have marked the past fifty years. The charm of his narrative is not
greater than his scholarship, the rare importance of his theme not
greater than the sustained interest with which he has carried it forward
to completion."

"We doubt not," said the Atlantic Monthly, "that we express the feeling
of the whole English-speaking world of literature when we congratulate
the author upon the completion of the imperishable monument which
commemorates his own noble endeavor and the glory of the race to which
he belongs. It is rare indeed that a literary project conceived in youth
is so comprehensive in its character, and is pursued so steadfastly to
its final achievement after nearly fifty years of toil, under
discouragements of physical privation induced by the very devotion which
led the young author at the outset to turn his back upon civilized life,
and to cast in his lot for a time with the race whose ancestors bore so
conspicuous a part in the history which he was to unfold."

The Century Magazine, in commemoration of the event, published a "Note
on the Completion of Mr. Parkman's Work," by Edward Eggleston, and an
Essay, "Francis Parkman," by James Russell Lowell, undertaken by him at
the request of the Editor of the Magazine, and left unfinished at his
death. It was the last piece of writing prepared by Mr. Lowell for
publication. "It is a great merit in Mr. Parkman," wrote Lowell, "that
he has sedulously culled from his ample store of documents every
warranted piece of evidence that could fortify or enliven his narrative,
so that we at least come to know the actors in his various dramas as
well as the events in which they shared. And thus the curiosity of the
imagination and that of the understanding are altogether satisfied. We
follow the casualties of battle with the intense interest of one who has
friends or acquaintance there. Mr. Parkman's familiarity also with the
scenery of his narratives is so intimate, his memory of the eye is so
vivid, as almost to persuade us that ourselves have seen what he
describes. We forget ourselves, to swim in the canoe down rivers that
flow out of one primeval silence to lose themselves in another, or to
thread those expectant solitudes of forest (insuetum nemus) that seem
listening with stayed breath for the inevitable axe, and then launch our
birchen egg-shells again on lakes that stretch beyond vision into the
fairyland of conjecture. The world into which we are led touches the
imagination with pathetic interest. It is mainly a world of silence and
of expectation, awaiting the masters who are to subdue it and to fill it
with the tumult of human life, and of almost more than human energy."

Mr. Eggleston, in his Century Magazine article, said: "It is possible
that the historian of the last quarter of the nineteenth century in
America will find few events more notable than the completion of the
work of Mr. Francis Parkman,--that series of historical narratives, now
at last grown to one whole, in which the romantic story of the rise, the
marvellous expansion, and the ill-fated ending of the French power in
North America is for the first time adequately told. Since its charms
have been set before us in Mr. Parkman's picturesque pages, it is easy
to understand that it is one of the finest themes that ever engaged the
pen of a historian. But before a creative spirit had brooded upon it,
while it yet lay formless and void, none but a man of original genius
could have discovered a theme fit for a master in the history of a
remote and provincial failure. And yet in no episode of human history is
the nature of man seen in more varied action than in this story of the
struggles of France and England in the new world.... I do not believe
that the literature of America can show any historical composition at
once so valuable and so delightful as the two volumes entitled 'Montcalm
and Wolfe,' with which the whole work culminates."

The Nation, reviewing "A Half Century of Conflict," termed the work "the
completion of a memorable undertaking. The task was one of the most
important to which an American historian could devote his pen. Mr.
Parkman's painstaking research has earned him a permanent place in the
front rank of American writers of history, while the brilliancy of the
style in which his thought is clothed imparts a charm to his narrative
unsurpassed by that of Prescott or Motley. He may well look back with
satisfaction on the stately series of volumes in which he has narrated
the great attempt to plant on American soil the civilization and
institutions of royal France,--a drama heroic and tragic enough to claim
the admiration of those who most sincerely rejoice that it ended in
essential failure."

"If we have objected to nothing in these histories," wrote Mr. W. D.
Howells, in a review of Parkman's finished works, "it is because we have
no fault to find with them. They appear to us the fruit of an altogether
admirable motive directing indefatigable industry, and they present the
evidence of thorough research and thoughtful philosophization....
Whatever may be added to his labors, they will remain undisturbed as
thorough, beautiful, and true."

Constantly engaged as Mr. Parkman was in the examination of documents,
letters, and archives bearing on the subject of his works, new material
not at hand when the histories were first penned was at various times
discovered, necessitating 11 new editions of several of his works with
important revisions and additions.

The new edition of "The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after
the Conquest of Canada," published in 1870, was enlarged to two volumes,
a large amount of additional material having come to light, notably the
Bouquet and Haldimand papers added to the manuscript collections of the
British Museum. Although originally published prior to "France and
England in North America," this work forms a sequel to that series.

The edition of "Pioneers of France in the New World" published in 1885
included the results of new documentary evidence, and a more exact
knowledge of the localities connected with the French occupation of
Florida, acquired from a special visit made by Mr. Parkman to that

A new edition of "La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West" appeared
in 1878 with very important additions, derived from the Margry
collection of documents relating to La Salle and the narrative of his
companion Joutel. Although the new material confirmed nearly every
statement made in the first edition, it added new facts and threw new
light on the character of La Salle, so that the author found it
desirable to rewrite the work and to add a map of the country traversed
by the explorers.

A revised edition of "The Old Régime in Canada" was published in 1893.
When this work was first written, the author was unable to obtain access
to indispensable papers relating to the rival claimants of Acadia, La
Tour and D'Aunay, and therefore deferred treating the subject. These
papers afterwards came to hand, and the missing chapters, embracing
fifty pages, were written and included in the new edition under the
title of "The Feudal Chiefs of Acadia." This edition also contains other
additional matter.

Mr. Parkman's death occurred Nov. 8, 1893, a little more than a year
after the completion of his work. It is a matter of congratulation that
not only did he live to finish his undertaking, but that he was able to
revise or rewrite such of his earlier works as required it because of
the discovery of new material.

At a special meeting held shortly after Mr. Parkman's death by the
Massachusetts Historical Society, to which he gave his manuscripts and
autobiography, the latter afterwards printed in The Harvard Graduates'
Magazine, the following minute was adopted:--

"The members of the Massachusetts Historical Society would relieve the
sadness with which they enter upon their records the loss by death of
their honored and eminent associate, Francis Parkman, by assigning to
him the highest awards of ability, fidelity, and signal success as an
American historian. He had won at home and abroad that place of chiefest
honor. The work which he has wrought was one of freshness, reserved,
because it had been seeking and waiting for him. And it came to him with
all its attractions and exactions, finding in him the most rare and
richly combined qualities of genius, aptitude, taste, and unique
sympathetic fitness, to turn its romances, heroisms, and enterprises,
with the enrichments of character and grace, into history. Nor would we
fail to express our respectful and admiring estimate of the
impressiveness of his character, of his noble manliness, his gentle mien
and ways, and the patient perseverance of his spirit in its triumphing
over physical infirmities."

At the memorial services held at Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, Dec. 7,
1893, President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard University spoke as

"How remarkable is his work when we consider that he had only a few
moments each day that he could devote to study! We draw from his life
the same lesson as from that of Darwin. Not more than twenty minutes at
a time could Darwin devote himself to his work, and rarely more than
twice each day; yet see the store of knowledge he has opened up to us.
With Parkman it was the same. Rarely could he study over half an hour at
a time, yet left us a great monument.

"His ideal manhood was the highest and purest. It was this that made the
tone of his writing so ennobling and uplifting. Above all things he
abhorred fanaticism and intolerance, and very naturally, after depicting
the physical and moral sufferings in the new world.

"His life was a noble lesson to students, particularly in the steadfast
sticking to duty to the very last. He never appeared in public. He did
not love prominence. His influence was quiet and subtle. But his name
will remain long in human memory."

Among the speakers was Dr. John Fiske, who said,--

"Some thirty years ago, there appeared a history of Pontiac. It at once
attracted attention because it made real men of the Indians and gave a
true insight into their real character and importance in history. It was
because Parkman showed a full knowledge of them that he first got hold
of the world. He was more powerful than Prescott because he was true to

"He was a great historian because coupled with his knowledge were a
philosophic insight and a poetic instinct. We can be thankful to heaven
for sending us such a scholar, artist, and genius before it was too

"Parkman is the most American of all our historians because he deals
with purely American history, but at the same time he is a historian for
all mankind and all time, one of the greatest that ever lived."

The Harvard Graduates' Magazine, March, 1894, contained an appreciative
article on Francis Parkman by James Schouler, the prominent law-writer,
and author of "A Constitutional History of the United States." Mr.
Schouler said,--

"The illustrious scholar and historian whose death we have deplored so
recently, found physical drawbacks to his work to hinder and discourage.
But all the greater is his meed of success because he surmounted them.
His life was, on the whole, a happy one, and rounded out in rare
conformity to its appointed task; he passed the Psalmist's full limit of
years, as few of our English-speaking historians have done; and, however
slow or painful might have been his progress, he completed in his riper
years the great enterprise which he had projected in early life. Like
one of those fair roses which in hours of recreation he so fondly
cultivated, his literary reputation has lingered in full blossom,
dispersing its delicate fragrance and beauty among all beholders."

The following tribute is from the pen of E. Irenæus Stevenson, in
Harper's Weekly:--

"In Parkman's hand, history charms us as only the finer fiction can
charm. Clear, sober, and elegant in his style, a natural artist in his
diction, he gave picturesqueness, life, movement, to what he wished to
set before his reader. The child and adult reader alike find him
acceptable. He sacrificed nothing to mere literary effect,--sincerity
was of his essence. Passages in his books linger in one's memory like
chords of grave music; but not as if the lamp and premeditation had
enabled them to be put into the page. To Americans his works are of
thoroughly high interest and importance; and even in view of the
impermanency of so much that is delightful, useful, and distinguished in
the world's literature, it is not easy to fancy that they can be

The extracts given below are from a long review of Parkman's Life and
Works, in The Nation:--

"The passing away of Francis Parkman leaves vacant the first place among
American writers of history. His title to this pre-eminence has been
increasingly recognized with every new contribution to the fascinating
series of volumes which bear his name.... The historical reputation of
Mr. Parkman--in a considerable degree contrasted with that of Prescott
and Motley, and very strikingly in contrast with that of Bancroft--is
seen to be one which steadily grows with more intimate acquaintance with
his work. That this is the case is due not so much to the dignity of his
theme and its aptitude for splendid workmanship upon it, though his
theme lacks nothing in this regard, as to the personal qualities which
Mr. Parkman himself brought to his undertaking,--his absolute sincerity,
his painstaking perseverance, his fine moral sense, his judicial
equipoise, his wholesome, uncloistered sympathy with nature and with
outdoor things, his self-repression, and his chaste, unexaggerating,
conscientious literary taste and skill. The result is that we have in
the volumes of Mr. Parkman the most graphic and most truthful of all our
American historical writings, and the ones likely longest to retain a
place not alone on library shelves, but in living contact with the eyes
and hearts of men."

Critics and reviewers of Parkman's works have been fond of pointing out
that they read like romances, and are more fascinating than novels, and
readers have not found such phrases misplaced. It may be added that
Parkman has influenced writers of fiction and inclined several to select
themes from his own chosen field. One of the novelists who have paid
tribute to the great historian is Mary Hartwell Catherwood, author of
"The Story of Tonty," "The Lady of Fort St. John," etc. She says: "The
humble disciple of a great man has always some timidity in approaching
him or claiming any share of his attention. I have often wished I lived
in the neighborhood of Francis Parkman, and might carry a flower to his
door every day and ask about his health, and once in a while let loose
upon him all that flood of questions which constantly rises in the mind
of a student. The prime fascination of his books, beyond their lucid
style, their compact form, their glow and breadth of forest life, their
presentation of transplanted Latin men and aboriginal savage as each
existed, is their reliability. When you have sifted a dozen
contradictory records, you may turn to him and find that he has been
through much more labor before you, and long ago from just conclusions
wrested the truth. There is scarcely a day in one's life when his
histories are not turned to as handbooks. What a loss if he had never
written them!"

In his preface to "The Refugees," the author, Dr. Conan Doyle, says: "No
man can, without flagrant injustice, write upon the end of the
seventeenth century at the French Court, without acknowledging his
indebtedness to Miss Julia Pardoe, nor can he treat American history of
the same date without owing much to Mr. Francis Parkman."

And the popular writer of boys' books, G. A. Henty, in his preface to
"With Wolfe in Canada," names as one of the two sources from which he
derived "all the historical details of the war," "the excellent work
entitled 'Montcalm and Wolfe,' by Mr. Francis Parkman."

It has been frequently suggested that the best and most enduring
memorial to the great historian would be an adequately illustrated
edition of the noble works the preparation of which occupied almost his
entire life. The suggestions have been warmly seconded, and have met
with favor everywhere, and it is understood that the publication of such
an edition will be begun in the near future.

All of Parkman's works are published by Messrs. Little, Brown & Co.,

                   The Works of Francis Parkman

        The Oregon Trail                                        (1849)
        The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the  (1851)
        Conquest of Canada
        Revised                                                 (1870)
Part               France and England in North America
 1      Pioneers of France in the New World                     (1865)
 1      Revised                                                 (1885)
 2      The Jesuits in North America in the seventeenth century (1867)
 3      The Discovery of the West                               (1869)
 3      La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West ¹          (1879)
 4      The Old Régime in Canada                                (1874)
 4      Revised ²                                               (1894)
 5      Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV.         (1877)
 6      A Half Century of Conflict                              (1892)
 6      Volume 1
 6      Volume 2
 7      Montcalm and Wolfe                                      (1884)
        Vassall Morton                                          (1856)
        The Book of Roses                                       (1866)
        Historic Handbook of the Northern Tour                  (1885)

1. The article cites the release of the revised third part of France and
England in North America as 1878. However, the Tenth Edition of The
Discovery of the West, published 1878, is based on the original edition.
The Eleventh Edition, published 1879, is the revised edition.

2. The article cites the release of the revised fourth part of France
and England in North America as 1893. There was no edition of Part Four
released in 1893. The twenty-sixth edition, released in 1892, is based
on the original edition of Part Four. The earliest revised edition was
released in 1894. The Edition released in 1894 says "Revised, with
Additions." The only copyright date in the 1894 edition is 1874. The
1895 edition added Copyright, 1893 to the copyright page.

Transcriber's Notes


Welcome to Doctrine Publishing Corporation's production of this biographical sketch
and list of the works of Francis Parkman. Little, Brown, and Company
published this informational pamphlet in 1896 to promote their latest
releases of Francis Parkman's work.

Scanned pages of the original pamphlet may be found on the Hathitrust
web site.  We used the copy courtesy of the University of California for
this transcription.

The table of The Works of Francis Parkman was added by this transcriber.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Francis Parkman." ***

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