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THE DEPARTURE OF THE MAYFLOWER
Four years have come and gone since first you asked me
to write a Story of the United States "lest you should grow
up knowing nothing of your own country." I think, however,
that you are not yet very grown up, not yet too
"proud and great" to read my book. But I hope that you
know something already of the history of your own country.
For, after all, you know, this is only a play book. It
is not a book which you need knit your brows over, or in
which you will find pages of facts, or politics, and long
strings of dates. But it is a book, I hope, which when you
lay it down will make you say, "I'm glad that I was born
an American. I'm glad that I can salute the stars and
stripes as my flag."
Yes, the flag is yours. It is in your keeping and in that of
every American boy and girl. It is you who in the next
generation must keep it flying still over a people free and
brave and true, and never in your lives do aught to dim
the shining splendour of its silver stars.
Always your friend,
During my residence in California the Trustees of the
A. K. Smiley Library, Redlands, with charming hospitality
procured for me (sometimes sending the whole breadth of
the continent for them) the many books necessary for the
writing of this sketch of American history. Without this
courtesy and kindness on their part it would have been
impossible for me to continue my work while in California,
and it gives me much pleasure thus publicly to acknowledge
my indebtedness to them.