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OF all the diversified publications which may be productive of public utility, there is none of greater magnitude, none more deserving general attention, none more intrinsically momentous to the citizens of America, than the subject of our investigation. The primary cause of the premature annihilation of modern as well as ancient republics, was the impolitic lassitude of their citizens, in not guarding with indefatigable assiduity, the palladiums of their social and religious rights; investigating the basis of their political and. unalienable privileges; and defending with tenfold solicitude the republican principles of their respective governments. The matter in this performance is supremely interesting to mankind collectively, as well as the citizens of a republic individually. The freedom and happiness of Adam's family, are objects which equally merit the consideration of the savage and the sage, the peasant ard the philosopher, the historian and the divine; in short, the information deriyed from the investigation of this subject, and which cannot be investigated too often, is of such a nature, that there is not an individual of the human species to whom it may not produce the most permanent advantages. On a subject of such importance many authors, both in the old and new worlds, have written, several of whose performances are deservedly eulogised as works of sterling merit. But I must say few have had the opportunity of gaining the practical, as well as theoretical information on this subject, which

Providence has put in my power; and none can be under such cogent obligations, to expose the barbarities of my accomplices in villainy, which I have personally witnessed, as I undoubtedly am. It will appear evident to every discerning mind, that I am perfectly correct, when I affirm, that this subject is impeperiously momentous to the people of America, and is essentially connected with their interest, their honor, their prosperity, and their patriotism. In every nation the subject matter of the following tragical poem, would be deemed important; but to the body politic, whose very existence exclusively depends upon the purity of their political principles, it must be doubly important. Liberty, disrobed and in tears, has been chased round the globe, has been banished from every government in the world but the federal government of the United States; here she has fled for refuge, here she hopes to find a permament asylum, here she looks to be defended from the innovations of interested demagogues; while the sentiments she inculcates, and the evils she deprecates most, is individual supremacy: for it is a fact, which has been woefully demonstrated, that supremacy in an individual family, or an individual state, is destruction to a republic. What must more forcibly interest the sentimental, as well as the philanthropic reader, is the melancholy consideration that the subsequent poem is drawn from real life; it is alas far from being the fictitious phantoms of the novelist or the romancer; the principal scenes depictured are literally transacted every year; the concomitant catastrophies, resulting from the deleterious commerce of the human species, are in reality far more tragical than those delineated in the poem. Many of the events recorded, which are recent in my memory, I have been scrupulously circumspect in particularizing, and no matter is admitted in the notes but what is of undisputed authenticity. In rendering an account of those famous, or rather infamous tyrants, who have so long signalized themselves by their unparalleled brutality, I have in

conjunction with my own personal knowledge, availed myself of the most unexceptionable documents which my obscure situation, relative avocations, and local circumstances would allow me to procure. Perspicuity instead of elegance, utility instead of method, the developement of truth instead of the flowers of rhetoric, have been my primary objects in the prosecution of

the work.

In' the present performance, in common with many others, literary inaccuracies and deviations from the radical rules of composition will no doubt be recognized, but the reader must remember that in the execution of the work I have labored under many formidable disadvantages, inconveniences, and interruptions resulting from domestic avocations, etc: that part of the poem was compiled some years past, when I had little expectation of submitting it to the indiscriminate inspection, and scrutinizing investigation of a discerning public, and on transcribing it for publication I found it utterly impracticable to arrange it systematically that I have not had the assistance or advice of any judicious friend in preparing, or even perusing my manuscript poem previous to publication; and that I could not without being guil.y of the basest ingratitude to my most gracious Creator, unparalleled treachery to my wretched fellow creatures, without anticipating the anger of heaven, and the execration of my own conscience, procrastinate the work any longer, especially as its objects were, the vindication of injured innocence, not reputation; the good, and not the praise of man. For the plaudits of the great I will not sue, their censures I do not fear. Without spending one thought on those futile considerations, I will advocate the rights of man, being well convinced that when I drop the curtain of mortality I will be perfectly insensible both to the one and the other. These paramount considerations, with others which might be adduced, will no doubt apologize for obvious imperfections and desultory arrangements; and let it be remembered, that many sanguine animadversions, and literal repetitions

in this work, are the spontaneous effusions of a grateful heart, dictated by the unutterable thankfulness I feel to that wise benificent Being, who great in goodness and good in greatness, worked that conviction in my mind, which enabled me to relinquish the wages of unrighteousness, and to prefer virtue cloathed in rags, to vice arrayed in gold, and who now strengthens and stimulates me to forego my native diffidence and pride, and regardless of the despot's imperious frown, and the critic's malicious sneer, to exhibit to popular execration, the legal barbarity of the traitors and tyrants of mankind.

Whatever reception this work may meet with, the Omniscient is my witness, that my motives are disinterested, generous and pure, and I have used my very best endeavours to accommodate it to the various tastes of the different classes of readers. They whom an enlig..tened taste and liberal education have made proficients in literature, will be thoroughly sensible how very difficult it must be to accomplish such an object; and they will, no doubt, not only be the first to discern, but the most ready to pardon those errors into which so hazardous an attempt may perhaps have betrayed me. They will nurture, rather than nip, the smallest bud of genius to its full blossom, and will finally with the soft and gentle hand of candor, draw a vail over literary errors, and permit the merits of the cause and the purity of my motives to plead my excuse.

Agreeable to previous notification, the author, (from a number of recommendatory letters,) selects the subsequent documents, from the Governor of Antigua, and the principal Secretary of State; the originals of which he will chearfully present for the inspection of those who wish farther testimonials respecting his moral character.

ANTIGUA, MAY 18, 1797.

I DO CERTIFY, That the Bearer of this, THOMAS BRANAGAN, has lived upon the estate of THOMAS LANGFORD BROOKE, ESQ. under the direction of LANGFORD LOvell HODGE, ESQ. for near twelve months: during which time he has conducted himself to the satisfaction of the said HODGE, who had the management of the said estate, and to myself, as the Attorney, and general superintendant of the said BROOKE's affairs; and he leaves the employment for the purpose of going to Ireland, to make enquiry after some property, which he informs me has lately been left to him by his father.


To whom it may concern.

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