Dover (1967) unabridged republication of the the work first published by the North Carolina Historical Commission in 1929. It contains a new introduction by Percy G. Adams. Index. 340pp. 5.375 x 8 inches. Paperbound. ISBN 0-486-25553-0.
One of the most important and entertaining documents of early America is this work by William Byrd (1674-1744). A Virginian aristocrat, landowner, author, and governor, Byrd served as a commissioner in the 1728 survey conducted to establish the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina.
Byrd wrote two accounts of that expedition. The shorter Secret History of the Line is a baldly stated, frank account in which the sharp antagonism among the members of the commission is wittily reported and the participants concealed behind mocking fictitious names. The more formal History of the Dividing Line contains invaluable notes on the botany and zoology of the area (complete enough a coverage to amount to an early natural history of this part of the country) and on the customs, superstitions, and ways of life of the Indians and the few white settlers.
In this edition, with its introduction and numerous running footnotes by William K. Boyd, the two Histories are printed on facing pages, each adding perspective to the other. They can be read as journals of wilderness exploration and adventuring, as social and natural history, or as the major work of one of the finest pre-Revolutionary writers in America.
(The above commentary is provided by Dover Publications, Inc.)
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