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THE public are now presented with the third volume of the American Re-
gister. We are not without hopes that its value may be deemed superior
to that of either of the preceding volumes. The public papers, both foreign
and domestic, relate to the most critical and interesting transactions which
have occurred for many years, and such a selection and arrangement have
been made as was best calculated to display them.

When this work was undertaken, it was impossible to ascertain the quan-
tity and proportion of the matter by which it would be supplied. Its chief
use was justly considered as arising from its being a depository of state papers
and of contemporary history; but it was not imagined that these would de-
mand any large proportion of a thousand compact octavo pages annually. We
have, however, since discovered that these departments alone would amply
occupy the limits to which we have confined ourselves; but a regard to our
original proposals compels us to adhere to our present more miscellaneous
arrangement till the public shall permit us to contract it. Some trivial devi-
ations from this plan will, however, be occasionally indispensible. This de-
viation may most allowably be made with regard to our literary reviews of
foreign and domestic literature. Of the former, the proper materials seldom
come to hand with punctuality; nor is it possible to form even a correct cata-
logue of British publications for any period, till half a year or a year has pre-
viously elapsed. The present state of national intercourse increases this dif-

With regard to domestic literature, the number of original publications is
so scanty, and intelligence concerning them to be collected from so extensive
a field, that a tolerably correct or comprehensive view cannot be obtained or
afforded for a less period than a year. We have, therefore, deferred this
review to our next volume on this account, and because of the unusual abun-
dance of political matter.

The public papers laid before congress during their last session have been
lately published in six octavo volumes. This fact will show the voluminous
extent to which this department of useful literature is liable occasionally to

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extend. All the matters of these volumes are, of course, not equally impor-
tant, and we have therefore selected those which are entitled to our princi-
pal attention. The selection, however, is sparing, notwithstanding the extent
to which it has carried us; and it is our purpose to collect, from the public
documents, for the period during which the Register has subsisted, the ma-
terials of an entire extra or separate volume, which our subscribers are, of
course, at liberty to purchase or not. In this period, many curious details
have been communicated by the president to congress, respecting the situa-
tion of the interior of the United States, abstracted from the journals of
Messrs. Dunbar, Hunter, Sibley, Pike, Lewis, and Clarke. These form a
body of what may be called American travels, and are highly curious and
important. Some of these are preparing for publication on a large scale; but
some of them can scarcely be said to be extant to any useful purpose, mixed
up, as they are, in the journals of congress, with so much bulky, expensive,
and uninteresting matter. It is presumed that a separate and entire collection
of these will be highly acceptable to persons inquisitive into the state of their
native country.

We have been favoured by Mr. Shaler, of New York, with a valuable
manuscript journal of a voyage to the western coast of North America and
the South Sea islands. The importance of this work seemed to us to merit
an early publication.

The editor deems it proper to publish the following letter, received by him
too late for notice in his last volume.

Philadelphia, May 17, 1808.


It was not until lately that I had the pleasure of perusing the first volume
of “The American Register, for 1806-7,” published by you in this city,
wherein you republish a paper headed “Account of the Massacre in St. Do-
mingo, in May, 1806,” with the following editorial annotation:

“The above narrative is an anonymous performance, originally published
in the American newspapers. Its only claim to credit must arise from the
probable nature of the incidents contained in it. Imperfect as this kind of
testimony is, it is, in general, the only kind accessible to a minute historian of
contemporary events, where official intelligence is wanting.”

The compliment paid to the writer of that piece, by a republication in your
respectable miscellany, appears to be nearly done away by that part of your
note, in which you place the credibility of it, because it did not appear in an
official form, upon a very unsure and slender ground. As this piece may be
read with some interest at a distant period of time, and as it is a very great
matter of doubt with me, whether any other gentleman who was present at
the time of that distressing event will ever take the pains to commit it to
print, I have thought proper, in order that its future existence, as a relation
of a historical fact, may be placed upon as firm a basis as my veracity will
allow, to acknowledge that I was the author of the publication in question.

My presence in Cape Francais at the time, enabled me to inform myself
fully of every particular that I have stated, and I pledge myself on its cor-
rectness, as to date, particularity, and truth, as far as human investigation
can extend.

Yours, &c. Condy Racuet.

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