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Samuel Haycraft's "History of Elizabethtown and Its Surroundings" was published in the Elizabethtown News in 1869 and republished in 1889-90. The preservation of this history through its publication in the News is a happy occurrence, for in no other way would much of the early history of the town have been accurately preserved.Mr. Haycraft was a son of one of the three pioneer settlers of the town, and was born when the town was still an early pioneer settlement. At the time of his death he had lived here 83 years, and he was the only remaining citizen whose life went back to the town's earliest days. Elizabethtown is now 140 years old, and it will not be long before no one will be left whose interest in the town's history is quickened by personal memory of its early inhabitants. When that time comes, traditions will rapidly grow vague, and the knowledge of its early history and characters will be lost. On account of facts like these the Elizabethtown Woman's Club undertook the publication of Haycraft's History in book form. The original suggestion of this came from Mrs. William Allen Pusey, of Chicago. There are many Elizabethtown people both at home and abroad to whom the town is dear and who are interested in preserving its history. When this matter was proposed to them there was a gratifying response which has enabled the club to proceed with the undertaking.Quite aside from local interest and personal feelings there are other good reasons for the publication of this work. It is an exceedingly interesting document, particularly in the vivid description which the writer gives of pioneer customs and conditions. The author loved the town and its early history, and he describes it in vigorous style and with a quaint sense of humor. He was little disturbed in his writing by the laws of composition, but his descriptions flow on easily, and the reader is never uncertain as to what he is trying to say. The original copy has been reproduced without any effort at alteration or correction. A few chapters, composed of material not really a part of the history of the town and its surroundings, have been omitted.
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