This delightful book tells the history of the United States from colonial times to the years following the civil war, from a humorous perspective. It is illustrated with dozens of cartoon style illustrations and the author's insights into many of the incidents of American history are insightful as well as humorous. Bill Nye was an American humorist of the late 19th century who founded the Laramie Boomerang, in Wyoming territory.
Facts in a nude state are not liable criminally, any more than bright and beautiful children commit a felony by being born thus; but it is the solemn duty of those having these children in charge to put appropriate, healthful, and even attractive apparel upon them at the earliest possible moment.
It is thus with facts. They are the framework of history, not the drapery. They are like the cold, hard, dishevelled, damp, and uncomfortable body under the knife of the demonstrator, not the bright and bounding boy, clothed in graceful garments and filled to every tingling capillary with a soul.
We, each of us, the artist and the author, respect facts. We have never, either of us, said an unkind word regarding facts. But we believe that they should not be placed before the public exactly as they were born. We want to see them embellished and beautified. That is why this history is written.
Certain facts have come into the possession of the artist and author of this book regarding the history of the Republic down to the present day. We find, upon looking over the records and documents on file in the various archives of state and nation, that they are absolutely beyond question, and it is our object to give these truthfully. These rough and untidy, but impregnable truths, dressed in the sweet persuasive language of the author, and fluted, embossed, embroidered, and embellished by the skilful hand of the artist, are now before you.
History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished, and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs.
If we succeed in this way, and administer historical truth in the smooth capsule of the cartoonist and the commentator, we are content. If not, we know whose fault it will be, but will not get mad and swear about it.
FRED'K B. OPPER.