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Letters from an American Farmer
H. de Crevecoeur

Page 1 of 382


LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN FARMER 

INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY WARREN BARTON BLAKE 

INTRODUCTION 

Hazlitt wrote that of the three notable writers whom the eighteenth
century had produced, in the North American colonies, one was "the
author (whoever he was) of the American Farmer's Letters."
Crevecoeur was that unknown author; and Hazlitt said further of him
that he rendered, in his own vividly characteristic manner, "not
only the objects, but the feelings, of a new country." Great is the
essayist's relish for passages descriptive of "a battle between two
snakes," of "the dazzling, almost invisible flutter of the humming-
bird's wing," of the manners of "the Nantucket people, their frank
simplicity, and festive rejoicings after the perils and hardships of
the whale-fishing." "The power to sympathise with nature, without
thinking of ourselves or others, if it is not a definition of
genius, comes very near to it," writes Hazlitt of our author.  And

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