[The action is set] around New Jersey and Manhattan island and environs. The Water-Witch is a trim, beautiful, very fast sailing vessel smuggling goods into the North American colonies of the last Stuart Monarch, Queen Anne. The time is the early second decade of the 18th Century, approximately 1712.
There is nothing imaginary in the fertility of the West. Personal observation has satisfied us that it much surpasses anything that exists in the Atlantic States, unless in exceptions, through the agency of great care and high manuring, or in instances of peculiar natural soil. In these times, men almost fly. We have passed over a thousand miles of territory within the last few days, and have brought the pictures at the two extremes of this journey in close proximity in our mind's eye. Time may lessen that wonderful fertility, and bring the whole country more on a level; but there it now is, a glorious gift from God, which it is devoutly to be wished may be accepted with due gratitude and with a constant recollection of his unwavering rules of right and wrong, by those who have been selected to enjoy it.
This vintage book contains a fascinating account of the history of north America, being an exploration of the legends and traditions of its early settlers. It constitutes an attempt to preserve for future generations of the author’s family, information concerning the conditions of those who lived, struggled, and died in the formative years of American colonisation. “The Legends and Traditions of a Northern County” will appeal to those with an interest in American history, and it would make for a worthy addition to collections of allied literature. Contents include: “An Introduction”, “Early Settlements And Settlers”, “Local Nonclemature”, “The Four Corners”, “Ghosts—ours And Others”, “A Graveyard Romance—a Tragedy And A Scandal”, “Some Abandoned Houses”, “The Red—the Black—and The White Man”, “A Great Highway”, “A Lost Atmosphere”, et cetera. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern edition complete with a specially commissioned new introduction.
In 1833 Cooper returned to the United States and published A Letter to My Countrymen, in which he gave his own version of the controversy and sharply censured his compatriots for their share in it. He followed up with novels and several sets of notes on his travels and experiences in Europe. His Homeward Bound and Home as Found are notable for containing a highly idealized self-portrait.