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To The Parishioners of Durham Parish:

            At our Bi-Centennial Celebration, in August, 1892, I promised
the Vestry to publish my historical sketch of this Parish. Circumstan-
ces prevented my doing so, at the time, and the idea was finally aban-
doned. But so many requests have been made recently for the publica-
tion of the Address that it were churlish longer to refuse. I have, there-
fore, carefully re-written the entire sketch, adding much new material
and giving several footnotes on matters which seemed to be germane to
the subject. I trust that this Monograph will not be lacking in interest
or instruction to you at least. It is not too much to say that most at-
tempts at local history are not worth the paper on which they are print-
ed. They are the "dry bones" of history, rather than History itself,
are insufferably dull and unreadable,-and are besides, too often, full of
inaccuracies and mistakes. Realizing all this, I have endeavored to ex-
amine the original records as far as possible, for myself, an not to trust
the researches of others, or to local tradition. This has involved an
immense amount of work; but, having put my hand to the plow, I was
determined not to turn back, and, besides, in this way, I have been en-
abled to rescue from the "yawning gulf of oblivion" several long-forgot-
ten events which can scarcely fail to prove exceedingly interesting to
all who care for our Parochial History. My only object, in the publica-
tion of this sketch, is to deepen your love for your Colonial Parish and
its quaint old Church. And so (according to the custom of former days)
I dedicate this brochure to you as being those whom I most wish to in-
terest in the subject to which it is devoted.
                              Faithfully Your Friend and Pastor,
                                                                 William P. Painter
Durham Rectory, June 6, 1894

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