In attempting it the author has been actuated by an intense love for his native State, an absorbing interest in its history, and a fondness for etymological studies, particularly in the field of personal and local nomenclature.
The book is a modest effort in a comparatively new field of research.
All times, races, and languages have brought their contribution.
"None can care for literature in itself who do not take a special pleasure in the sound of names ; and there is no part of the world where nomenclature is so rich, poetical, humorous, and picturesque, as the United States of America.
They may always be re- garded as records of the past, inviting and rewarding a careful historical interpretation. We may discover the dates at which the several settlements were founded ; we may assign to each of the nations of Europe its proper share in the work of colonization; and, lastly, we may recover the names of the adventurous captains who led their little bands of daring followers to conquer the wilderness from nature or from savage tribes." — Isaac Taylor : Words and Places.
HOWRY ESPENSHADE THE EVANGELICAL PRESS, HARRISBURQ, PENNSYLVANIA ^ CONCERNING AMERICAN NAMES **TOCAL names — whether they belong to provinces, %j cities, and villages, or are the designations of rivers or mountains — are never mere arbitrary sounds, devoid of meaning. By means of the names upon the map, we may trace the whole history of the successive stages by which the white men have spread themselves over the "Western world.
itlliil y Bfe_ ffnfv|' '■ ^\ m •iiiut I i DMliiiiiiunluiu Ihliil! Perhaps the writer should add that fourteen years ago, when he first began to collect material bearing upon the origin, his- torical setting, and meaning of Pennsylvania place names, he had no thought of writing a book, but was simply riding a hobby for his own gratification.
An extensive correspondence as Registrar of The Pennsylvania State College gave him some acquaintance with nearly all the places of consequence in Penn- sylvania, and aroused his interest in their names, and greatly stimulated his curiosity to learn something about their origin.
The large number of letters received from others who seem to be interested in the same subject has led him to believe that the general reader as well as the scholar may possibly find some instruction, entertainment, and profit in learning easily what the writer has found out only after long and patient research.