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In assuming the task of making selections from the letters of Martha Smith, and arranging and preparing them for the press, we were in some degree aware of the difficulty of the undertaking, and not unmindful of the responsibility that would rest upon us. We would willingly have been excused from the service, and have confided it to more experienced hands; but the lot seemed to fall upon us; and being convinced, from a perusal of her letters, that there was much matter in them too valuable to be lost, or limited even to her family and intimate friends, we were made willing to submit to the undertaking.
It will be seen that a large number of her letters were written to her family at home, whilst engaged in religious visits to various parts of the country. These were in many instances almost exclusively made up of directions about domestic concerns, and narrative of her journeyings-remarks about the country, people and things she saw, intended for the entertainment of her family, and however interesting and instructive they might have been to them, it is not believed they would be so to the general reader.
Thus much it seemed proper to say, to account for