NO BETTER proofs of the liberal and philanthropic character of our civil and social institutions in the United States exist, than in the suddenness with which towns and cities have sprung up, and the prosperous condition of the people who inhabit them. The shrewd and restless Yankee, born among the rugged hills of New England, sees that the fertile soil of the West yields a better return to tillage than the hard fields of his father; and that the changes incident to a new society afford a better range for his ambition, and richer pay for his exertions, than like labors in older communities receive; and he leaves the home of his childhood for a new home and fortune at the West.
To this class of adventurers mainly the Holland Purchase owes its settlement and success. They comprised the majority of the people; bringing with them the intelligence, business habits and moral character of their race, they have ever been found among the foremost in changing the wilderness into the abode of civilization.
The first settlers of Albion were chiefly of this stock. Many of them are yet spared among us. The scenes of their early history to them are fraught with the deepest interest, and their children cannot be indifferent in a matter in which they are so much identified.
The memory of events connected with the settlement of this village now exists, for the main part, in the recollection of its old people. Soon these venerable pioneers will have passed away, and uncertain tradition will be all that is left of the knowledge of their times.
With a view to save from oblivion many important facts now resting solely on tradition, or the recollection of witnesses, and to furnish the future inquirer with a collected record, for reference, of statistics of Albion, this little book has been prepared.
The facts it contains are mostly obtained from the lips of those who were eye witnesses to what they related, and from the scanty records of the social organizations among us.
To those persons who have generously assisted him to obtain information needed for the work, the Author presents his thankful acknowledgements, and hopes his Book may find favor in the community for whom it was designed.
Albion, July, 1853
SOURCE: Sketches of village of Albion : containing incidents of its history and progress, from its first settlement, and a statistical account of its trade, schools, societies, manufactures, &c. (1853); Arad Thomas; Albion, N.Y.