Having an intimate acquaintance with parties cognizant of the facts related, and feeling certain of the literal truth of the statements contained in this history, he offers it to the people of the United States, with the belief that its perusal will greatly modify the views of those even who are most prejudiced against the summary retribution of mountain law, and with the conviction that all honest and impartial men will be willing to admit both the wisdom of the course pursued and the salutary effect of the rule of the Vigilantes in the Territory of Montana.
It is also hoped that the history of the celebrated body, the very mention of whose name sounded as a death-knell in the ears of the murderers and Road Agents, will be edifying and instructive to the general reader. The incidents related are neither trivial in themselves, nor unimportant in their results; and, while rivalling fiction in interest, are unvarnished accounts of transactions, whose fidelity can be vouched by thousands.
As a literary production, the author commits it to the examination of the critical without a sigh. If any of these authorslayers are inclined to be more severe in their judgment than he is himself, he trusts they will receive the reward to which their justice entitles them; and if they should pass it by he cannot but think that they will exercise a sound discretion, and avoid much useless labor. With all its imperfections, here it is.
THOS. J. DIMSDALE.