From the foreword:
The ensuing narrative is a faithful record of life in Cooperstown from the earliest times, except that the persons and events to be described have been selected for their story-interest, to the exclusion of much that a history is expected to contain. The dull thread of village history has been followed only in such directions as served for stringing upon it and holding to the light the more shining gems of incident and personality to which it led. Trivial happenings have been included for the sake of some quaint, picturesque, or romantic quality. Much of importance has been omitted that declined to yield to such treatment as the writer had in view. The effort has been made to exclude everything that seemed unlikely to be of interest to the general reader. Those who seek family records, or the mention of all names worthy to be recorded in the history of the village, will find the book wanting.
The local history has been already three times recorded, first in 1838 by Fenimore Cooper, whose work was brought down to date by S. T. Livermore in 1863, and by Samuel M. Shaw in 1886. While now out of print many copies of these books are still accessible.