The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XV. Colonial and Revolutionary Literature; Early National Literature, Part I.

II. The Historians, 1607–1783.

§ 19. Political Histories.

It seems certain that most of the books on the Indians were written in answer to a popular demand. The same could not be said of the political histories, which began to appear in the first half of the eighteenth century. The impulse behind such works is perhaps best stated in the words of Stith, of Virginia, who said that he began to write his history as “a noble and elegant entertainment for my vacant hours, which it is not in my power to employ more to my own satisfaction, or the use and benefit of my country.” Few of the historians of this class had a large number of readers.   33