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A few words may not be out of place in explanation of the circumstances that brought me to Formosa and resulted in the preparation of this work.<br><br>On the return voyage from the Peary Arctic Expedition, I learned from a member of the Relief Party, of the outbreak of war between Japan and China, and, long before reaching American shores, I had decided to arrange, if possible, to visit the scene of hostilities. Soon after my arrival, I was fortunate in obtaining support from a newspaper syndicate, and in December, 1894, proceeded to Japan. March, 1895, found me in Formosa, watching the Chinese military preparations to oppose the then expected Japanese invasion.<br><br>To my surprise, I then learned that there was no book in the English language which dealt with the island in anything like an exhaustive manner. What works did exist, however valuable in their way, were more or less limited in scope, and none of them appeared to touch upon the resources, trade, or industrial affairs of the island. This, together with the exceptionally fortunate position in which I found myself, as war correspondent with the Japanese army, for doing justice to that very important epoch in Formosan history which includes the occupation of the island by the Japanese (1895) and the consequent termination of the Chinese regime, induced me to undertake the work. It will be seen that, throughout the book, I have consistently adopted the historic point of view in the treatment of all subjects, my opinion being that far more vivid ideas may be obtained of a land and its people by following the country through its trials and tribulations, its prosperity and success, than by merely describing it from a survey of present conditions.<br><br>Having decided to write the book, my first task was to collect as large a library of reference books, manuscripts, and papers as was procurable. The chief present-day works to which grateful recognition is due are: -<br><br>"Missionary Success in Formosa" an excellent work by that well-known authority, the Rev. William Campbell, F.R.G.S. This book deals with episodes relating to missionary work including that undertaken during the Dutch occupation.<br><br>"The Japanese Expedition to Formosa" (1874), a very complete and valuable treatise, kindly placed at my disposal by its author, the late Mr. E. H. House.