Excerpt from The History of the Hen Fever: A Humorous Record
In preparing the following pages, I have had the opportunity to inform myself pretty accurately regarding the ramification of the subject upon which I have written herein; and I have endeavored to avoid setting down "aught in malice" in this "History of the Hen Fever" in the United States.
I have followed this extraordinary mania from its incipient stages to its final death, or its cure, as the reader may elect to term its conclusion. The first symptoms of the fever were exhibited in my own house at Roxbury, Mass., early in the summer of 1849. From that time down to the opening of 1855 (or rather to the winter of 1854), I have been rather intimately connected with the movement, if common report speaks correctly; and I believe I have seen as much of the tricks of this trade as one usually meets with in the course of a single natural life.
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