This book is written for a purpose. It is founded upon actual occurrences. Betsy and Jobe Gaskins are characters well known to you, if you will but reflect upon events coming under your own observation within the past few years. The author claims no inspiration or gift of genius. This is only a simple statement of facts deserving the consideration of every intelligent human being. While you read these pages, if you will permit your intelligence to assert itself over your prejudices, and if finally you will do that which the nobler instincts of man prompt you to do toward bringing about a better condition of things under the government of which you are a part, the author will be fully repaid for his labor. He asks you only to keep in mind at all times that Jobe Gaskins is your brother; that Betsy Gaskins is your sister. W. I. Hood. New Philadelphia, Ohio, April 24, 1897.