This edition of Abram's Plains is one of a series of editions of early Canadian long poems that has been made possible by a generous grant from the Academic Development Fund of the University of Western Ontario. For the generosity of the University and the confidence of many colleagues, most notably, J.F. Woodruff, the Chairman of the Department of English, T.J. Collins, the Dean of Arts at the time of the Academic Development Fund grant, and the Adjudicating Committee and external referees of the A.D.F., all of us involved in the editing of Abram's Plains are profoundly grateful.
To the staff of the Bibliothèque de la Ville de Montréal, particularly to the Chief Librarian of the Collection Gagnon, Daniel Olivier, thanks are due for making available the copy of Abram's Plains upon which this edition is based. Thanks are also due to Robert Montague and Patrice Landry of the Canadian Institute for Historical Microproductions for help in obtaining a photographic copy of Abram's Plains.
I owe a special debt to R.J. Shroyer, my partner in the project to edit early Canadian long poems; his computing skills, his shrewd insights and his unstintingly generous gifts of enthusiasm, advice and time have made the production of this edition practically possible, intellectually engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. I also owe a special debt to Carolyn Quick on three counts: for her careful work in processing and proofing this edition of Abram's Plains; for her diligent researches into the background of the poem and its author; and for her continual good humour in the face of the many difficulties and problems encountered in persuading computers to co-operate in the production of scholarly editions. Thanks are also due to several people at the University of Western Ontario and elsewhere, especially Michael Williams, E.J. Devereux, H. Pearson Gundy, Pamela Jeffrey, Allan Somerset, James Miller, Robin McGrath, Ian MacLaren, Thomas B. Vincent and J.M. Zezulka, who have assisted in one way or another in the production of this edition. My final and greatest debt remains, however, to my wife Susan, the custodian of that tranquility of which Cary speaks with near eloquence in Abram's Plains, 488-489.