IN American politics the Scottish
race has been represented by Thomas H. Benton, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson
Davis, James G. Blaine, Thomas A. Hendricks, Joseph E. MacDonald, John
Bell, Alexander H. Stephens, Samuel Randall, J. C. Breckenridge, John G.
Carlisle, Simon Cameron, the Livingstons, of New York, William B. Allison,
John B. Gibson, Matthew S. Quay, Calvin S. Brice, Marcus A. Hanna,
Whitelaw Reid, J. Sterling Morton, Wayne McVeagh, Chauncey Mitchell Depew,
Robert Todd Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Adlai E. Stevenson, Stephen B.
Elkins, Daniel S. Lamont, Arthur P.. Gorman, William McKinley, and
Robert Patterson (1743-1824), who
emigrated to Pennsylvania from County Down, Ireland, in 1768, was a
teacher and fought in the Revolution. He was for thirty-five years
professor of mathematics in the University of Pennsylvania after 1779,
from 1810-1813 Vice Provost; and was the author of many mathematical and
philosophical works. He was appointed by President Jefferson Director of
the Mint in 1805, an office he filled with great credit.
Daniel Webster (1782-1852), New
Englandís greatest statesman, was descended from the New Hampshire Scots.
The two intellectual giants, Benjamin Franklin Wade (1800-1878) and Joshua
Giddings (1795-1864), the great anti-slavery leader, were both of Scottish
origin. Wade's parents were so poor, states his biographer, that he
received a great part of his education at the knee of his Scotch
Presbyterian mother. He was for eighteen years after 1851 a United States
Senator from Ohio, whence he removed from Massachusetts, and was one of
the founders of the Republican party.
The paternal grandfather of John
Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850) was James Calhoun, who emigrated from Donegal
to Pennsylvania in 1733. His father, Patrick Calhoun, surveyor and
pioneer, had a distinguished career in the Revolution. His mother, Martha
Caldwell, was daughter of an Ulster Presbyterian emigrant to Virginia.
Henry Clay, "the great Pacificator"
(1777-1852), was born in Virginia of Ulster-Scottish parents. He was
Secretary of State under President Adams, Speaker of the House, and three
times candidate for the presidency. He was a member of the Conference of
Ghent, which ended the War of 1812-1815. The recent anniversary of this
treaty, signed December 24, 1814, marked a hundred years of peace between
English-speaking people, and was appropriately celebrated throughout the
Hugh Maxwell (1787-1873), a native
of Paisley, Scotland, Collector of the Port of New York, 1849-1852, under
the administration of presidents Taylor and Fillmore, achieved a notable
career as a lawyer in New York. He was Assistant Junior Advocate General
of the United States Army in 1814. In recognition of his services as
District Attorney of the City of New York, 1819, he was presented by the
merchants of the city with a costly silver vase, which may now be seen at
the New York Law Institute. It is Maxwell that the poet Fitzgreen Halleck
lampoons as "MacSurll."
Walter Lowrie, a native of Edinburgh, entered the
Pennsylvania State Senate at the age of twenty-seven, and seven years
later was elected to the United States Senate. In 1824 he was Secretary of
the Senate. In 1837 he became Secretary of the Foreign Missionary Society
of the Presbyterian Church, holding the office for thirty-two years, until
his death in 1868. He was founder of the Congressional Prayer Meeting and
the Congressional Total Abstinence Society.
Three members of President Lincolnís cabinet were of
undoubted Scottish ancestry. Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873) was the
ninth generation from Thomas Chase and sixth generation from Aquila Chase,
who came to Massachusetts in 1640. His mother, Janette Ralston, was also
of Scottish blood. He was Governor of Ohio; Secretary of the Treasury.
1861-1864; and as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
presided at the impeachment trial of President Johnson. The financier,
Hugh B. McCulloch (1808-1895), was born in Kennebunk, Me., and was
descended from one of the Scottish settlers who came over with Rev. Boyd
in 1718. He was Comptroller of the Currency (1861-65) and succeeded Chase
as Secretary of the Treasury (1865-69), serving under presidents Lincoln
and Johnson; and was again Secretary of the Treasury (1884-1885), under
presidents Garfield and Arthur. Simon Cameronís grandfather fought with
his clan at Culloden and under General Wolfe at Quebec, soon afterward
settling in Pennsylvania. Senator Cameron (1799-1889) named his residence
at Harrisburg "Lochiel," and his brother, James Cameron, was called from
retirement on the banks of the Susquehanna to become the first colonel of
the 79th New York Volunteers, the "Seventy-ninth Highianders," and was
killed while gallantly leading his men in the first battle of Bull Run,
July 21, 1861. Simon Cameron was United States Senator for Pennsylvania
from 1845 to 1861 and from 1872 to 1877. He was Secretary of War 1861-1862
and Minister to Russia 1862-1863.
Originally a Jackson Democrat, he led his state into
the Republican party in 1856. His son, James Donald Cameron, was Secretary
of War under President Grant until he succeeded his father in the Senate,
March, 1777. He was Senator until 1891.
James Gillespie Blame (1830-1893) was a great-grandson
of an UlsterScot, Ephraim Blame (1741-1804) an officer of the Pennsylvania
forces in the Revolution and a friend of George Washington. The great
statesman Ďs mother was a Gillespie. He was of humble birth, rising from
the post of village schoolmaster to Speaker of the House of
Representatives, United States Senator, twice Secretary of State and
candidate for the presidency. He was probably the greatest debater of his
day, and as Secretary of State crossed swords successfully with Prince
Bismarck on the Samoan question. Like most strong men, he made many
devoted friends and followers and some implacable enemies.
General David B. Henderson was born in Aberdeenshire
about 1840 and died in 1906. He came to Iowa with his parents as a child,
fought through the Civil War and was twice wounded, losing a leg at
Corinth, Miss. He was one of the strong men of the Republican party; was
United States District Attorney; served for more than twenty years in
Congress; and succeeded Thomas B. Reed as Speaker of the House.
James Wilson, first United States Secretary of
Agriculture, was born in Ayrshire, August 16, 1835, and came to America in
1852. He was appointed, March 5, 1897, by President McKinley to organize
the new Department of Agriculture and continued under presidents Roosevelt
and Taft until his retirement in 1913. His great service to American
agricultural education cannot be overestimated.