Some time ago I wrote for
the Presbyterian Banner, a short series of papers on, — "A Typical
Scotch-Irish Community Fifty-Odd Years Ago." These papers awakened an
interest quite unexpected, especially among the people of this race.
Letters came to the writer from widely separated sections of the
country, requesting him to expand the papers and publish them in a
volume. Several ancient congregations took formal action to the same
effect. This little book is the result. The articles in the Banner were
simply the basis of what is here written much enlarged. It does not
pretend to be an adequate history of the Scotch-Irish people in this
land. Its aim is much less ambitious. It is simply an at tempt to sketch
with a free hand, some of the characteristic traits, ways of life,
institutions and influences of this race, particularly in the earlier
days in this country. Western Pennsylvania is selected for the purpose
of illustration, because that section was first settled and is still
dominated by the most powerful Scotch-Irish community in America. No
effort has been made to give this little book orderly arrangement, or to
cast it into logical form. It is simply a series of sketches, true to
nature and to fact; pictures of a people, their doings and the
conditions under which they lived in former days. The chief thing to be
regretted is that a more clever and skilful hand did not hold the brush.
John Walker Dinsmore.
San Jose, Cat.
Bloomington, Ill., June
I have read with deep
interest the advance sheets of "The Scotch-Irish in America", by Rev.
Dr. John W. Dinsmore, my friend, and former pastor. It is in every
respect an admirable book. Every man who has a drop of Scotch-Irish
blood in his veins will be profoundly interested in its perusal. Dr.
Dinsmore knows whereof he writes. Nothing the book contains is matter of
hearsay to him. The people described are those among whom he was reared
— his neighbors and friends; the incidents mentioned, those of which he
was the witness in his early life.
The congregation so
graphically described is the type of thousands of others scattered
throughout this broad land. In this book we live again in the old ways
and fashions of our fathers and much that should never have been
forgotten is vividly recalled. Dr. Dinsmore has rendered a valuable
service in this clear-cut presentation of the good old times and customs
— home life and church life — of the generation of which but few remain.
Young and old alike will find pleasure and profit in the perusal of this
Adlai E. Stevenson.