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The Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Third Congress at Louisville
The Scotch-Irish of the Bench and Bar.
By Hon. A. E. Stevenson, of Bloomington, Ill


Mr. President, Ladles, and Gentlemen: As one of the representatives from the great "Prairie State" in this Congress, I greet you. I glory in the privilege of addressing you at this auspicious hour, and of meeting and mingling with so many to whom I am bound by a common ancestral tie. I earnestly congratulate you upon what has already been accomplished by this Society, and upon what yet remaineth sure of accomplishment.

Gathered around the hearth-stones of many delightful homes lying between Lake Michigan and the beautiful river four hundred miles to the southward are thousands in whose veins flow the blood of the Lowlander and of the Ulsterman. I tender you to-day the greeting, the earnest sympathy, the heart-felt "God bless you" of your Scotch-Irish brethren of Illinois. With a history as a separate commonwealth stretching back but a single life-time, Illinois enters upon its eighth decade as the third in the great brotherhood of States. With a population greater than that of the thirteen colonies when independence was declared, with railroads traversing every part of her vast domain, with school-houses, churches, and institutions, which, with unsparing hand, minister to the unfortunate of our race—in all that makes up in the loftiest sense the civilization of a great people, Illinois has kept even pace with the foremost of her sister States.

In the struggles and conflicts which in a short life-time have transformed a wilderness into a great State the men and the women of Scotch-Irish blood have played no mean part. They claim recognition in this great assemblage of their kindred. They share with you the glory of a common ancestry. Like your own great constituency, Mr. President, they are proud of their race—proud of what it has accomplished, of all the dangers braved, of all the sufferings endured for liberty.

Illinois can never fully discharge her obligation to some of the older States of this Union for their generous contributions of Scotch-Irish pioneers, who have proved such potent factors in her development and progress. I would speak first of Pennsylvania—of the State which sent Witherspoon to the Continental Congress which formulated the Declaration of Independence; which gave Morris and Franklin to assist in framing the Federal Constitution; Wilson, Grier, and Strong to the Supreme Bench; and sent Curtin a representative to a foreign court and to the American Congress. Scattered over our vast prairies are the beautiful homes of thousands of Scotch-Irish Penrisylvanians. To the "Key-stone State" Illinois is debtor for splendid representatives of this race, many of whom, in the peaceful vocations of life, have been more than conquerors. Others—on the mart, in hall of debate, at the bar, and in the sacred desk—have left an impress as enduring as time. Prompted by a feeling of clannishness as well as of personal friendship, I bear testimony to the fact that within the borders of our State there is no grander representative of Scotch-Irish Pennsylvania-Presbyterian blood than my colleague in this Congress, Rev. Dr. Dins-more. Pennsylvania has given to Illinois no abler lawyer than Hon. Robert E. Williams, of Scotch-Irish lineage and a member of this Congress.

I would speak also of our gratitude to Virginia, the mother of States as well as of Presidents. A county in Illinois bears the name of "Clarke," in honor of that illustrious Virginian of Scotch-Irish blood, who on the 4th day of July, 1778, with a few bold followers, after braving difficulties and perils that savor rather of romance than of reality, captured the British garrison at Kaskaskia. The commission of the gallant Clarke—whose campaign in Illinois John Randolph declared worthy of mention with that of Hannibal in Italy—bore the signature of Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia. One of the largest and most prosperous counties in the State is the enduring monument of the gratitude of Illinoisans to the great Virginian who inspired the expedition that wrested that great domain from British rule; a domain which a few years later, by an act of generosity historic, was ceded by Virginia to the General Government.

The fame of Patrick Henry does not belong to Virginia alone. It is a part of our common heritage. It is the common glory of all Americans that we are his countrymen. It is the especial glory of all Scotch-Irishmen that we are his kindred. How greatly to be deplored the fact that the speeches of this patriot, lawyer, advocate, in the House of Burgesses, at the bar, and in the great historic convention of which he was a member, have not been fully preserved! But enough has come down to us to make his name a household word wherever our language is spoken. As an advocate he is worthy of mention with Grat-tan, with Phillips, with Erskine, with all of the great masters of eloquence who have illumined British courts for two centuries. And if it be true, Mr. President, as was said by Daniel Webster, that "oratory does not reside in the man, but in the subject and the occasion," then, when in the history of our own race has there been presented a grander subject than liberty, a more imposing occasion than when from the lips of this matchless orator fell the words which "set in motion the ball of the American Revolution?"

In its infancy as a State, Edward Coles was Governor of Illinois. Of Scotch-Irish ancestry, a graduate of William and Mary College, the private Secretary and friend of President Madison, Edward Coles was the first of the long list of able lawyers contributed by the " Old Dominion " to the new State. He was endowed in a large degree with the genius of common sense, with an intuitive knowledge of the necessities of a pioneer people. His services to the State were invaluable. He realized as did few of his cotemporaries the possibilities of the infant commonwealth he governed, and his predictions as to its marvelous future were prophetic.

Did time permit, I could speak of other Virginians—illustrious representatives of the Scotch-Irish race—who in my own State have acceptably filled high places of honor and of trust. None have discharged public duties with greater fidelity, or retired to private station leaving a record more stainless, than an Illinoisan by birth—of Virginia ancestry—the late Chief-justice John M. Scott—now an honored Vice-president of the Scotch-Irish Congress.

The county in which it is my good fortune to reside was named in honor of a distinguished lawyer and statesman, a North Carolinian by birth, but whose name is inseparably linked with that of the State of his adoption. While yet a territory, Illinois welcomed to her borders many emigrants who brought with them from beyond the mountains the sturdy characteristics, as well as the traditions, of the old North State. With them, faith in the tenets of their Scotch-Irish ancestors was no less steadfast than in the authenticity of the Mecklenburg declaration of independence. Of the many, who as jurists and legislators rose to distinction, none rendered more valuable service to the new commonwealth, or will be held in more grateful remembrance, than the gentleman to whom I have referred, the Hon. John McLean, first Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, and at the time of his lamented death a Senator in Congress.

During the first half of the century, the bench and the bar of the West received valuable accessions from North Carolina. As lawyers and as men of high aims in life they illustrated in a marked degree the lofty virtues of the race which had given to the public service of their own State and to the republic Rowan, Spaight, Williamson, Waddell, Caldwell, Davidson, Osborne, Morehead ; Macon, three times Speaker of the National House of Representatives, and said by Benton "to be the wisest man he ever knew;" Graham, the last candidate of the Whig party for the Vice-presidency; Iredell, the worthy associate of John Marshall upon the supreme bench. A living representative of the same race, and worthy with those I have mentioned of the confidence and love of his State, is the gifted lawyer and statesman, Senator Zebulon B. Vance.

The Executive Committee did well, Mr. President, to select as the place for the meeting of the third Scotch-Irish Congress the splendid commercial metropolis of this great commonwealth. It is meet we hold council here, upon this "dark and bloody ground" which, by deeds of heroism unsurpassed, but little more than a century ago was wrested from savage foe, by Boone, Kenton, Walker, Finley, Stewart, Christian, and their equally daring Scotch-Irish comrades from the Valley of Virginia, and from pine forest and mountain fastness of North Carolina.

When another year shall pass, Kentucky will celebrate the first centennial of its existence as a State. Neither to historian nor to orator was ever assigned a grander theme than will be that of recounting the brave deeds, the heroic sacrifices, which have made the first century of the history of this commonwealth illustrious. Illinois will join with Kentucky in doing honor to the memory of those whose achievements make up so brilliant a chapter of American history. No history of this commonwealth would be complete, which omitted from its list of representatives of the Scotch-Irish race who have shed luster upon the bench and bar during this century the names of Wallace, Logan, Graham, Ewing, Clark, Boyle, and Underwood, judges of the Court of Appeals; Breckinridge, Crittenden, and Speed, Attorney-generals of the United States. The great court of last resort has no abler member than Associate Justice Harlan, the honored successor of Robert Trimble, John McKinley, and Thomas Todd.

It is my pleasing task to-day to remind you that Illinois has not been unmindful of her obligation to her sister State, separated by the Ohio River, but united by ancestral ties and the memories of common dangers. More than sixty years ago, while there yet survived within her borders heroes of the Thames, of Tippecanoe, and of the "melancholy Raisin," Illinois honored herself by giving to a splendid county —in area a commonwealth—-the name of "Jo Daviess," in enduring commemoration of her gratitude to the profound lawyer, the eloquent advocate, and warrior, as knightly as ever Kentucky sent forth to meet death upon field of battle.

In the beautiful cemetery near the capital city of this commonwealth, where sleep so many of her illustrious dead, stands a monument, unique and imposing, erected by a grateful people to the heroes who fell upon the bloody field of Buena Vista. Inscribed upon that 'monument, with the names of Clay and McKee, is that of an illustrious Illinoisan, "the bravest of the brave," the patriot, the peerless soldier, John J. Hardin. It was of this hero and his comrades, in death as in life, that the Irish-American, O'Hara wrote:

"On fame's eternal camping-ground,
Their silent tents are spread,
While glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead."

John J. Hardin, himself eminent as a lawyer, and of an illustrious race of lawyers, the peer of Douglas in debate, was but one of the many gifted sons this generous commonwealth gave to the bench and bar of Illinois in the early days of its history.

Ninian Edwards, the accomplished Governor, Senator, and Foreign Minister; John T. Stuart, the model lawyer and gentleman, the pride of the Whig party when in its glory; Stephen T. Logan, than whom no State has produced an abler jurist; Orville H. Browning, Senator and Cabinet Minister; T. Lyle Dickey, the learned Chief-justice of the Supreme Court, are historic names in the State which are so greatly indebted to their wise counsel and indomitable energy for its proud position amongst its peers. Forever associated in the history of our State with the names I have mentioned are others of the same lineage, no less illustrious. Of these I may mention Pinckney H. Walker; Daniel P. Cook, Archibald Williams, Anthony Thornton, William H. Green, Allen, Linder, Duncan, Ficklin, Mulkey, Hodges, Woodson, Morris, Eden, Ewing, Rogers, Semple, Robinson, Blackwell, McClernand, Yates, Ogelsby, and Palmer. These, Mr. President, are some of the men who have held high place at the bar and on the bench, and have during the seventy-two years of our history proved such potent factors in molding the institutions and in the, upbuilding of the State.

But this is not all. Illinois is debtor to Kentucky for a still more illustrious representative of this race. Great as a lawyer, with marvelous power as an advocate, the peer of the mightiest in debate, wise as great occasions demanded wisdom, the fame of Abraham Lincoln is not confined to the State of his birth or of his adoption, but is the heritage of all people.

The discovery of the new world noted a masterful hour in modern history. It enlarged, as no preceding event had done, the theater for intelligent human endeavor. It opened up, as no preceding event had done, a new, an apparently illimitable field for aggressive human action. Upon this broad theater, this central portion of North America, where nature's best gifts of soil, scenery, and climate had been so generously given, was to be wrought out a mighty destiny. Here the vigorous races of Great Britain and the Continent of Europe were side by side to develop a marvelous civilization.

The brilliant victory of Wolfe at Quebec changed the current of American history. It was the pivotal battle which gave to England that supremacy over her hereditary foe which within two decades was by lineal hands to be wrested from her own grasp. That battle forever destroyed the power of France in the New World, and gave to the English-speaking races permanent mastery over the temperate zone of this continent.

What marvelous results have been here achieved since the hour one hundred and thirty-two years ago, when by the dread arbitrament of arms the races I have mentioned became the sole masters of the fairest portion of this continent. The wilderness has become the abode of civilized men. Population has increased more than thirty-fold. The comforts of life, every thing which ministers to the wants of intelligent men, have multiplied as never before. Here has been created a government, representative of the people; a republic with a written Constitution, guaranteeing the largest liberty to the humblest citizen; guaranteeing to each undisturbed the enjoyment of the fruits of his toil, to each the right to worship God in his own way. All this is our heritage, all this and more the product of the sum total of a century and a half of suffering, of self-sacrifice, and of toil.

To whom are we indebted for this priceless inheritance? Whence came the men who, after achieving victory in the conflict with the untamed forces of nature, with wild beast, and with savage foe, achieved a yet greater victory over themselves; the men who, inspired with a wisdom more than human, made sure to themselves and to the oncoming generations constitutional representative government? It is of this I would now speak. The great consummation wrought out by little less than two centuries of energetic action, of peril, of conflict, is the work of no single race. It is the product of the patient toil, of the tireless endeavor, upon this broad theater, of many races. The Dutch and the Huguenot, the Puritan and the Cavalier have left no uncertain impress upon American institutions. Their words, their deeds make up a large chapter of our common history. Poet and historian have vied with each other in commemorating the stirring words, the illustrious achievements of the races I have mentioned. What they have said, what they have suffered, what they have done, annalist and bard, of their own lineage, have given to the world.

But what of the Scotch-Irish? What of the men who in the early days of the seventeenth century carried with them to the North of Ireland that love of God and of liberty which they had learned in lowland hut and kirk, and which had become the very web and woof of their moral being? What of their descendants by ancestral tie, the kindred of Wallace, of Scott, of Bruce, by adoption the countrymen of Emmett, of O'Connell, of all the deathless heroes who have for ages made Ireland the battle-ground for human rights? What historian has told, what bard has sung of the race which for a century and a half has been such a wonderful factor in molding the institutions and weaving the history of America?

It has been truly said that while other races have written the Scotch-Irish has been busy making history. The time has now come when sacred duty, alike to the dead and to the living, demands that from the abundant stores, the accumulated sum of two centuries of noble deeds upon this continent, there be gathered, and garnered up for history, something which will tell in no uncertain tongue of the wonderful achievements of our race. It is a matter of history that while the Puritan, in the main, settled in New England, the Dutch in New York, the Cavalier in Virginia and Maryland, and the Huguenot yet farther to the southward, the Scotch-Irish made their principal settlements in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The emigration from Ulster to the last-named colonies, and in a less degree to others, extended from near the beginning of the eighteenth century to the period of the Revolution, and in 1775 there were many thousands of this race scattered along the Atlantic sea-board, but principally in the colonies last mentioned. Wherever they had gone they had carried with them that love of liberty, that devotion to the Church of their. fathers, which danger and persecution had alike been unable to subdue. Truly has it been said that the marked characteristics of the race were "stern integrity, high sense of duty, hatred of tyranny, and devotion to God."

I believe, Mr. President, it was Wendell Phillips who said: "Races love to be tried in two ways: first, by the great men they produce; secondly, by the average merit of the mass of the race." Tested by this rule, what shall be the verdict of time as to the Scotch-Irish as a race and as to its individual representatives: first, when in the death-struggle for liberty; and later, when confronted with the yet more difficult task of utilizing the fruits of victory? Tested by this rule, what shall be the judgment of the great Arbiter as to how this race bore itself amid the difficulties and perils of the seven years' struggle for colonial independence? When tyrannical power could no longer be endured, revolution—the supreme appeal of people against rulers—was inaugurated by the Scotch-Irish of North Carolina. If this be challenged, let the appeal be made to history. Bancroft says: "The first public voice in America for dissolving all connection with Great Britain came not from the Puritans of New England, the Dutch of New York, nor the planters of Virginia, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians."

The intense love of liberty, which upon the first overt act of oppression burst into flame and precipitated rebellion against the crown, was no sudden impulse on the part of the Scotch-Irish Americans. Their sudden revolt, followed by the earnest enunciation in their public assemblages of the true principles of government, finds its key in the fact that in the colonies, in Ulster, and in Scotland, this race had for two centuries, with unwavering fidelity, held sacred the political tenets of John Knox. This apostle of liberty, "who never feared the face of clay," when to the haughty Queen of England he said, "If princes exceed their bounds, they may be resisted even by force," but gave utterance to the sublime truth which in another land and in a later age the men of his lineage and of his faith gave to the world in the immortal declaration of Mecklenburg. In an age which knew little of free speech, with prison doors open before him, the reply of the great apostle of liberty to Queen Mary was more than heroic. It is the living faith to day of all people who love liberty, of all brave souls who would dare and die for the rights of men. Froude, the greatest of modern English historians, declares this utterance of John Knox to be "the creed of republics in its first hard form." Three centuries later, an American lawyer of the same race, the incumbent of the highest office known to men, supplemented this creed of human rights with the utterance: "This government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Is it to be wondered that when the deadly conflict came between the colonies and the crown the Scotch-Irish, with the lofty utterances of John Knox ingrained into their very being, were in the van in the assertion and maintenance, at whatever cost, of the deathless principle which is the corner-stone of republics?

I need not speak in detail, Mr. President, of the part borne by our Scotch-Irish ancestors in achieving independence. You have been told in eloquent words of their splendid courage at Saratoga; of their patient suffering amid the privation and the gloom of Valley Forge; of their heroic charge at King's Mountain, by which the tide of war was turned northward and the early termination of hostilities, by the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown, made possible. You have been told in words more eloquent than mine how the name of Mecklenburg became forever linked with that of Runnymede by bold utterances, which at a later period, and by a more august assemblage at Philadelphia, were, in spirit, given to the world as the colonial Declaration of Independence.

But, with victory achieved and the right of the colonial government to independence acknowledged by Great Britain, what part had the men of Scotch-Irish lineage in the yet more difficult task of setting up the defenses of public security and crystallizing living principles into the form of organic law? Independence achieved, the United States of America recognized by the nations of the earth as sovereign amongst sovereigns, the defects of the colonial government under its Articles of Confederation were manifest, and the necessity for a "more perfect union" imperative. History has known of no assemblage more august, or upon whose deliberations hung issues of greater moment than the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Mr. Curtis says: "At that time the world had witnessed no such spectacle as that of the deputies of a nation, chosen by the free action of great communities, assembled for the purpose of thoroughly reforming its Constitution by the exercise and with the authority of the national will. All that had been done, both in ancient and modern times, in forming, molding, or modifying Constitutions of governments bore little resemblance to the present undertaking of the States of America. Neither among the Greeks nor the Romans was there a precedent, nor scarcely an analogy. The ancient league of some of the cities, or republics of Greece did not amount to a Constitution in the sense of modern political science, and the Roman Republic was but the domination of a single race, of the inhabitants of a single city. The civil deeds of statesmen and lawgivers in establishing and forming institutions are far less apt to attract and hold the attention of mankind than the achievements of military life. The name, indeed, may be forever associated with the work of the hand, but the mass of mankind do not study, admire, or respect the deeds of the lawgiver as they do those of the hero; yet he who has formed a law or fashioned an institution in which some great idea is made practical to the conditions of human existence has exercised the highest attributes of human reason, and is to be accounted among the benefactors of mankind."

Time will permit but an allusion to the great historic convention. To the American lawyer, to students of political science everywhere, its deliberations will continue to be the subject of profound interest. Upon the ruins of the old confederation, without a model and amid the conflict of ideas, a new government, national in its character, with sovereign powers and happily adapted to the necessities of a free people, was erected. Unlike the Constitution of England, said by Mr. Brice "to consist largely of precedents, custom, traditions, and understandings, often vague and always flexible," the convention of 1787 formulated a written compact with needed checks and balances, clearly defined—and what experience has demonstrated to be necessary—limitations upon federal power. This matchless instrument—the great law of laws— tested by a century of trial, is worthy the encomium of England's greatest living statesman, who said: "The American Constitution is the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man."

Eminent lawyers of the race, represented to-day in this Congress, were active participants in the deliberations of that august assemblage. Inseparably associated with the great convention and its handiwork is the name of Madison. Not inaptly has he been called the "Father of the Constitution." Early in the deliberations of the convention two plans for a Constitution were presented: one, that of Mr. Hamilton, favoring, in a word, a strong or centralized government; the other, that of Mr. Patterson, proposing merely an enlargement of the Articles of Confederation. Both plans were antagonized by Madison, who, as Mr. Curtis says, "regarded an individual independence of the States as irreconcilable with an aggregate sovereignty of the whole, but admitted that a consolidation of the States into a simple republic was both impracticable and inexpedient. He sought, therefore, for some middle ground which would at once support a due supremacy of the national authority and leave the local authorities in force for their subordinate objects."

The middle ground mentioned by Mr. Curtis, or the "Virginia plan," as presented by Madison, became the groundwork of the Constitution. It contemplated a national government—a government of the whole people as well as of the States. It gave to Congress, among others, the power to raise needed revenue, to declare war, and to regulate commerce, " the most efficient agent of civilization and progress."

With the exception of Patrick Henry, the Scotch-Irish delegates accredited to the convention were earnest advocates of the adoption of the Federal Constitution and its subsequent ratification by the States. In the case of the great orator of the Revolution, in the words of Burke, "something must be pardoned to the spirit of liberty." In the convention of Virginia, called to ratify the Constitution, Mr. Henry said: "You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, or how you are to become a great and prosperous people, but how your liberties may be secured." To this great apostle of freedom the absence of a "bill of rights" in the new compact was an insuperable objection to its ratification. He demanded as additional safe-guards to the people that there should be crystallized into the Federal Constitution certain declaration of rights which should secure to the people forever freedom of religion; freedom of the press, "the guardian and guide of all other liberties;" freedom of commerce against monopolies; the right of trial by jury; protection to the people in their persons, homes, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure; and a guarantee against the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.

The ten amendments to the Constitution submitted by the First Congress and subsequently ratified by the States embraced in substance the declaration of rights for which Patrick Henry had, in the Virginia convention, so earnestly contended. It forever stands to his credit, and extenuates, if need be, his antagonism to the original draft of the Constitution, that the personal rights of sixty millions of freemen are hedged about by these amendments, and the great compact rounded out and made perfect by the declaration in substance " that the powers granted under the Constitution are the gift of the people, and that every power not granted thereby remains with the people and at their will."

Seventy-nine years later, in a case where human life was involved, the Supreme Court of the United States—as if in confirmation of the prophetic fears of Patrick Henry—said: "These securities for personal liberty thus embodied were such as wisdom and experience had demonstrated to be necessary for the protection of those accused of crime. And so strong was the sense of the country of their importance, and so jealous were the people that these rights, highly prized, might be denied them by implication, that when the original Constitution was proposed for adoption it encountered severe opposition; and, but for the belief that it would be so amended as to embrace them, it would never have been ratified."

Did time permit, I could speak of the great services of other lawyers of this race during the early days of our history; of Wilson, of Pennsylvania, by birth a Scotchman, who, as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, became one of the ablest interpreters of the great organic law which he had assisted in framing. The name of Jefferson is inseparably associated with the destruction of the system of entails and the right of primogeniture—twin relics of a feudal age—by the House of Burgesses of Virginia, and the substitution of a system more humane. This great reform was accomplished alter a protracted and bitter struggle. It encountered from the first the fierce hostility of the planters, then constituting, in the main, the wealthy and the aristocratic class. It is not surprising that, in the accomplishment of reforms so eminently just, and so thoroughly in accord with the spirit of the age, the illustrious author should have found his most earnest supporters amongst the Scotch-Irish representatives of the great middle class.

Monroe, "who builded wiser than he knew," when (as one of the commissioners of our government) he aided in the purchase of the Louisiana territory from France, by which our domain was extended to the Mississippi and to the Gulf, by statesmanship more far-reaching in its consequences, as President of the United States, firmly established the policy of this government as to foreign intervention upon the North American Continent. The far-seeing wisdom of this act finds its vindication in the fact that, for seventy years, the " Monroe Doctrine " has been the accepted shibboleth of all political parties.

Of the eminent lawyers who, at the bar and in high office, have at a later day illustrated the loftiest characteristics of the Scotch-Irish race, and left their living impress upon the age in which they lived, I may mention John McLean, Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio, Postmaster-general during the administration of Monroe and of John Quincy Adams, and who rounded out an honorable career as one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; Thomas Corwin, Governor of Ohio, Senator, in Congress, and Foreign Minister —scarce less eloquent than Menifee, Henry, or Mirabeau; Joseph E. McDonald, Senator from Indiana, the worthy associate upon the great law committee of the Senate, of David Davis, Thurman, Edmunds, Vest, Pugh, and Colliding; Thomas A. Hendricks, Governor, Senator, and Vice-president of the United States, of whom the late Speaker Randall (himself an honor to his race) said: "He was one of the Scotch-Irish race—men of splendid physical form, courage, and endurance, and renowned for their mental vigor and strength of character. These pioneers were the ancestors of many distinguished families of the South and West. Wherever these brave men fixed their abode, the land brought forth abundance and the people prospered." Future generations will honor the memory of Thomas A. Hendricks, the model gentleman, lawyer, and statesman. Thomas H. Benton, for near a third of a century a Senator of the United States; in the highest sense a statesman and a leader in the great assemblage of statesmen, at a period when McDuffie, Wright, Clayton, Crittenden, Buchanan, Walker, Bell, Douglas, Everett, Woodbury, Winthrop, Clay, Webster, and Calhoun were his associates. Jeremiah S. Black, Chief-justice of Pennsylvania, Senator in Congress, and a member of the Cabinet of President Buchanan during the stormy period which immediately preceded the Civil War. His great argument before the august tribunal which determined the succession to the presidency in 1877 has been surpassed by none, either in American or British forum. I hazard nothing in saying that, with the single exception of Chief-justice Marshall, the American bar has known no abler lawyer than Judge Black. Judge John A. Campbell, of Alabama, one of the ablest and purest of the great lawyers, who, during the last generation, gave dignity to the Supreme Court. James Buchanan, Senator in Congress, Minister to the Court of St. James, and fifteenth President of the United States. His administration of the government witnessed the masterful hour when we "broke with the past." Whatever be the verdict of time as to the wisdom of his policy, he has taken his place in history as one of the purest and ablest of American statesman. George Robertson, Chief-justice of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky. With English-speaking races, there has been neither " time nor place" when he would not have been considered a great lawyer. His published opinions are mines of legal lore; and during the first century of her history, now drawing to a close, Kentucky has not known an abler or more upright judge. George McDuffie, of South Carolina, one of the ablest lawyers and most gifted orators of the period when there were giants in the Senate. John C. Calhoun, Senator and Vice-president, "the logician," of pure Scotch-Irish blood, endowed with an intellect more powerful than that of either of his great rivals, Clay or Webster, with whom his name is inseparably associated. James L. Pettigrew, of South Carolina, the ideal lawyer, as gifted in all the graces of oratory as Pinkney or Wirt. In his masterly eulogy upon Mr. Pettigrew, Hon. James S. Cothran, one of the most distinguished jurists of South Carolina, said: "Mr. Pettigrew was essentially a lawyer, a very great lawyer; and it would seem that in speaking of him this should be the burden of my theme; but I have foreseen from the outset what I now realize more fully when brought face to face with it: the difficulty of portraying justly the qualities of a great lawyer. There is, perhaps, no reputation that can be achieved amongst men that is so transitory, so evanescent, as that of a great advocate. The very wand that enchants us is magical. Its effects can be felt; it influences our actions; it controls and possesses us; but to define it or tell what it is, or how it produces these effects, is as far beyond our power as to imprison the sunbeam. In the presence of such majestic power, we can only stand awed and silent. I admit my inability to do justice to Mr. Pettigrew's fame as a lawyer. Suffice it to say that he strode with the steps of a giant upon the very mountain tops of the noble profession of the law; that, as a high priest before the altar, he was indeed worthy of all honor, for he never appeared in the temple with unclean hands. He sounded all the shoals and depths of legal lore, and in return was amply rewarded for faithful services by that mistress who is at the same time so jealous and so just." William C. Preston, the accomplished Senator, the peerless orator. South Carolina has never given to the national councils, nor the Scotch-Irish race to the world, a statesman of more resplendent genius than William Campbell Preston. James B. Beck, a Scotchman by birth, whose best years were given to the service of this commonwealth. Steadfast as a rock, he was the bulwark of his State and section during the dark hours of the first decade which succeeded the close of the great Civil War. John J. Crittenden, Governor of Kentucky, Senator in Congress, and Attorney-general of the United States. Distinguished alike as a lawyer and as a statesman, it was the crowning glory of his illustrious life that, when the "war-cloud was over us, he knew no North, no South, but only his country."

Of living representatives of the Kentucky bar of the Scotch-Irish race, I may mention Hon. William Lindsay, a member of this Congress, a profound lawyer, the worthy successor to George Robertson as Chief-justice of the highest court of this commonwealth. John G. Carlisle, Speaker and Senator, an able lawyer, and confessedly the greatest parliamentarian the country has known. Eminently courteous and just, as presiding officer he ever exhibited the " cold neutrality of an impartial judge." Ex-Governor J. Proctor Knott, twelve years a representative in Congress. There can be no sterner ordeal for a lawyer than the Chairmanship of the Committee on Judiciary of the House of Representatives. Acceptably to the country and with honor to himself, Gov. Knott discharged the duties of this exalted position during the forty-fourth, forty-fifth, and forty-sixth Congresses. His arguments as one of the managers in the impeachment of Secretary Belknap, and in the House of Representatives in opposition to the Electoral Commission, are masterpieces of learning and eloquence. His fame as an orator would be assured if it rested alone upon his matchless address before the first Congress of the Scotch-Irish Society of America. Hon. W. C. P. Breckinridge, lawyer and statesman, no less gifted than his predecessors who have made the Ashland District renowned. An acknowledged leader of the House of Representatives, with great questions pressing for determination, splendid opportunities are before him to add other laurels to an illustrious name and race. Hon. J. C. S. Blackburn: at the bar, the eloquent advocate; in the Senate, the "Rupert of debate." For two decades no abler debater has appeared in the American Congress.

Tennessee has given to the public service eminent lawyers of this race: John Catron, eighteen years an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; Hugh L. White, the able Senator; Cave Johnson, Postmaster-general; William B. Campbell, soldier and Governor; Felix Grundy, Attorney-general of the United States; Andrew Ewing, distinguished both as a lawyer and a Representative in Congress; and John Bell, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and in 1860 the Union candidate for the Presidency. James K. Polk, Governor, Speaker of the National House of Representatives, and President of the United States; the upright man, the incorruptible public officer. Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Scotch-Irish in every fiber, his name is worthily enrolled amongst the illustrious representatives of his race. Whatever doubts exist as to the expediency or the wisdom of the lead-ino- measures of his administration, his name is inseparably associated in history with the peaceable adjustment of the Oregon boundary question, by which hostilities with Great Britain were averted; with the triumph of our arms in Mexico, and the treaty with that government, by which our Southern boundary was extended to the Rio Grande, and the Golden State of the Pacific added to our republic. Andrew Jackson, in the highest sense a typical representative of the Scotch-Irish people. He illustrated through a stormy public career the salient characteristics of the race. In his early professional life he was the peer at the bar of the ablest lawyers of his adopted State. A partisan elsewhere, on the bench he was the impartial judge. Born to command, he displayed in his early campaigns, and later at New Orleans, the qualities of a great general. British veterans, flushed with victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, found in this Scotch-Irish Tennesseean and his comrades "foemen worthy of their steel " in the great battle with which the name of Jackson is indissolubly linked. As President, bitterly assailed by the giants of the opposition, condetuned by formal resolution of the Senate, the object of cruel denunciation by the press, this roan of iron will never faltered in his purpose, never for a moment lost faith in himself. The tender husband, the loyal friend, the implacable foe, the successful general, the patriot with whom "the preservation of the Federal "Union" was a passion, Andrew Jackson stands out in history as the rugged but splendid type of the Scotch-Irish race.

The name of another illustrious jurist demands mention: David Davis, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He filled other honorable stations, but his fame is bound up in the great office I have mentioned. A single judicial opinion pronounced at a masterful hour in our history has given him permanent place amongst the great interpreters and defenders of the Constitution. Near the close of the great civil war, when "the laws were silent," a citizen of Indiana under sentence of death by a court-martial, had his cause brought before the Supreme Court upon petition for habeas corpus. In delivering the opinion of the Court, discharging the prisoner, Mr. Justice Davis said: "Time has proven the discernment of our ancestors; for even these provisions, expressed in such plain English words, that it would seem the ingenuity of man could not evade them, are now, after the lapse of more than seventy years, sought to be avoided. Those great and good men foresaw that troublous times would arise, when rulers and people would become restive under restraint and seek by sharp and decisive measures to accomplish ends deemed just and proper; and that the principles of constitutional liberty would be in peril, unless established by irrepealable law. The history of the world had taught them that what was done in the past might be attempted in the future. The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances."

To-day, Mr. President, enjoying liberty in this favored land in the largest degree, our thoughts on such occasion turn to unfortunate Ireland, the ancestral home of our race. Oppressed by merciless exactions, with cruel landlordism, the heritage of each succeeding generation yet struggling against odds for a larger measure of freedom, Ireland challenges at once our sympathy and our admiration. May we not believe that the morning of a brighter day is soon to dawn upon that gallant people, and that the fruits of centuries of suffering, of oppression, and of toil will be to them as to us the principle in action of our race, "individual freedom and home rule."

I have spoken something, Mr. President, of the wonderful achievements of our race in the past; something of the dangers braved and the obstacles surmounted; something of how lawyers and statesmen have solved questions which take hold of the very life of society and of the State, grave questions of diplomacy and of war, encountered along the pathway of a century and a half of our history. But what of the future? Problems no less difficult, fraught with consequences no less portentous, confront us. With the marvelous increase of population, the rapid accumulation of wealth, the multiplication of monster corporations, corruption in the government of large cities, and the constant influx of an irresponsible and vicious element into our population—with all of these, will come questions of as great moment, and of no less difficult solution, than any whose happy determination tested the courage and the wisdom of our fathers. What of the future? Who can doubt that, inspired by the sublime lessons of the past, nerved by the memories of heroic ancestral deeds, the Scotch-Irish race will stand in the van, the bulwark of American institutions, whatever the danger or whenever it come, alike eager for the conflict, whether the arbitrament be in temple of justice, in legislative hall, or on field of battle.


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