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The Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Third Congress at Louisville - Proceedings


AFTERNOON SESSION.

Business meeting of the enrolled members of the Society at Masonic Temple.

Mr. Bonner:

The first business in order will be the reading of the report of the Executive Committee.

Report of the Executive Committee for the Year Ending May 1, 1891.

During the first year of our Society the attention of the Executive Committee was chiefly directed to the formulation of a Constitution and By-laws and the devising of ways and means for the systematic accomplishment of the general objects which our organization has in view. The result of our labor is shown in the report of the committee submitted and adopted at Pittsburg last year and published in the second volume on the subject "The Scotch-Irish in America."

During the past year the committee has continued this work in strict accordance with the provisions of our revised Constitution and By-laws, and has followed in the minuter details of business the precedents of the first year. For these reasons, a detailed statement of the routine business transacted would be largely a repetition of similar matters that have been fully set forth in our preceding reports; and we do not, therefore, believe it to be necessary to make this present statement so elaborate as our foregoing reports. The practical application of the principles and modes of procedure which were evolved from the first year's thought and experiment, and which were molded into systematic form by the action of the Pittsburg Congress, have been found satisfactory for the accomplishment of the objects of our Society. Time, experience, and the necessity of adapting ourselves to an expansion of the scope and character of our work may, indeed, hereafter make it necessary from time to time to enlarge, alter, or amend our business methods, and may lead us possibly to modify our By-laws in some small particulars, but we are now convinced that the provisions of our Constitution are so comprehensive and have been so well established that there will be no necessity found for making any serious changes in it in the future.

II. SOME FRUITS OF OUR SECOND CONGRESS.

The proceedings and addresses of the Pittsburg Congress, and the succinct description of that remarkable gathering itself are included and presented in our second volume, which will give those who were not able to attend that Assembly some conception of the imposing character and magnitude of that meeting. But the full effects and beneficial results could not by any possibility be stated in that volume. The outcome of the meeting has been, perhaps, more noteworthy than the gathering itself. Those interesting and enthusiastic meetings have continued to bear good fruit throughout the year. The results have grown more and more apparent as the months have multiplied. A Congress entertained by one of the most powerful cities in the country, attracting the attendance and interest of the President of the United States and his Cabinet, bringing together Governors of great States and hundreds of other notable men highly distinguished in their respective professions and pursuits, and calling from all parts of the American Continent loyal-hearted sons and daughters of our race, has naturally and necessarily impressed the world with a high conception of the dignity and importance of the Society, which in the first year of its organized career was able to achieve such wonderful results. To say that it gave us a world-wide prestige is but to state a simple truth. This is shown by the interest of the press, which everywhere throughout the English-speaking world has given us most favorable notice, and most strikingly by the fact that Belfast, the greatest and most progressive Scotch-Irish city of the mother country, has sent to our Congress as an authorized delegate Mr. Francis D. Ward, one of her most distinguished citizens, an ex-President of the Chamber of Commerce, and the son of an old and historic Ulster family. It is not strange that we should lay special emphasis on the fact that the papers and journals of Ulster, of Canada, and Australia gave much of their space the reports of our meetings, and commented with praise upon the interest and importance of our proceedings. This world-wide interest courages us to hope that the time is not far distant when the sturdy sons of Ulster and their worthy descendants throughout the globe will be all drawn into close relations, and their countless and permanent contributions to Christianity and civilization made more fully known to themselves and the kindred races of mankind; and that the lofty purposes which have made our kith and kin such a power for good shall be duly manifested and deeply impressed not only on ourselves and our wide-spread brotherhood, but on the generations of our blood that are to follow.

III. PROGRESS DURING THE YEAR.

During the year the membership of the National Society has almost doubled. This increase of numbers is most gratifying to us, when consideration is given to the very limited means which our Society has had at its disposal for disseminating a knowledge of its character and aims. In regard to these fresh accessions to our ranks, an additional gratification is found in the fact that our new members are wholly worthy to take rank in regard to a high standard of character and influence with those who have belonged to our company from the beginning of our Society.

Since the Pittsburg meeting, we beg leave to state that one new State Society has been formed, and this is the very Society which is now entertaining us with the generous hospitality for which Kentucky has ever been famous and the generous sons and daughters of this commonwealth have ever delighted to manifest. This Kentucky Society has been in existence only since last December, but already it numbers in its ranks not a few of the best men in the grand old commonwealth.

One additional subject of gratification is to be found in connection with this latest associate in our Society. It is in complete harmony and co-operation with our national organization. We feel bound to state, without making individual distinctions, that special honor is due its President, Dr. Hervey McDowell, and its indefatigable Secretary, Mr. Helm Bruce. To their efficient efforts very much is due in the organization and development of the State Society and its lively affiliation with ourselves.

We would further report that the California Society organized last year has also adopted most loyally the provisions of our Constitution in regard to the affiliation of branch Societies. Its honored President, Mr. Alexander Montgomery, who is also Vice-president for California and a member of this committee, not long ago distinguished, himself afresh as a generous steward of wealth by the donation of 850,000 for the purpose of erecting in San Francisco a building that shall be a memorial and a home of our race.

Your committee feels free in making reference to this subject, inasmuch as our friend was not present when our report was prepared and adopted, but we beg leave for ourselves and others to say that this munificent gift of Mr. Montgomery will not only give solidity and dignity to the California Society, but may be provocative of a similar generosity in other parts of the land, and is certain to be greatly appreciated by all our race.

The Societies of Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Tennessee have greatly increased their numbers during the year, and will be represented by their delegates at this meeting of the Congress. We cherish strong hopes that the existing State Societies and others to be formed will connect themselves with our National Society in accordance with our terms of affiliation. We are, persuaded that they will find it largely to their advantage thus to become connected with the national and parent organization, and we greatly desire and need not only their moral support, but also their material aid. We are satisfied that great good would result to both the contracting parties from such a union, and with great kindliness and earnestness we make our appeal to the officers and leaders of the Societies in these various commonwealths to take the suitable action in regard to their formal association with the National Society.

We greatly regret that we have not been able to fulfill our promise to our members and subscribers in regard to the early publication of our second volume. Difficulties arose over which we had no control, and delayed the appearance of the volume. Measures will be taken in the future to prevent any such disappointment.

IV. OUR THIRD CONGRESS.

The people of Charlotte, N. C, and of San Francisco at our Pittsburg meeting presented or pressed cordial invitations urging us to hold our Third Congress in their respective cities. Somewhat later in the year we received a request from the Society in Atlanta which represents some of the very best elements in that city, holding out to us an equally strong and generous invitation. About the same time Louisville, through her representative bodies, the Board of Trade, the Commercial Club, and the Kentucky Scotch-Irish Society, forwarded an eager invitation to us that we would hold our next meeting in the metropolis and commercial center of this famous Scotch-Irish commonwealth. Your committee, to whom the choice of time and place had been committed, appreciated to the fullest the generosity, interest, and enthusiasm so plainly manifested by all these invitations. We recognize the particular advantages of each. We return our hearty thanks to all our generous friends, and hope that in the future we may be able to avail ourselves of the kindness of California, North Carolina, and of Georgia, but for our third meeting we decided in favor of Louisville. We are sure that our members do not and will not regret our selection. To carry out the necessary arrangements in Louisville there was formed a local executive committee consisting of representatives from each of the three organizations just above mentioned. To them was committed the large labor of preparing for the present Congress. Gen. James A. Eakin was first chosen Chairman of this committee. With sorrow we have to announce that he has since passed to a greater assembly above, breathing a benediction on this gathering in his last illness. We consider it a duty we owe to his memory to give expression to our high esteem of his lofty and typical Scotch-Irish character, and we mourn that he was not permitted to be present with us this day.

Maj. Clinton McClarty, a distinguished and honored citizen of Louisville, was chosen as Chairman, and willingly gave himself to the task. Mr. Helm Bruce was made Secretary of the committee, and to his intelligent and untiring efforts the success of this meeting is in very large measure due. Messrs. P. N. Clark and J. S. Morris represent respectively the Commercial Club and the Board of Trade. Other members whose names will appear in our published proceedings have been added to the committee.

There was also formed an Entertainment Committee, of which Mr. James R. Todd is Chairman, and they have rendered valued and appreciated assistance in providing for the comfort of the visitors. By the invitation of the local committee, early in last January, our Secretary, Mr. A. C. Floyd, visited Louisville to confer with the local committees in reference to preliminary arrangements and the developments of plans for the Congress. At this and all subsequent conferences, of which there have been quite a number, the Secretary has represented the National Society. It was agreed that the local committee should provide accommodations for special guests, embracing the Executive Committee, the principal speakers, and a few friends. Arrangements were also to be made by the local committee for halls in which the Congress should meet, a band of music, reduced fares on the railroads, and various other minor accommodations. All these necessary arrangements have been so far as possible carried out. The local committee have sent out general invitations and announcements to about 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada, and issued several thousand special invitations to members of the Society and representatives of the Scotch-Irish race throughout the country.

The Treasurer's account has been submitted and handed over to an Auditing Committee.

The local committee have also made arrangements for a Sunday night's service similar to that held in Pittsburg last year. This service will be conducted by the Rev. John Hall, of New York, Dr. Hamilton to preside. A full notice of it will be given at a somewhat later date.

Rev. Dr. Macintosh:

Mr. Chairman, this is our report as now presented to the Society, and, as a matter of form, I would move in the first instance that the report be accepted if it be seconded; then I crave the liberty to make a few remarks on it.

Mr. President, before I ask the business meeting of our Society to adopt the report I think it is right that one or two points should be specially emphasized, and having done that, then it will be for the Society to adopt the report, should it find favor in the eyes of the members.

The first thing that I think it is desirable to emphasize is, that in this report we have omitted a number of minor details on organization and By-laws which of necessity had to be brought before you at Pittsburg and made the subject of consideration, and you will pardon this remark, that after a little experience in organization I find that while reports are received, and contain a vast deal of useful information, the general community is so wonderfully enlightened that it does not require special information upon particular points. Now I do not know whether this applies to the Scotch-Irish Congress or not, but I wish to bring it out now that our members may make themselves thoroughly familiar with what is really the very life of the business part of the second volume. Some of you may have thought that for a mere passing announcement this morning I traveled out of the limits of my sphere in laying so much stress on the fact that while we are not sectarian we are certainly religious. I had a good reason for that. We have no antagonism in our religious belief, or with any race whatever; but while that is so, we do want to fear God and keep his commandments. Now you will find, gentlemen, that this is stated very clearly and distinctly in the business part of this volume. Then there are a number of business details as regards the management and administration of the Society that are set forth there in the Constitution and By-laws that have been drawn up by our Secretary with his usual care and sense of responsibility and practical judgment. Then there is another point I desire to call attention to. We are desirous, gentlemen, that at all points along the line there shall be little notes of active life that will be drawing together one with another, by friendly correspondence, in person and by letter; and if we are to be what we want to be, the members must come together in one great, living body; and we feel that it is most important to emphasize here what you will find set forth in the Constitution and By-laws: that we want all the State Societies to come into the closest possible union with the National Society. Our second Congress is bearing its fruit, and bearing much fruit; it has been bringing forth its fruit every month. All across the line you can hear this said: "Well, I don't know about that; I didn't know that I had any Scotch blood in me, but I remember now that my grandfather or my grandmother was so and so." Now I say we have effected a good deal in two short years, but we are now just at the point of danger. I used to play a good deal of ball when I was younger (I could play a little yet if I had to), and it is just when you have made your first or second strokes that you get into trouble; that is just the time when you have to watch when the ball is pitched and know exactly where you are going to send it that you may make your run; I know there are some old ball players here, and they will understand what I mean. Now is the time we have gathered together, gentlemen, to take advantage of the defects we have made. What I want you to do is to feel this: that the battle is always won by the regiment, by the men in the line, and not by the officers. That has been the history of every great victory; and, gentlemen, you must not rely upon any one of us to whom you have been kind enough to give special work to do, to do work which only you can do. My dear particular friend, I do not know your innermost circle of friends, but you do; and if I did know them, I could not begin to do with them what you can do; you know exactly where to touch them so as to influence them to come along with you. Now I say, gentlemen, we have great missionary work to do, and this year it is necessary that the fruits of the second Congress should be so used by you that when we come next year, if the Lord spares us, it must not be simply that the membership has been doubled this year, but that it has been trebled or quadrupled, because it is on the number of our membership that the life and power of the Society depends. There is another point that I wish to draw your attention to. Reference has been made in this report to the influence of that second Congress on its fruit in Ireland, Australia, and also Canada. Of Canada we do not think so strange because it is part of ourselves, an imaginary line being between, but I have been impressed to find that in Ulster itself it has been marvelous; and do you know, gentlemen, it is producing the most marvelous result in old Ulster which we so much love. Australia, as the newspapers received by me show, has already begun to talk as an Ulster land, and I think the time is not very far distant when we will have an International Scotch-Irish Congress that will make the world stare. Now, as I say, we have made some progress during the year; but, gentlemen, there are some things that will require your careful attention, but to that I won't refer until the Treasurer has made his statement. I do hope that each member will make an active personal canvas, and that there will not be one of our members who will not say: "I will make it my effort to get, if possible, five additional members" If each one of us would strive to add to our National Society during the year five members—and I don't think that is a very great thing to set before us—see where we would be at our next meeting, what a showing it would make! Skobeloff, the great Russian strategist, was asked at one time what his three great secrets of warfare were. He said: " Keep the main body together, know exactly the last point where your line rests, and push your outposts to the farthest point of danger and never draw them back." Now what we want to do is to throw out outposts; every new member that we gain is another outpost brought into the circle of our Society.

Mr. Bonner:

Gentlemen, are there any further remarks to make on this matter; if not—

Mr. Briggs:

I move that the report of the Executive Committee be adopted, and the thanks of this Congress be tendered to them, and especially to Dr. Macintosh for his remarks.

Seconded and carried unanimously.


Col. Echols:

I move that the report be referred to an auditing committee to see that it is correct.

Seconded and carried unanimously.

Dr. Macintosh:

I think there are some points that our good friend Floyd feels a delicacy in referring to because they seem to be of a personal character; but we require to have the whole situation before us, therefore I request that he be requested to give us the information so as to enable us to understand the situation.

Mr. Floyd:

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: I had supposed that this additional information necessary to make the situation plain to you would have gone as part of the Treasurer's report; but as it has not, I will give it. The report shows a balance of something like $31. I don't give the exact figures because I don't know them, but there are outstanding debts which I estimate, in the rough, at about $600; out of that would be a balance on salary referred to; about $50 of it would be for some outstanding small accounts, and about $400 is due the publishers. In that connection it will be necessary to state that this $400 has been incurred very recently by the necessity, at a very late date in the year, of issuing extra editions of the first and second volumes from Robert Clark & Co., which are now on hand. It became necessary for us to have a second edition of the second volume and a third edition of the first volume. These editions have been issued very recently, and the copies themselves are most of them on hand now. I estimate that the books we have on hand are worth about $400 if they could be disposed of, so that you have an indebtedness of $600 less $400 in books, if it is possible to sell them, and I think it will be from the fact that the books have been sold here tofore, two editions of the first volume, as I say, and one edition of the second volume.

Mr. Frierson:

Then your idea is that $200, if we had all our books sold, would relieve the Society of its debt up to the present time?

Mr. Floyd:

Yes, sir; but in that connection I think we ought to dispose of one thing before going into another.

Mr. Montgomery:

How many members have we now in the National Society? Of course the dues will be payable very soon that would cover that amount; I just ask that as a matter of information.

Mr. Floyd:

There are about 450 members of the National Society proper. The dues are $3 a year, but they are constantly dropping off for various reasons—some because their interest has not been kept up, very few on that account, and some for other reasons—so I would say about 400 members of the National Organization are in full harmony and co-operation.

Col. McKeehan:

I take it from the report of the Treasurer and Secretary we are publishing the reports of this Congress on our own account, paying the publisher whatever the expense may be, and disposing of the editions and making whatever money on that we can. I want to know if that is a risk.

Dr. Macintosh:

Now, Mr. President, in order to bring before the Society this financial matter for the next year-—and you will see, gentlemen, here are where the sinews of war come in and must be provided for—the estimated expenses for the ensuing year, exclusive of the amount that may be necessary for special clerical work, based on last year's expenditures, would be about $2,500 for the year. There is a present outstanding debt over against which stand the volumes not yet sold, but there is a present outstanding debt of $600. Now that makes a total of $3,100. The estimated income from the regular dues and sale of books amounts to about $1,500. Now then here is where the question comes. What are we going to do for the next year? I said a little while ago that we had just, in my judgment, reached the point of danger. We have now reached the vantage point from which we can go forward to honor and increase a successful tight, but we may have reached the point at which we will have to stop any thing like active work. Now I know a case of a gentleman where work in connection with this Society has been done that amounts to considerably over $300, and nothing has been asked from the Society in connection with that whatever. That cannot continue; and yet if some work of that kind is not done you are not going to make any advance; not one of you will say to me that 400, 500, or 1,000 members is what we ought to have on the list of the Society. Now we may take some aggressive measure; but if we take an aggressive measure, we must provide some funds for the work. Now my friend Floyd don't say it, but he has not had his salary paid, and we must face these things fairly; I don't think there is any use to be mealy-mouthed about this sort of thing. There is not a day in the year when less than four hours is given by our Secretary to this work, and for several months every year all his time, is devoted to it. The man has no right to do that work for us without receiving what is very small pay. Now is the work to go forward? and if so how are we to meet that deficiency, $1,600? Now I make my appeal to you for missionary work, and I make my appeal to the State Societies that they will try to get their Societies, into union with the National Society. I make my appeal to the gentlemen here present, and other gentlemen in connection with our Society; some of them last year took five, ten, and twenty volumes, paid for them themselves, and gave them away to their friends. I think some of you business men must put your heads together to see if there is not some way to increase the funds at our disposal; the work has to be done, and that means an outlay. I have no hesitation in talking about this, and with the exception of the President and Secretary, I know about as much of the workings of this Society as any other member, and the necessity of doing it in a business-like way. Now you see we make an estimate of about $2,500 or $3,000 a year; all we can calculate upon on our income as it now stands is $1,500 or $1,600. Something ought to be done to bridge over this chasm, or else we will have to stop our work.

Mr. Parke:

I would like to inquire what provision we have in our Constitution for raising money for meeting the expense of this thing; I would like to know what the provisions are on that.

Mr. Bonner:

There is nothing more than from the subscription and sale of books and life memberships. There were nine gentlemen made life members a year ago at $100 each, and I intend to make three gentlemen of my acquaintance life members on this present occasion, and perhaps there are some others that would like to make some of their friends life members, or make themselves life members. We would be glad to hear from them.

Col. Livingston:

Certainly this Society ought to have some systematic method of raising revenue for the support of the Society. It will not do, sir, to depend on making your friends life members; my going out and doing this thing, and another man doing something else. This Society ought to get down to business; you must have some way—you must have incorporated in your law some way by which you can raise revenue, and it must be sure. Now I want to suggest to you that that book will not only pay its own way, but will bring you in some revenue. We have a great deal of publishing done, and it don't cost us any thing to have it done. I can have all your publishing done, and the man will pay for the privilege of doing it. I would suggest that the Executive Committee meet just to advise some plan by which funds can be secured regularly, and always in advance. I can give you the information about the book matter at some private time. I make a motion that the Executive Committee meet, with what help they ask out of this Congress, to advise some plan for raising money. Before the vote is taken I would like to say this: that you have provided no way by which these State Societies are hitched on to this body. For instance, take our Society in Georgia. Are we part or parcel of your organization without joining you individually? I mean to say this: take Georgia, we have a General Assembly, and we are their representatives or their delegation. Now are we not the gentlemen of the Society in that way, while not members of the National Society?

Dr. Macintosh:

The point brought up is a very important one, and it is for that reason the members of the Society ought to study the law.

Section V.

1. Branch organizations whose objects are in harmony with those of this Society may become and remain affiliated with the same by the annual payment of a sum equal to one dollar for each member of such branch Society.

2. Installments of this sum may be paid at any time to the Secretary of this Society by the proper officers of branch organizations, and a copy of the annual proceedings shall be immediately forwarded through him for every dollar so paid.

3. The balance of such sum shall be paid as provided for in case of the installments, not later than the first day in April of each year, the balance to be reckoned on the number of the members belonging to the branch Society on the first day of the preceding March.

Col. Livingston:

If the copy costs a dollar and you sell them for a dollar, you raise no revenue.

Mr. Floyd:

On the question of books, it costs just as much to print one book as it does a thousand, practically. It costs just the paper more to print a thousand than it does a smaller number, so that the more books we sell the more money we make. We are out so much for the publication of the book—that is only one volume—and as you advance in the number of volumes, you make your money in that way. The first edition of a volume costs nearly what the copies sell for. Each of the books of the first edition sells for about what it costs; but when we get to the second edition or third edition (there are stereotype plates made at the time the books are printed), they cost about one-fourth of what the first do.

Col. Echols:

I would like to make a few remarks on this subject. It seems to me that it is a very plain business proposition: so much money, so much expense; more money, more expense; less money, less expense. We have increased the annual dues from $2 to $3. It looks to me like $3 a year is as much as we can expect the rank of our Society to pay; if we increase it to a greater extent than $3 a year, I fear there will be a roar on that account, and the Society will not proceed as it ought. Now it strikes me that one of two things should be done: either increase the membership or decrease the expenses. I think we would like to go on as we have been going for the past three years. I would suggest that we put our shoulder to the wheel and increase the membership, and it can be done easily. Just think of it, brother Scotch-Irishmen, 450 members to begin the third year in this grand country of ours! We have all been asleep; we ought to have come here 2,000 strong instead of 450, and with that 2,000 we could meet this expense. As I understand it, a member of a State Society cannot become a member of this National Society; that he cannot become a member by paying $1 a year. The point where it comes in is this: that State Societies in all business meetings should have one representative for every five of their members. Certainly, if that volume is worth any thing, it is worth $1; and I think that it is a question where the Executive Committee can go a little farther and, I hardly think, fare worse. I only throw out these suggestions as a member of the Executive Committee as away to increase our dues, and not depend on faith, hope, and charity.

Col. Livingston:

If you will organize State Societies and County Societies all over this Union, you can make those Societies pay all your expenses and have no trouble here.

Mr. McBride:

While I am not a member of the National Society, it occurs to me that we could have a quiet consultation of this question this afternoon, when Col. Livingston could submit his plans. It seems to me, if I understand these State Societies, the chances are you can raise all the money for your immediate use; and then, as to those books, I have this to say: Let the older Society take the first edition, and the Georgia delegation take one of the subsequent editions. To be serious, I am very much interested in the discussion here.

Mr. Briggs:

I belong to the National Society and I belong to the Local Society, and I don't pay any money any more cheerfully than I do to both of them. I think we ought to belong to both of them. The National Society is the mother, and the other is the child, and I think we ought to keep up our local organization as well as the national. In regard to raising money, I think like Col. Livingston. I will guarantee to get 10 members the coming year. Now if we can get 1,000, or $3,000, it will pay all the expenses, and we will have some left.

Mr. Bonner:
As I understand it, this whole matter is to be referred to the Executive Committee to report here to-morrow; and Col. Livingston, or any other gentleman who may have a business proposition to submit, is invited to meet with us this afternoon.

The following Nominating Committee was appointed to select and nominate officers for the ensuing year: Col. J. W. Echols, Mr. George Searight, and Hon. P. M. Casady.

Motion to adjourn seconded and carried.


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