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Proceedings of the Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
The Scotch-Irish of Atlanta.

By Col. G. W. Adair, of Atlanta, Ga.


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Scotch-Irish Congress of America: To give a history of Atlanta is to recount the deeds of men of Scotch-Irish lineage, in everything that has conceived and built up Atlanta, the acknowledged progressive and successful city of the South.

Back in the thirties, merchandise, and everything known to trade, was delivered to the people of Georgia from the river landings of Augusta, Milledgeville, Macon, and Columbus. In those days railroads were unknown in Georgia. Upon the starting of railroads, however, from Augusta and Savannah into the interior of the state —one of the oldest roads in the United States having already been built from Charleston to Hamburg, opposite Augusta—the thought presented itself to the statesmen of that day and time to push on from the junction of these roads in Upper Georgia to the Tennessee River. At that time nothing that was used by man was shipped from the great West; live stock alone was driven across the mountains to the various local markets of the state, and all necessaries that the people were obliged to have, in the way of sugar, coffee, salt, iron, and merchandise, were conveyed by the old-fashioned, tedious wagon mode of transportation. But a new epoch was dawning; the Scotch-Irish mind came to the front and conceived and carried out the project of building the Western and Atlantic railroad
by the state.

Prominent among the men who advocated that great enterprise, both in the Legislature and before the people, were the following distinguished men of Scotch-Irish lineage: Alexander H. Stephens, Andrew J. Miller, Charles J. Jenkins, Matthew Hall McAllister, James Merriwether, Absalom H. Chappell, Alexander McDougal, Eugonius A. Nesbit, Charles J. McDonald, Gen. Thomas Glasscock, James Camack, Charles Dougherty, Dr. George D. Phillips, Lewis Tumlin, Warren Aiken, Charles Murphy, N. L. Hutchins, Augustus Wright, John Wray, Walter T. Colquitt, James M. Calhoun, James Gardner, Edward Y. and Joshua Hill, Gov. Geo. W. Crawford, E. L. McWhorter, and men of that class who were distinguished in their day and time as Legislators, State Senators, Governors, and United States Senators. These are the men who conceived the grand plan of constructing the Western and Atlantic railroad, the connecting link between Atlanta and the great West, and in the founding of Atlanta—emphatically a city in the woods.

Since I was a store boy, the first yard of grading in the city of Atlanta was executed, and now she stands a peerless city of one hundred thousand inhabitants, with great climatic advantages, freedom from malaria, geographical position, and railroad connections which make her the growing, live, and distributing city of the whole South. The conception of Atlanta, from Scotch-Irish brain, was followed up in its progress and development by the foresight, skill, and energy of the same race.

Dr. Joseph Thompson, whose personal cleverness, wit, humor, and enterprise won for him the admiration of all his peers, was one of the first settlers of Atlanta.

Richard Peters, who recently died in Atlanta, did as much for the city, and not alone for the city, but for the entire section, by his intelligence, perception, and energy, in introducing into the South fine stock, intensive farming, improved fruits, and every article that added to the agricultural wealth of the state. This fact is well known to all our older inhabitants. He was the locating engineer of the Georgia railroad, a man of eminent ability as a railroad founder, and a promoter of all classes of internal improvements that benefited Atlanta. Mr. Peters was a native of Philadelphia, but he married an Atlanta lady, the daughter of Dr. Thompson, one of the first settlers in Atlanta.

Judge S. B. Hoyt, who still resides in Atlanta, has been distinguished as a magistrate, a lawyer, a legislator, and a banker; and has been known for his public spirit and enterprise in all local improvements.

Prominent among the early citizens of Atlanta were the McDan-iels, the Hulseys, the Colliers, the Calhouns, the Johnsons, and the Thrashers; and at the very beginning schools and churches were made a leading feature of her progress.

Rev. Dr. John S. Wilson, a Presbyterian clergyman, who was known all over the South for his ability as a writer, a teacher, and a public orator, founded a church on the spot now occupied by the beautiful edifice on Marietta Street, and for many years filled the pulpit.

Mr. A. N. Wilson, one of the first and most valued teachers and founders of a boys' school, is still a respected citizen and teacher in Atlanta.

The following Presbyterian clergymen, Rev. G. B. Strickler, Rev. Dr. E. H. Barnett, Rev. Dr. T. P. Cleveland, Rev. A. E. Holderly, Rev. J. W. Rogers, Rev. Chalmer Frazer, Rev. N. B. Mathews, Rev. George L. Cook, and Rev. Dr. John N. Craig, all of Scotch-Irish descent, have been distinguished for their piety, their eloquence, and their social position, being always on the side of law, order, education, and morality.

Dr. J. W. Scott, a distinguished Methodist minister, whose Addisonian paragraphs in the daily papers, and whose ability on the lecture platform and in the pulpit, make him a shining light in the literary world; Dr. J. W. Lee, of the same denomination, whose transcendent merit as an orator, a writer, and a lecturer, is recognized from every elevated plane in the United States, and whose fame is known from Mexico to London; Rev. James Mitchell, D.D., P. E., M. E. C; Joseph B. Mack, D.D., and the distinguished Cleland Kinloch Nelson, D.D., recently called to take charge of the Bishopric of Georgia, and now a citizen of Atlanta, are all typical representatives of our race.

This interior point, conceived by Scotch-Irish brain, developed into a very important strategic point in the late war between the states, and its capture was second alone to that of Richmond. Gen. Grant, who conceived, and Gen. Sherman, who executed the plans which resulted in its capture, were both of Scotch-Irish extraction, as well as many of the leading lieutenants in the active campaign. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Braxton Bragg, the heroic defenders of the salient point, were also of Scotch-Irish descent.

The Hon. James M. Calhoun, an early settler of Atlanta, was Mayor of the city at its fall; and at the request of the then Governor, Joseph E. Brown, and Gen. Hood, remained at his post after the surrender, and his kindness and solicitous care for the unfortunate noncombatants and the women and children, who had to receive and bear the inconvenience of the presence of a conquering army, endeared him to all. James M. Calhoun was a noble representative of a distinguished Scotch-Irish family, and left a son worthy of his name in the person of William Lowndes Calhoun, who now fills the most important office in the county, that of the Judge of the Court of Ordinary. He distinguished himself in the late war on the field of battle, and now is one of the recognized leaders of all the reunions of the Confederate veterans of the Southern States.

Thus it will be seen that the great commanders of the invading army and the great commanders in the defense of Atlanta, as well as many of the subordinate commanders on each side, were men of our race.

As is well known, wherever the Scotch-Irishman is found, he is a man of deep conviction, positive nature, brave and fearless in vindicating his principles, and ever foremost in defense of what he conceives to be his duty. Not only in the inception and growth, in the invasion and defense, has our race been the vanguard, but since the surrender and the reign of peace between the sections, the same indomitable will, talent, and devotion to the country's good has prevailed in bringing our own loved Atlanta from the slough of despond to the bright sunshine of her present prosperity.

The surrender found the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia in an anomalous and fearful condition. At the date of emancipation about four million slaves were set free, and soon, under reconstruction laws and amendments of the Constitution, were clothed with the ballot. Georgia had a large portion of these freed men; her courts, during the war, had been practically suspended, and this new relation between master and slaves was embarrassing to both. It was untried, and there were grave doubts as to the final result of their mingling peaceably together in this new relationship. Millions of property had been lost; men that were wealthy suddenly found themselves impoverished; slaves freed, plantations gone to waste, debts pressing, obligations made before and during the war to be met under a new order of things, and the people naturally jealous and suspicious of every new move; dazed in a manner, and ready to complain of and object to everything that looked like resuming the old order of things in the judiciary of the state. Fortunately for Georgia, at that time, there was a Scotch-Irishman, born in Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland, who had been a citizen of Atlanta for many years, and who was appointed United States Judge for the state of Georgia: the Hon. John Erskine. Judge Erskine, by his legal knowledge, devotion to truth, right, justice and the law, was peculiarly fitted to stand between the conflicting elements during that trying ordeal; and his wise and just decisions did more to smooth asperities and bring a return of confidence in the courts than any other event during the dark reconstruction epoch. No man was more loyal to the Union, to the Constitution, and the laws of the land than he; yet he bore no malice in his heart, and had no rancor in his breast against the people of his adopted state and city. He remained the most of his time, during the war, at home in Atlanta, and so demeaned himself that he never forfeited the respect and confidence of the people among whom his lot was cast; nor did he swerve one iota in his honest convictions, or in his allegiance to the old Union; yet he so discharged his duties as judge, during these trying times, that he drew from the bar, of the cities of Atlanta and Savannah—where he held his courts—after he had retired from the bench, voluntary tributes of the highest eulogies to his character as a man, as a patriot, as a judge, and to his great legal learning. I understand that he was the only native of Ireland who ever held a commission as Judge of the United States Court; and to thus win the confidence of a people and bar composed mainly of men who fought on the side of the Confederacy was certainly indisputable proof of his rounded, symmetrical, pure character, and proves him well worthy of one of the brightest niches in the judicial temple. Judge Erskine's distinction in literature, his urbane manners, and lovable character all serve to endear him to the people in whose affections he is so deeply enshrined. He is still with us, and not only has the respect of the members of the bar, but he is a universal favorite with all classes of the best people of the city of Atlanta, where he still resides. To-day life-sized portraits of his Honor, painted by the distinguished artist, Prof. L. M. D. Guillimane, hang in the United States court rooms of Atlanta and Savannah, placed there by the lawyers of the respective cities, as voluntary tributes of respect, after he had ceased, by his resignation, to occupy a position in which he could either control or influence their motives. This is an unusual and certainly a marked compliment.

Another distinguished citizen of the city of Atlanta is Senator Joseph E. Brown—a man of the people—self-reliant, self-educated, and Scotch-Irish to the core. He has represented the people in the Legislature, in the State Senate, in the Superior and Supreme Courts of Georgia, and served four times as Governor of the state; he also served as United States Senator, and was never defeated in an election before the people. His skill as a financier, as a manager of great corporations, as a writer on political economy, as a manager of men, and as a leader and molder of public opinion, always on the side of the masses; his benevolence and liberal donations to the State University and to the denominational college of the Baptist Church, of which he is an honored member; his easy, plain Democratic manner; his accessibility to the humblest citizen, his unpretending daily walk, his unerring judgment of men and measures, from the highest pinnacle of statesmanship to the commonest details of everyday life, make him a marked man in the state; and his name will live and be honored as long as the history of Georgia is read by an intelligent and patriotic people. He has reared a large family, All his sons are business men and worthy representatives of their illustrious father.

Our present able and distinguished executive, Gov. W. J. Northen, is also one of our race. Gov. Northen has been a lifelong teacher of a high order of schools, has given much attention to agriculture, is a gifted writer and fine speaker; a man of irreproachable private character, an ornament to the Baptist Church, of which he is a member; and his official records for fine judgment, fairness, decision, and kindness will leave a bright page in the history of the executive of the state of Georgia.

Maj. Campbell Wallace, a native of Tennessee, and for many years a leading citizen in Atlanta, now over eighty years of age, is the "noblest Roman of them all." For public spirit, loyalty to his friends, faithfulness to all public trusts; as a promoter, a builder, and manager of railroads, as a gifted financier and banker, as a shining light in the Presbyterian Church, as an advocate of law, order, integrity, morality, kindness to his neighbor and all those who have worked under him, as being approachable by the humblest citizen, and the friend and sympathizer with the smallest child; in all that is lovable in private life, no man is revered more than this venerable octogenarian.

The Inman family: Shade and Walker P., and Shade's sons, Samuel M., and Hugh T. Inman, of Atlanta—the two latter being brothers of the great railroad banker and manager of the Cotton Exchange, New York, John H. Inman—of the four of this family who reside in Atlanta, each would be a marked man in any community. They are natives of Tennessee, and their ancestors figured in the revolutionary war on the patriot side of the colonies. Bach of them has strong personal individuality; they are all men of high morality, strict and honest in their business transactions, and combined they control the cotton market of the world. They are not only monarchs of this great staple, but they find time to build and manage railroads, are deeply interested in every public enterprise, and lend a helping hand to every call of benevolence, and to promote the best interests of the morals and the commerce, and the building up of Atlanta, the city of their adoption and present home. The opinion of Sam or Hugh Inman, on a financial question, is considered the highest authority in this community.

The late John N. Dunn left the impress of his genius on the commerce of Atlanta. Although a lawyer by profession, he gave his time to merchandise, and conceived, promoted, and built, by his indefatigable energy and skill the Atlanta and Florida railroad. He was prominent in every advance of Atlanta's commerce, and especially in championing and establishing the Railroad Commission, that is now giving such great satisfaction to the people of the state of Georgia. He was always loyal and true to his friends, and left an interesting family, who still reside in the city.

Leonidus F. Livingston, our present Representative from this the Fifth Congressional District, whose father was a first cousin of the great Dr. Bivingston,who was searched for and found by Henry M. Stanley in the jungles of Africa, is forging to the front as an orator, a statesman, and a leader of the masses. He is a farmer by profession, but educated in the best Presbyterian academies, and is able to hold his own on any rostrum of public debate in this land.

In our midst is a man of romantic career—John Mcintosh Kell, Adjutant General of the state of Georgia—he looks Scotch-Irish all over. He dared to brave the angry waves throughout all the oceans of commerce, and was second only to Raphael Semmes in command of the Confederate Navy. His skill and daring as a great sea captain contrasts beautifully with his modest, unassuming, quiet life now in the capital of Georgia. His very appearance suggests romance and chivalry. To talk with him, although he must be drawn out by coaxing, is to be the recipient of a treat that is enjoyed alone by those who seek his genial company.

Another marked man is Gen. William S. Walker, a nephew of Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury under President Buchanan, a graduate of West Point, and a general in the Confederate army. His clear cut, genial face is always welcome in any presence, although the loss of a limb on the field of battle makes it inconvenient for him to move around; yet those who have the pleasure of enjoying his social and instructive conversation are always glad to be in his presence. Brave and courteous, kind and gentle, he has the respect and love of all who know him and his accomplished family.

Scotch-Irish journalists of Atlanta: First in order comes Walter G. Cooper, grandson of the renowned statesman and member of Congress—a great leader of manufacturing interests before the war— the Hon. Mark A. Cooper, is now pursuing the profession of journalist. He wields a facile and graceful pen, and is laying the foundation for a reputation that will be worthy of his talents and his Scotch-Irish ancestry.

Joel Chandler Harris, as an all-around journalist, is unique, gifted, and unsurpassed by any of his compeers. As a paragraphist, the columns of the Constitution give evidence of his wit, humor, and satire, that is always cutting, and yet void of venom. He knows all about a newspaper from the "devil" up to the editor in chief. His works of fiction, his books, stories, and magazine articles are now read wherever the English language is printed, and have been translated into a number of foreign tongues. His folk lore, under the sobriquet of Uncle "Remus," is read by the children of all civilizations, and the vein of morality and pictures of human nature found in these charming stories will go down to posterity with the same certainty as Ćsop's Fables, or the tales of the Arabian Nights. His dialect stories published in the leading magazines of the United States have touched a chord in the public heart and won for him a reputation second to no writer of the last quarter of a century. Throughout all his stories sound morality pervades, leaving the reader in better humor with himself and humanity at the close of each piece. His characters are true to life, and he presents the better side of human nature to the gaze of his admiring readers. He has a lovely family of children, and a great future, as he is only in middle age; and his future works will no doubt add to his present well-earned reputation.

Frank H. Richardson, the brilliant young journalist, is a native and resident of Atlanta, and editor in chief of that sprightly daily, the Atlanta Journal. Mr. Richardson was for years the trusted correspondent of the Atlanta Constitution, in Washington, D. C, and his letters on the Acts of Congress and the public affairs of the country were models of fairness and intelligence, and were constantly copied throughout the country as reliable data for congressional news. He was also editor in chief of the Macon Telegraph for two years, but has now returned to his home, and occupies a position second to none in the state. Mr. Richardson is not only an able writer, but his literary and public addresses are models of composition, evincing deep thought, great research, and fluent delivery. He has a bright future before him, and will rank with the best of our Scotch-Irish journalists.

Henry W. Grady, a son of a native of Murphy, N. C., whose father was prominent in that band of patriots that met at Mecklenburg, N. C., and promulgated the first definite declaration of independence against the British Government prior to 1776, the thought and spirit of which was incorporated in the great declaration as written by Thomas Jefferson, which brought about the revolution that resulted in carrying into effect the great thought of our Scotch-Irish ancestors who left the old country and sought homes in the wilds of America, where they could build up a government which would secure them in their homes, religious liberty, and the right to govern themselves, according to the spirit and intent of their first promoters of self-government, in the days of Knox and Calvin. Mr. Grady himself was born in Athens, Ga., the seat of our State University. His first gaze in childhood met there the halls of learning, and the atmosphere that surrounded him was one of literature, education, refinement, and culture, and his environment and educational advantages at this seat of learning were peculiarly adapted to develop the latent genius with which nature endowed him, and made it easy for him to pluck laurels, in his young manhood, that crowned his brow before his untimely death. He reveled in his work, he loved it for its own sake; his facile pen gave not alone himself, but his readers pleasure and delight, and although he wielded an influence as a writer in a daily paper second to no man in the South, yet it was not his only gift. He was a magnetic man; he could control older and what the world called wiser heads; he could capture a public meeting, and in five minutes' of pleasing talk defeat or carry a majority of any crowd he ever faced. I have been a witness of a number of scenes of this kind. When any public enterprise in Atlanta was faltering and its advocates becoming cold, indifferent, or disheartened, for want of material aid, five minutes of Grady's genial, magnetic talk would change the whole current; and time and time again I have seen him change the feelings of his audience, and never knew him to fail in carrying his point. But he was still more highly gifted: he was broad-minded, enthusiastic, and hopeful, and looked forward to a grand future for the South; he comprehended her higher resources; he saw her capabilities; he took in her geographical, agricultural, commercial, mineral, and natural advantages, but it did not make him jealous or envious of other sections of the Union; he was willing to let live, as well as live himself. As a journalist he became familiar with the spirit of the public prints of all sections of the country. Much of the sentiment published in the Northern and Western states gave him pain; it worried his noble nature; he realized that much of it was not just, and he resolved to counteract what he conceived to be the evil tendency of the day. To this end he visited the Eastern states; he carried with him a warm heart, a brilliant mind, and an eloquent tongue; he met these people face to face, and with an impassioned oratory that was as irresistible as the clarion notes of Henry Clay or S. S. Prentiss, of other days, he pleaded for a better feeling and a better understanding between the different sections of the country. His earnest words found a lodgment in the hearts of the people. The public heart of the section he visited responded promptly to his burning eloquence, and all over the land a better understanding between the reading public gave voice in unmistakable tone to the sentiments of this young Southerner, who had invaded the old strongholds of what he believed to be prejudice and injustice to the section of his birth. No man can estimate the good that will result to his people from his efforts in time to come. Nowhere in the history of the country has one so unknown, and coming so unexpectedly, appeared upon the arena of public affairs and made such a radical change and deep impression upon the public mind. This young Georgian had his convictions, as strong and abiding as any of his ancestors; yet by tongue and pen ho was conciliatory, but never cringing. He never truckled to public or popular sentiment against what he conceived to be right. He stood for the right, and wielded a fearless lance. This Congress of Scotch-Irishmen of all the land may well feel proud of their young champion of good feeling, of fair dealing, and honorable intercourse between the states that have, each, so many of our race among their best citizens.

The spirit of Scotch-Irishmen has pervaded every walk of life in the development of Atlanta; not only before the surrender, but under the new order of things.

Bankers: As money moves the world, the position attained by the bankers and business men of this people has been very marked.

The Hill brothers, proprietors of the Gate City National Bank, have been most liberal in fostering the manufacturing establishments of the city. W. J. Garrett, bank director and merchant, and the late Gen. Alfred Austell are well known in banking and financial affairs; and as an all-round business man, J. B. Wylie, merchant, banker, financier, and promoter of all other public enterprises, is pronounced and positive.

Among the successful business men of Atlanta of Scotch-Irish extraction are the following: Venable Brothers, who have contributed largely to Atlanta's public works; Adair Brothers, as merchants, financiers, and manufacturers, are well known throughout Georgia; W. W. Boyd, of the firm of Van Winkle & Boyd; the Winship Brothers, are all manufacturers and promoters of the best interests of Atlanta. The Dodd brothers are also prominent in this connection. James A. Anderson and W. S. Bell are also well known in business and in manufacturing circles; while J. R. McCullom is one of the leading railroad men of the state.

In this connection we cannot fail to mention one of the most successful residents of our city, the Hon. Pat. Calhoun, a grandson of the great John C. Calhoun. Without money—with nothing but his indomitable energy—he commenced the practice of law in Atlanta, where he now resides. On a brief visit to New York he tackled the monarchs of Wall Street, and as a manipulator of great syndicates and railroad corporations he stepped to the front rank; and he and his brother, John C. Calhoun, became a power on Wall Street, where they were temporarily sojourning, that shook the stability of many of the most important railroads of the South; and they stood as a power among all these conflicting railroad changes that are so much feared and respected by all who have interests in these great stock and bond corporations. He, too, like nearly all our race, is a man of great personal attraction; moral and upright in all his dealings and in private life. As a public speaker, debating financial questions, he is the peer of any man in all the land, and nobly sustains the strain of intellectual gift of his honorable grandfather, Senator John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina.

Col. J. H. Stark, a grandson of Gen. Stark, of revolutionary fame, is a leading business man in our city. Also Capt. George B. Forbes, John C. Hendrix, Capt. E. M. Roberts, Col. George W. Scott, D. U. Sloan, Andrew P. Stewart, John C. Kirkpatrick, Capt. A. J. McBride, Col. A. J. West, Robert H. Wilson, T. H. P. Blood-worth, Robert A. Barry, W. S. Saul, Joseph B. Raine, Jeff G. Pearce, J. J. Woodside, Frank T. Ryan, George J. Dallas, Thomas J. Boyd, James Dunlap, J. B. Bateman, James Finley, R. M. Farrar, J. L. C. Kerr, James R. Whitesides, J. L. Rodgers, and Maj. W. J. Houston are successful representatives of our race in various business capacities.

Gen. J. E. Lewis, another Scotch-Irishman, is our present efficient postmaster, and was a distinguished soldier in the Union army.

Among the lawyers of Scotch-Irish extraction may be mentioned Clifford Anderson, Judge Andrew E. Calhoun, Fulton Colville, James R. Whitesides, J. W. Speairs, Judge John D. Cunningham, Hooper Alexander, Hamilton Douglas, Samuel Barnett, and James L. McWhorter.

In stenography, the magic art of catching words on the wing, our Scotch-Irish are equally successful. M. J. McCord is the official reporter of the United States District Court; Harvey L. Parry is the official stenographer of the Stone Mountain Circuit; and J. L. Driscol, the veteran in a double sense, is a successful law and general reporter in our city.

Mrs. B. P. McDowell Wolff is an honored representative of our race and of the Revolution. She traces her ancestry back to Patrick Henry and Gen. William Campbell, the hero of King's Mountain, while her maternal grandfather was Gen. Francis Preston. Her father graduated in Princeton in 1817, served as Governor of Virginia from 1842 to 1845, and as a member of Congress from 1845 to 1851. Mrs. Wolff and her accomplished daughter, Mrs. L. McDowell Krug, reside in Atlanta at present.

Gen. J. E. B. Stuart has a relative in Atlanta in the person of Mrs. B. F. Chevalier.

Having thus spoken of the leading men of our race in great public enterprises, in statesmanship, in business, in law, in the ministry, the army and the navy, it may not be amiss to say a word of our distinguished physicians, among whom may be mentioned Drs. James F. Alexander, J. S. Todd, K. C. Devine, F. W. McRae, W. A. Crow, G. C. Crawford, C. P. King, and W. S. Kendrick. Towering, however, above them all, is the gifted A. W. Calhoun, another member of the Scotch-Irish family, whose devotion to his profession, whose love for his race, and whose kindness to the poor have won for him a fame that is acknowledged by all the members of the medical profession, and which has placed him above the mark of even the slightest suspicion of jealousy or envy from his associates. Another distinguished Scotch-Irishman, the Hon. Henry W. Hillard, whose fame as a lawyer, as a legislator, as a member of Congress, as a minister of the gospel, an orator, a political speaker, and as a diplomat; who has honorably represented his country in Belgium and Brazil; whose courtly manners and high moral character, combined with his great ability as a writer on political economy and his high social standing, all render him a marked figure in any community, still lend attraction to his elegant home on Peach-tree Street.

Besides these distinguished representatives of our race many others have contributed largely to the building of Atlanta in less prominent positions.

J. M. Brosius, an inventor of national reputation, and Col. B. J. Wilson, an inventor, manufacturer, and financier, have by their intelligence, industry, and ingenuity reflected great credit on the race in their chosen field of labor.

In fact, there is not a leading business in the city but what has felt the touch of Scotch-Irish blood. As great railroad projectors, in diplomacy and statesmanship, at the bar and in the pulpit, in medicine and merchandise, in journalism and finance, in the arts of war and the arts of peace, they stand forth prominently and conspicuously as a part of Atlanta. I know full well that there are many of our race who have contributed to these results, and whose names I would be glad to mention if I could find the prima facie evidence of their lineage on the roster of our state and national society. I feel confident, however, that in the future there will be no necessity for jogging their memories. The interesting ceremonies, the presence of distinguished members from abroad, those eloquent and instructive speeches and compositions, in connection with the proceedings of the last three Congresses of this society, will so impress the public mind that all who have not availed themselves of the great privilege of becoming members will certainly hasten to do so in the near future. When its objects are thoroughly understood; when it is known that we are neither partisan nor sectarian, but that we are collecting from here a little and from there a little of the deeds and acts of the men and women who form our race; and when it is realized that everything that is good and wise and patriotic and public-spirited and learned, is in some way represented by our people, surely all will have a greater and deeper interest in gathering up our fragmentary history, and bringing it into tangible and instructive shape. And although we claim much for the Scotch-Irish of Atlanta, yet there is not a village or a city in the union but would, if care was taken to hunt up the records, show that the same ruling spirit prevails as in this community.


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