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Proceedings of the Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
An Address by Col. I. W. Avery.


Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Scotch-Irish Congress: A study of American history reveals the honorable fact that Scotch-Irish blood has been the strongest single force in its events. The fusion of Scotch strength with Irish fire, Scotch poise with Irish dash, Scotch thought with Irish enthusiasm, and Scotch statesmanship with Irish chivalry has made a power, regnant in every crisis. Deathless love of liberty and invincible courage have been its spirit, and the genius of free government its inspiration. Its part in this heaven-born republic has been crucial, and all the supreme events of our country have been framed by its mind and will.

In the birth of the revolution, that vital act of human annals, one-third of the people were Scotch-Irish, and its largest element. The majority of the movers of the Mecklenburg declaration, the start of the struggle, were of Scotch-Irish ancestry. The resistless orator who launched the storm, Patrick Henry, came from Scotch-Irish stock. It was Thomas Jefferson, of Scotch-Irish blood, who wrote the immortal Declaration of Independence, that decalogue of freedom, and who lives in human fame as the undisputed apostle of constitutional government. The hero of the war of 1812, the final Yankee rebuke of the British lion, and the most iron-willed executive of the nation, was the Scotch-Irishman, Andrew Jackson. The great spirit of the Mexican War, Winfield Scott, sprang from Scotch-Irish loins.

Coming on down the tide of focal eras in American history, we get to that vastest war of human annals, the American civil revolution that wiped out human slavery and tested the solid bond of the Union, proving the vitality of our constitutional republic, in which Abraham Lincoln, a scion of the Scotch-Irish, directed the Federal destinies to consummate success; and another Scotch-Irish son, Ulysses S. Grant, had the genius of generalship to close the colossal contest with final and magnanimous victory.

The list of Scotch-Irish Americans gleams with leaders in every field of human achievement. Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat, that immeasurable agent of commerce; the phenomenal Morse, whose sovereign invention of the telegraph links all parts of the globe in instantaneous touch, matching the divine mission of thought and benefiting mankind forever; the farmers' invaluable benefactor, practical McCormick, whose reaper adds a thousand fold to the facility of farm labor; Hiram Powers, the chief of American sculptors; Commodore Perry, the illustrious naval hero; John C. Calhoun, the greatest of Southern statesmen; Stonewall Jackson, the marvel of Confederate soldierhood; Horace Greeley, Henry W. Grady, and Robert Bonner, luminaries of the American Journal; John Hall, a shining light of American evangelism; and a glittering myriad of other blazing lights on every theater of human aspiration and renown came from the potential and unsurpassable Scotch-Irish lineage. I pay the magnificent breed unstinted honor.


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