Scotch-Irish in America Proceedings of the Fourth
Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to May 1, 1892
A SONG- OF WELCOME.
Written and Recited before
the Congress by Mr. Frank L. Stanton, of Atlanta.
With the voices that rise
from her mountains,
With the songs of her valleys and plains,
With the murmuring flow of her fountains,
With the April that dreams in her rains;
With the joy of her spring—the enchanter,
Whose roses climb, kissing her mouth,
She wafts you her welcome, Atlanta,
The queen of the South.
Her mountains, her
valleys, will sing it
No song that is tempered with sighs;
Her winds in wild music will wing it
To the blue and the answering skies;
O, welcome, our friends and our brothers,
From the northland, the eastland, the west.
Our country—her smile is a mother's;
Rest here on her breast.
We meet you, we greet you,
In your states, in your honors, your names.
The whole world is bright with your story,
And the wreath on your foreheads is fame's.
Clasp hands with us here in the splendor
Of friendship's fair temples and domes;
And take from our hands what we render—
Our hearts and our homes! '
Part I - The
BY A. C. FLOYD.
The fourth annual
Congress of the Scotch-Irish Society of America was held in Atlanta the
last week of April, 1892. Perhaps no city in the South better exhibits
the spirit of progress and development which pervades this section of
the nation than Atlanta, and certainly none presents more attractions to
For the benefit of our
members who were not able to attend the Congress, we quote some extracts
from an article on "Atlanta," written by the Rev. George L. Chaney, and
published in the New England Magazine of November, 1891. Mr. Chaney is
himself a Boston man who has been living in Atlanta for several years.
The infancy, youth, and
maturity of the city are associated with the three names it has borne:
Terminus, Marthasville, and Atlanta. We know that. Atlanta has grown,
but if the writer quoted means to say that Atlanta is grown, then her
people will raise their voices in dissent, believing that old age will,
for many long years, refrain from placing his destructive hand on her
fair-brow to tear thence her well-won laurels.
Nature has bestowed upon
this fair city of the South a delightful climate,, taken all the year
round, that is not, perhaps, surpassed, if equaled, in this country; and
her situation is such as has necessarily made her a great commercial
center. Already ten great railroad lines center here, and the numerous
street railways connect with many charming suburban towns.
companies, having an aggregate capital of over $5,000,000, have been
established here. Colleges and schools of various kinds are attracted to
this city as their natural center, and her public school system is as
good as any in the South. Atlanta has, perhaps, more church-goers than
any city of its size in the United States.
The old business houses,
which were built in the style usual with rapidly growing cities, are
giving place to handsome, compactly constructed edifices; prominent
among which are the Equitable, Chamber of Commerce, Chamberlin and
Johnson, High, Gate City Bank, and Law Buildings.
The Courthouse, Capitol,
and Customhouse are worthy of the state's capital; the million dollar
Capitol, which was built inside the legislative appropriation, reminds
one, in its style and proportions, of the Capitol at Washington.
The Young Men's Library,
with its fifteen thousand volumes; the Y. M. C. A., the Home for
Confederate Soldiers, and the Grady Hospital are among the institutions
which exemplify the public spirit of Atlanta's citizens.
Atlanta's police force is
excellent; her fire department, in skill and promptness, is unsurpassed.
DeGive's Opera House and
the newly erected Edgewood Avenue Theater furnish amusement for
Atlanta's play-goers; and an elegant new theater will soon be opened.
At Grant Park, the
prettiest and most extensive in the city, is to be found a large and
well-kept "Zoo." Within the park is Fort Walker, which, with its
surrounding fortifications, its cannon and caissons, and its collection
of balls and broken shells, brings to mind the horrors of the late war.
Two life-sized statues of
Atlanta's beloved sons, the distinguished Senator B. H. Hill, and the
matchlessly eloquent orator, H. W. Grady, stand the one in the capitol
grounds, the other on Marietta Street, in front of the Customhouse. But
while Atlanta loves her dead, she honors her living; with her sorrow hid
in her heart- she seeks those on whom the mantles of her dead kings have
fallen, gladly welcoming the friendly stranger within her hospitable
gates, and no city is more beloved. Vive la ville, Atlanta!
The attractions outlined
by the gifted author were themselves sufficient inducements for us to
select Atlanta as the place of meeting; but more persuasive than these
even was the hearty enthusiastic invitation which we received from her
people. This invitation came from the Governor of the state of Georgia,
the Mayor and City Council of Atlanta, the Atlanta Scotch-Irish Society,
the Board of Trade, the Y. M. C. A., the Evangelical Ministers' Union,
the Northern Society, the Grand Army Post, the Confederate Veterans'
Association, and all the representative bodies of the city. It was
presented to us on the platform of our third Congress, at Louisville,
Ky., by the most prominent and eloquent orators of the city. Such
attractions so presented were not to be resisted, though San Francisco,
Cal., and Springfield, O., were holding out their hands to us in hearty
welcome. As will be seen by reading the papers of distinguished
Georgians in this volume, the state is a stronghold of Scotch-Irish
stock, and Atlanta is the product of their hands.
All the people of
Atlanta—and, indeed, of Georgia—were, in a certain sense, represented in
the invitation extended us by their Governor and city authorities. The
organized bodies that joined in the invitation include in their ranks
nearly all the prominent and public-spirited men of Atlanta. It was,
therefore, not surprising that from the beginning a lively general
interest in the Congress was manifested by the best elements of the
city. The Scotch-Irish Society of Atlanta, however, took the lead in
making the arrangements for our entertainment. A finer body of men than
they no city in the land can muster. This Society was organized in
April, 1890, during a visit which Dr. John S. Macintosh and Col. John W.
Echols, representing the National Society, made to Atlanta for that
purpose. During most of the time since its organization, Rev. Dr. J. N.
Craig has been its President, and until his removal to Texas in the
summer of 1891, Mr. W. Hugh Hunter was its Secretary. To Mr. Hunter in
largest degree was due the permanent organization and first considerable
accessions to the ranks of this splendid body. Of pure Scotch-Irish
blood himself, and with a strong conviction of the importance of his
work, Mr. Hunter threw into his efforts an energy and enthusiasm which
could not fail of success. After his removal to Texas the work was taken
up and has been carried on with the same gratifying progress by his
successor, Mr. T. H. P. Bloodworth, the present Secretary. This Society
appointed special committees of arrangements for the Congress, selecting
partly from its own ranks and partly from the other organizations that
joined them in the invitation. The supervision of all the arrangements
was imposed upon an Executive Committee, consisting of Dr. J. N. Craig,
Chairman; Mr. T. H. P. Bloodworth, Secretary; Judge W. L. Calhoun and
Col. H. F. Starke. Dr. Craig is at the head of the Home Missions of the
Presbyterian General Assembly, a leader in the counsels of his Church;
and, what is not generally expected of a clergyman, is a man of rare
executive ability. Mr. Bloodworth is a successful business man, with the
characteristic energy and ability of his race.
The name of Calhoun is a
household word, but not on account of the great family to which he
belongs so much as because of his goodness of heart and vigor of
intellect is Judge W. L. Calhoun the idol of an admiring constituency.
Col. H. F. Starke is the
grandson of the revolutionary hero, John Starke, and in him do the
qualities of his illustrious ancestor live again.
The names of all the
committeemen are given in the pages immediately following this article,
but special mention is due Capt. G. B. Forbes, Chairman of the
Invitation Committee, whose address in this volume breathes the spirit
of fraternity which we are striving to cultivate; to Mr. J. C.
Kirkpatrick, Chairman of the Finance Committee, whose respected name and
influence, as well as his personal efforts, enabled the committee to
secure the necessary fund for expenses; to Col. J. R. Whitesides,
Chairman of the Committee on Halls, for his untiring efforts to provide
for the comfort of visitors; to Col. Lavender R. Ray, Chairman of the
Committee on Speakers; and to Mr. J. L. C. Kern, Chairman of the
Committee on Music.
For several months before
the date fixed for our meeting these gentlemen devoted themselves to the
preparations for the event. The arrangements were projected on a most
generous plan and were carried to the most satisfactory completion, as
will be seen by reference to the report of the Executive Committee,
published in another part of this volume.
The officers of the
Society began to arrive in Atlanta the first days of the week of our
meeting. The members, many of them with their wives and daughters,
continued to come during the entire week until a goodly crowd of
representative Scotch-Irish people were present from every section of
the nation. It may be said, without disparagement to the cities which
have heretofore entertained us, that the arrangements for sight-seeing
and social entertainment were, in many respects, superior to those of
our meetings in former years. This was due, in some measure, to
improvements in our programme, suggested by experience, and to the
superior facilities of Atlanta as a convention city.
The Kimball House, one of
the largest and best-equipped hotels in the United States, was the
official headquarters. Within its capacious walls were gathered the bulk
of the visitors from a distance. Situated in the very center of the
city, every point of interest in and about Atlanta is easily accessible
from its doors.
The principal social
event of our stay was the reception tendered the Congress at the
Gubernatorial Mansion by Gov. and Mrs. Northen, who are themselves the
highest types of Georgia's manhood and womanhood. Within the halls of
this historic mansion the brilliant throng assembled was entertained
with a genuine warm-hearted Southern hospitality which will not soon be
forgotten. The social attention which we received did not end here,
however, but continued to the hour of our departure. The freedom of the
city was tendered us by Mayor Hemphill at the beginning, and it was no
empty compliment. Every one, from the Governor down, seemed delighted to
contribute to our pleasure, and the result was a week of the completest
The exercises of the
Congress were held in the Hall of Representatives of the state Capitol.
This magnificent building has been completed only a few years, and is a
source of just pride to Georgia. The hall in which we met is a perfect
audience chamber for our purposes. Our usual Sunday service was held in
the afternoon instead of at night, as heretofore. DeGive's Opera House
was chosen for this meeting, because it was the largest auditorium in
the city. It was crowded to its utmost capacity, and the same profound
religious impression was made that characterized the similar services
held at Pittsburg and Louisville in 1890 and 1891. The far-reaching and
elevating influences of these services cannot be estimated. The national
Society has no part in making the arrangement for these meetings. They
are entirely under the control of the local committees, who have, year
after year, by common consent, chosen Dr. John Hall, of New York, to
deliver the sermon of the occasion. His towering form seems to suffer
nothing from the ravages of time, and his great powers of mind and heart
grow with the years, and draw men heavenward with greater and greater
The report of our
Executive Committee, in succeeding pages, reviews the progress of our
Society during the year ending at Atlanta, and it would be needless
repetition to set it forth again at this place. Suffice it to say that
we are moving steadily on to the accomplishment of our high purposes
along the lines laid down at the beginning. The rapidity and scope of
our progress in the future will depend upon the continued interest and
work of our individual members.
It is earnestly hoped
every member of the Society will endeavor to bring into our ranks during
the year a number of his friends, and that we may close the year with
the best record of any in our history. Springfield, O., will be our next
place of meeting. The date fixed is May 15-18, 1893. Springfield is
situated in the heart of one of the most populous, fertile, and
beautiful sections of the United States, and is rich in historical
incidents of special interest to the Scotch-Irish race. It is forty-four
miles southwest of Columbus, eighty miles northward of Cincinnati, and
one hundred and thirty-five miles eastward of Indianapolis. Through its
railroad systems, the Pennsylvania, the Big Four, the N. Y., P. and O.,
and the Ohio Southern, and their connections, it is easily accessible
from all directions. Excursion rates will be had over all the railroads.
Springfield has about thirty-five thousand inhabitants, largely engaged
in the manufacture of agricultural implements, in which it is easily
ahead of the world. Its people cannot be excelled in warmhearted
hospitality, and all visitors will receive a royal welcome. Mr. George
H. Frey, of that city, will be glad to furnish information relating to
Springfield and the arrangements for the Congress to all who may desire
it. Mr. Frey is one of the most honored citizens of Springfield, and to
his influence principally is due the selection of that city as the place
of meeting. The early announcement of the time and place of meeting it
is hoped will enable us to secure a larger attendance at our fifth
Congress than we have ever yet had.
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