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The Scotch-Irish in America
By John Walker Dinsmore (1906)


Some time ago I wrote for the Presbyterian Banner, a short series of papers on, "A Typical Scotch-Irish Community Fifty-Odd Years Ago." These papers awakened an interest quite unexpected, especially among the people of this race. Letters came to the writer from widely separated sections of the country, requesting him to expand the papers and publish them in a volume. Several ancient congregations took formal action to the same effect. This little book is the result. The articles in the Banner were simply the basis of what is here written much enlarged. It does not pretend to be an adequate history of the Scotch-Irish people in this land. Its aim is much less ambitious. It is simply an at tempt to sketch with a free hand, some of the characteristic traits, ways of life, institutions and influences of this race, particularly in the earlier days in this country. Western Pennsylvania is selected for the purpose of illustration, because that section was first settled and is still dominated by the most powerful Scotch-Irish community in America. No effort has been made to give this little book orderly arrangement, or to cast it into logical form. It is simply a series of sketches, true to nature and to fact; pictures of a people, their doings and the conditions under which they lived in former days. The chief thing to be regretted is that a more clever and skilful hand did not hold the brush.

John Walker Dinsmore.
San Jose, Cat.

Bloomington, Ill., June 18th, 1906.

I have read with deep interest the advance sheets of "The Scotch-Irish in America", by Rev. Dr. John W. Dinsmore, my friend, and former pastor. It is in every respect an admirable book. Every man who has a drop of Scotch-Irish blood in his veins will be profoundly interested in its perusal. Dr. Dinsmore knows whereof he writes. Nothing the book contains is matter of hearsay to him. The people described are those among whom he was reared his neighbors and friends; the incidents mentioned, those of which he was the witness in his early life.

The congregation so graphically described is the type of thousands of others scattered throughout this broad land. In this book we live again in the old ways and fashions of our fathers and much that should never have been forgotten is vividly recalled. Dr. Dinsmore has rendered a valuable service in this clear-cut presentation of the good old times and customs home life and church life of the generation of which but few remain. Young and old alike will find pleasure and profit in the perusal of this book.

Adlai E. Stevenson.


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