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