THE SCOTCH-IRISH OF WESTERN VIRGINIA...continued

A CONTRIBUTION FROM COL. WILLIAM PRESTON JOHNSTON, PRESIDENT OF TULANE UNIVERSITY, NEW ORLEANS, LA.

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The Scotch-Irish are accounted a grim, dour, and hard race; in the language of the country, snub twisted. Likely enough there is this basis to a character, which in its make-up is the most substantial I ever met. Slow to give their confidence and unforgiving of its betrayal, they are loyal to love or friendship or plighted faith, to ideas and ideals once adopted, to the fixed and fundamental verities of life, in a degree not surpassed by any other breed of men. You know where to find them--God bless them.

If they have not evinced marked genius in certain directions, as in art or literature, and the other forms of the aesthetic, yet it must be confessed that in the realm of rationality, the region of judgment, the vast domain of common sense, which includes the practical conduct of life, none have been more eminently successful. This is true in scholarship, in theology, in engineering, medicine, law, and politics. What has struck me most forcibly in these Scotch-Irish is that, while phenomenal genius is rare, talents and superior abilities seem the common heritage of the race.

All that is needed for their development is education. You can go into any Scotch-Irish household in Rockbridge, I might say in the valley, and take out a stripling, and you can make anything you choose of him if you catch him young enough. Doctor, lawyer, statesman, preacher, railroad president, it matters not, give him the trail and he will follow it to the end. And as for soldiering, if you want men who will walk with you into the grim jaws of death without faltering, and hold the fort till the ultimate doom, take men from "the mountains of West Augusta," the Scotch-Irish of the Valley. We have only to to call to mind that in the memorable battle of King's Mountain in the Revolutionary War the leaders and a large part of the victorious rebel army were of this stubborn breed. But a hundred fields have since demonstrated the same fierce valor and unyielding tenacity of purpose.

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