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The Scotch-Irish in America
Proceedings of the Third Congress at Louisville - Proceedings

Polytechnic Hall.

Mr. Bonner:

The Congress will now come to order; we will be led in prayer by the Rev. Dr. Broaddus, of Louisville.

Dr. Broaddus:

O gracious God, help us that we may give Thee our hearts, and have confidence that Thou wilt intelligently direct our paths. We thank Thee that we live in the light of history, that we are not left to struggle out or spend our life without any guidance from the experience of the past We thank Thee for all the good and true men and women, whom we have ourselves known in other days, who have lived their life in our sight, who have gone before us to the better world, pointing us the way. We thank Thee for all we inherit of the fruits of the life of those who lived long ago, and for the record of their character and conduct. O help us, we beseech Thee, to imitate them as they imitated Christ, to follow their example; that we may live our appointed time in this world and do the work which Thy providence assigns us, so the world may be a little better that we have lived in it. Help us to bear the burdens of life, and to enjoy, thankfully, its many pleasures. God bless all of us who have gathered here together, and all the homes that we represent, and all the memories that we cherish. Bless those who rule over us in the city and State, and the nation. Bless all our people in all parts of the world, and especially prosper, we humbly beseech thee, all the efforts that are made for Thee. Promote national education, and above all things support the poor of the world, and grant that our country may become a source of light and blessing for all the nations of the world. We ask all, humbly, through Jesus Christ the Redeemer. Amen.

Mr. Bonner:

We are now to have the pleasure of listening to a distinguished lawyer and jurist, Judge Temple, of Knoxville, Tenn. His subject is "The Scotch-Irish of East Tennessee."

(For Judge Temple's address, see Part II., page 160.)

Mr. Bonner:

I now have the pleasure of introducing Rev. Dr. Kelley, a distinguished clergyman of Nashville, Tenn., who will have something to say to us about Andrew Jackson, the hero and statesman, whose memory will always be dear to us as long as this republic shall endure.

(For Dr. Kelley's address, see Part II., page 182.)

Mr. Bonner:

I now have the pleasure of introducing Col. McBride, who represents the Scotch-Irish Society of Atlanta, one of the most flourishing branch organizations that we have.

Col. McBride:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. President: I feel that I am somewhat at a disadvantage, as I don't appear before you as a speech-maker: I simply came as a representative from our Society in Atlanta to present a request from the City Council of Atlanta, or rather an invitation from the City Council of Atlanta, Ga., and also from the Chamber of Commerce, for this body to hold its next annual convention in the city of Atlanta. The governing committee of the National Congress has seen fit to select this time for me to present this invitation, and I shall take pleasure in reading the resolution that was passed by our City Council, after which some of our Atlanta delegates who are accustomed to public speaking will give some good reasons why the Congress should meet in our city next year:

Whereas the Scotch-Irish Congress of America will shortly assemble in the city of Louisville, and the Scotch-Irish Society of Atlanta, representing the Scotch-Irish people of Georgia, will send a delegation to Louisville; and whereas a large part of the population of Georgia is Scotch-Irish, and the race is associated with the life of the State from the landing of Oglethorpe until now, and has taken part in the best achievements of our people, in war and in peace: therefore, be it Resolved, By the Mayor and General Council of Atlanta, that the Scotch-Irish Congress of America is cordially invited to hold its next meeting in this city, and the gentlemen representing the local branch of the Society are earnestly requested to do all in their power to induce the national body to accept the invitation.

That is followed by a similar request from our Chamber of Commerce, and I wish to state that I esteem it an honor to have been selected by those bodies to present these invitations to this honorable body. Mr. President, I would, if I could find words, emphasize these invitations; I have seen some reasons; some new reasons have been presented to my mind since attending this meeting, which convinced me that there is no better place in America for the Scotch-Irish Society to hold its next annual Congress than in the Empire State of the South, grand old Georgia. We have had many elegant and learned speeches by the gentlemen who have attended this meeting, but I don't believe a single one of them had learned any thing about that long list of people that have represented Georgia in peace and war, and also represent the Scotch Irish in that State. I am sorry we did not have some one here to tell you about our Montgomerys, that grand old family that from before the revolution down to the present time have been first when liberty and right were at stake; they were always in the front. Our Halls and our Bannisters, to get acquainted with them, I think, would give new life and new vigor to the Scotch-Irish Society of America.

Mr. President, there are many other reasons. I feel, if the audience will excuse me, that my remarks should be more directly to the Executive Committee. I feel out of place in making the statements, but the people of Louisville have shown us how to hang the latch-string on the outside, and Atlanta will try to profit by their example. There are other reasons why I believe it would be for the good of the order, for the good of this Society, that we should hold the next meeting in that old State of Georgia, where there is a large Scotch-Irish population, rather than to go to a long distance. The truth is, ladies and gentlemen, I am informed that this matter is about decided against us, but a gentleman from the North-west told me I should put up the best fight I could. We had our worthy President, Mr. Bonner, down there showing him around, and I think he will be sorry if he don't come there. I urge you with all the power I have to come down there and hold your next Congress.

Mr. Bonner:

Col. McBride has referred to the visit I made recently down in Georgia. One of the impressions left upon my mind during that visit was this: that the great body of the people of the South, as well as the great body of the people of the North, are nearly over their sectional prejudices. Among the speakers that I heard down there was Col. Adair, and I listened to one of the most spirited addresses from him that I ever heard in my life. He is here now with us, and he is going to enforce what Col. McBride has said. I have the pleasure of introducing Col. Adair, of Atlanta.

Col. Adair:

Mr. President: I hold in my hand invitations from two representative bodies in the city of Atlanta. Perhaps, as they are brief, I had better rend them for your understanding. "We, the undersigned, pastors of the evangelical. Churches in the city of Atlanta, do most heartily unite with many others from our city in extending to you a most cordial invitation to hold your annual Congress in 1892 in Atlanta." May, 1891: "The above was adopted by a large number of the members of the Evangelical Ministers' Association to-day. Signed by the Rev. Dr. Hawthorne, of the Baptist Church." And below it says: "There are over fifty members of the above Association, and the resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote of those present."

The other is an invitation written by a lawyer, and of course that makes it hard to read. It goes something after this fashion: It says: "Dear Sir: Observing with pleasure the action of our City Council in extending, through the delegates from the city, an invitation to the American Congress of the Scotch-Irish Society to hold its next meeting in the city of Atlanta, as President of the Young Men's Christian Association, which is among the representative and successful institutions of our city, I beg to unite with others in extending to your Society a cordial invitation to hold its next meeting in this city, where the splendid manhood and character for the good citizenship, and"—you know what it is. It is signed by the President of the concern.

Now, Mr. President, this association of the ministers is a big thing. They are not all Presbyterians down there; they have Methodists, and Baptists, and I don't know what others. They have a meeting every week, and they get together—all the ministers meet, I believe, Monday morning—and they advise together and look around to see where they can do the most good, and the institution is doing away pretty much with all sectarianism. They swap churches occasionally, and they manage in that way to keep things lively, and the congregations hardly ever know who they are going to hear until they get there. That Association is forty or fifty strong, and they give you a cordial invitation to hold your next Congress in Atlanta.

One morning there appeared in the columns of the Constitution about a quarter of a column of matter by a young Scotch-Irishman who is known all over this land, the late Henry W. Grady; he asked the citizens of Atlanta to raise a fund to build a fine building for the Young Men's Christian Association. In twenty days one hundred thousand dollars was raised in sums of from, five thousand dollars to five cents. Every man, woman, and child in Atlanta, and some of the negroes, took stock in it. It is a grand institution, and they have asked you formally to hold your next Congress there. I would be personally very glad to have you do so. I feel that Georgia is hardly known in this institution. I listened with a great deal of pleasure the other day to the distinguished gentleman from Illinois. I never heard a much abler address than he made, but I was amazed that he knew so much about Illinois and the balance of the world, and never mentioned Georgia. I wondered where he got his facts, his rhetoric, and his statistics; I wondered if he had ever heard of George M. Troop, Governor of our State; I wondered if he had ever heard of Charles W. McDonald; I wondered if he had ever heard of the Doughertys; I wondered if he had ever heard of the Halls. He never once mentioned Georgia.

We want to see everybody come that can; we want to see President Bonner and Dr. Hall, and I want to see you all come; I was never more interested in any thing in my life. I have learned more listening to the addresses, and it is going to make us all feel good, and I want you to repeat them in Atlanta next year. I have simply to request that the Executive Committee arrange to have us meet in Atlanta next year, and then that all the members that are here this time will come down there and bring their ladies.

Mr. Bonner:

Col. Adair has complained, and I think justly, about Georgia; and in order to atone for that, in a measure, the band will now play "Marching through Georgia." After that we will hear Georgia's claims enforced by Hon. W. L. Calhoun, a relative of one of the greatest statesmen this country has ever produced, John C. Calhoun.

Band plays.

Mr. Calhoun:

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen: I feel somewhat like my friend Col. Adair, that Georgia had been somewhat neglected, but I feel sure that, if not next year, in the near future we will have the pleasure and honor of having the Scotch-Irish Congress assemble in our city, and then full justice will be done to our State. Before I proceed I will read a letter which has been handed me, and I wish to state that the distinguished gentleman who wrote this letter is himself a descendant of the Scotch-Irish:

It gives me great pleasure to add my indorsement of the invitation extended by the city of Atlanta to the members of the Scotch-Irish Society of America to hold their next annual meeting in this city. I will be pleased to add in any way possible to the entertainment and pleasure of the members if they will accept the invitation tendered them.

W. J. Northen, Governor.

Now Mr. President, I came here simply as a humble citizen, as a spectator to listen. I had no idea that I should utter one word upon this occasion; indeed, I had only known from tradition, and some knowledge of history, that I was a descendant of the Scotch-Irish race, and I am happy that the opportunity was afforded me to attend the meeting of this Congress because I have learned what I never knew before, and I feel prouder of myself and that race than I have ever felt before. Now the pleasing duty assigned to me to-night is limited to the invitation which I have the pleasure of extending to you from the Confederate Veterans Association. I have the honor of being President of that association, which now numbers nearly seven hundred members, and is an association of influence and power in our community. We have organized that association, not for the purpose of disobedience to the government, but we have organized it and maintained it for the purpose of reviving Confederate memories, for the relief of our disabled members, and the preservation of their graves; those are our purposes, to which no people on this continent can object.

Now I come directly to second, in behalf of this association, the invitation which is extended by the Governor of our State, the General Council of the city, and the Ministers' and Young Men's Christian Associations, and I know that an invitation would also have been extended from the Post of the Grand Army of the Republic if they had had time to call a meeting for that purpose—I am informed that it was done— so you have this invitation that comes from these organized bodies, and I go further than that: they represent the people of our State, and if you gentlemen see proper to go there you will never regret it because, while it seems egotistical to say so, Atlanta never does things half-way, and if you come, we will give you a cordial, a hearty, and a whole-souled welcome to our city.

Now, in conclusion, I have this to say: Kentucky has reason, and great reason, to feel proud, for she is the State of Henry Clay, the birthplace of Tom Marshal, the birth-place of George D. Prentice, and many other distinguished sons.

I thank you, and in behalf of our delegation I thank you and the citizens of Louisville for the kind and courteous attention that has been given us.

(See page 10, for all the letters of invitation sent by the representative bodies of Atlanta.)

Mr. Bonner:

Ladies and Gentlemen: I have a resolution that has been placed in my hands by a gentleman whom you all delight to honor. He is honored on both sides of the Atlantic. He was not in this country at the time of our civil war. It was written by the Rev. Dr. John Hall, of New York. I will read the resolution:

Resolved, That this meeting heartily appreciates the cordial invitation from the Governor of the State of Georgia, the City Council, and the Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, and the Minister's and Young Men's Christian Associations, and Confederate Veterans Association, so earnestly presented by the deputation to which we have listened with pleasure, and refer the matter for careful consideration to the Executive Committee.

All who are in favor of that resolution say "Aye," contrary "No."

Carried unanimously.

Dr. MacIntosh:

I should like to inform the audience that to-morrow morning the meeting will be held at 10:30 o'clock in the Masonic Temple. The address will be delivered by Rev. Dr. Acheson, who will take you into Canada.

Mr. Bonner:

This meeting now stands adjourned to meet at the Masonic Temple tomorrow morning at 10:30 o'clock.

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