The Scotch-Irish in America.
The Scotch-Irish Society of America
Citation Information: The Scotch-Irish Society of America, The Scotch-Irish in America. Proceedings and Addresses of the Second Congress at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. May 29 to June 1, 1890. Published by order of the Scotch-Irish Society of America. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1890, p. 59-61, 66-67.
Richmond, VA., May 28, 1890.
To A.C. Floyd, Esq.,
Secretary Scotch-Irish Congress,
In the name of the Virginia Scotch-Irish Society, I congratulate the Second Scotch-Irish Congress upon its assured success. Regretting my enforced absence, I am,
WM. WIRT HENRY
Prest. Va. S. I. Society
The greetings were received and placed upon the minutes.
The convention then took a recess until 3 p.m.
Business meeting at the Monongahela House.
The house was called to order at 3 P. M. by President Bonner.
Judge Dougherty, of Boston, offered the following resolution:
That there may be no apprehension as to the purpose of this Society, we hereby declare that we are not organized in antagonism to any class of the Irish or Scotch races, from whatever source they may derive their origin.
Judge Dougherty explained that the object of the Society was often misunderstood. Outsiders had an idea that the members were opposed to the Catholic religion. The Scotch thought it was aimed at them, and the pure Irish believed it was intended to oppose their associations. The speaker wished to impress upon the minds of the people that the Society was non-partisan and non-sectarian.
Dr. Hall, of New York, made the most telling address of the debate. He said that to pass such a resolution was to place themselves on the defensive. If the Society assumed such a position, they would virtually lay themselves open to conviction if a question would arise. The Constitution of the Society states that it is non-sectarian, and that was sufficient. The Presbyterians of Ireland were the best friends the Catholics ever had. The Catholics of Ireland know this, and were always friendly with the Presbyterians. It was needless to pass such a resolution, as it would open up an endless controversy.
Dr. Woodside, of Pittsburg, favored the passage of the resolution, as he thought many people did not understand the position of the Society.
Dr. Haas, of Canada, moved that the motion be laid on the table, giving as his reasons that the point in dispute in Canada was not between the Scotch-Irish and the Irish, but between the Scotch-Irish and the French races.
Dr. McIntosh, of Philadelphia, said the Hibernian Society was of Scotch-Irish origin, although it has since become the society of the Irish in America. He explained that the position occupied by the Society was fully understood by the race societies of America. The motion to lay on the table was seconded by him, and was unanimously carried when a vote was demanded.
Dr. D. C. Kelly submitted the following greeting for approval of the Society, to be sent to the Sons of the American Revolution, which met in New York that day
SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION:
The Scotch-Irish Society of America, in annual session at Pittsburg, Pa., sends greeting.
In large part we have a common ancestry. Our motto, Liberty and Law, run parallel with yours. We will join you in every laudable effort to give this honor to the world.
Dr. McIntosh seconded the motion to adopt the resolution, which was carried.
Colonel Johnson, of Charlotte, N. C., was then introduced and spoke as follows:
I am sorry that I am not in condition to appear before you this evening. I come from the city which is named after the Princess of Charlotte, the wife of George the Thrid, and the province after the Princess of Mecklenburg.
It was that province that gave to the world the first Declaration of Independence, and let me say in the beginning that I am glad to be here. I am at a loss to know where all the Scotch-Irish came from to North Carolina. Some of them came originally to Charleston with the Huguenots; others came through the port of Wilmington, and others through Norfolk, Virginia. A large portion of Scotch of Mecklenburg county-and they have framed its history and formed its government, and gave character, independence and importance to it-a large portion of them came through Pennsylvania from Scotland, and some from Ireland. My ancestors came there in the earliest days of the settlement, and they, as well as their descendants, have been as true Scotch-Irishmen as you will find in all the world. They have always retained the characteristics of the true Scotch-Irish race.
It was through the efforts of that people that the county of Mecklenburg was enabled to give to the world a declaration of its independence from British rule. And in that very declaration, written one year and six weeks before the declaration which came from the pen of Thomas Jefferson, many of the same words were made use of that afterward appeared in the document upon which the liberties of the American people are founded. The existence of such a paper had been denied by Jefferson, but not until forty-five years after it was given to the country.
The history of North Carolina is the history of a human race struggling for liberty; and the history of the State of North Carolina is itself the history of the Scotch-Irish race in that section of the Union.
I regret that the storm will prevent my being heard, and it is one of the things I never battle against, so, thanking you for your forbearance, I will say good night. (Applause.)
Dr. Kelly was then introduced, and said:
Before proceeding, I wish to read to you this invitation; then, in a very few moments, I will be able to let you all loose.
[Dr. Kelly then read an invitation asking the delegates to attend the celebration of the anniversary of the birthday of Davy Crockett, to be held in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on August 19th.-See among Letters and Telegrams.]
I wonder if the Pres Dispatch of to-day got the peroration of Pittsburg’s representative in Congress, whose words will ring from one end of this world to the other, and make the heart beat with joy in the bosom of every Scotch-Irishman in the land. He said that the Scotch-Irishman, on either side of the recent conflict, did what they said we love each other non the less to-day; and he spoke a fact, true of ever man through whose veins Scotch-Irish blood takes its course to-night, when he said the Scotch-Irishman of the North and South are to-day standing face to face with each other, with their hands grasping each other in the clasp of fraternal love, and that they will ever stand loyal to their country, true to their Constitution, their kinsman and their God. (Applause.)
One other fact: Last winter, in New York, I saw a notice published beforehand of certain speeches that were to be made on the race problem of the South. I was satisfied that New Yorkers did not know much about the race question. I concluded that I would go around and hear what they had to say. They had been talking a little while, when Dr. Hall was called upon. One might suppose that he knew less than a New Yorker, but it so happened that he had traveled through Tennessee, had been to Columbia and looked into the faces of the Scotch-Irish people, and when he arose before that great audience, and with the commanding voice which few other men of America are blessed with, said: “I have been among these people. I have looked into their faces. They are the same God loving, God fearing people that we are. They are seeking from the Bible to know their duties, as we are. They are doing what they can to help bring these people to God and salvation; and you may rest assured that, in the end, they will succeed, and all will be right.” (Applause.) To-night, I echo the words that were born in my heart on that memorable occasion-“God bless John Hall and the Scotch-Irish Congress.”