Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 17.djvu/18
Southern Historical Society Papers.
Some of these gentlemen I see before me to night, and I congratulate them upon the fame fairly won by their genius. To the medical students here in such numbers this evening, these distinguished men will say, as they of all others know, that genius is only hard work well directed. Some future speaker, filling the place I occupy now, in fitter and more eloquent words, will tell another audience the names of these men, and they will go down into history as great and grand as those that I have just mentioned.
Organization must be our watchword. In a country, where all is progress, where material resources are being rapidly developed, the medical men of this section must not prove laggards.
Agriculture is in a state of progressive advancement. Our mineral wealth is at last appreciated and turned to valuable account; the hum of the loom, the ring of the anvil and the sound of the forge resound throughout the land. Our waste places are no longer desolate; the increased growth of agricultural products is amazing. The cotton crop of 1888 is more than double the crop of 1860—the time at which was believed the South had reached her hey-day of prosperity.
Last year (1888) the value of the crops in the South was the largest on record, and yet this year (1889) the value of her agricultural products alone, it is estimated, will be increased $125,000,000. Statistics show her rapid growth in other industries to be fully as great, if not greater. And this is the legitimate outcome of the courage, sagacity and industry of her own people—a people born and reared under the Southern sun. For there is no new South; the blood of her patriots of the past flow in the veins of her people to day, unmixed by any other strain. Blessed with an unequalled climate; with fertile lands, whose products are most varied and abundant; with coal, minerals and precious stones in quantities exceeding the wildest imaginations; inhabited by a people who have shown to the world their patriotism, endurance and valor; with the surplus negro population relegated to Mexico, towards which country, in the providence of God, it is now drifting, the South is advancing and improving in every way.Villages are springing up in every direction, towns and cities are being located at all important commercial points, and those already established are marked by annual increase both in wealth and population. All these things tend to the advancement of the object we have in view; already there is scarcely a community that is not sufficiently dense to furnish clinical material to those engaged in active