Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/308

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

304 Southern Historical Society Papers.

characteristics in common descended as they were from ances- tors who sprang from the Anglo-Saxon nurseries, they inherited the same laws, the same literature, the same traditions of civil and polit- ical liberty and a like inborn sense of religion. Their pursuits bore a striking similitude the South over agriculture was their chiefest vocation. It sustained a most unusually large proportion to all other engagements of the population.

They were a pure bred people. Local influences gave a variety and coloring here and there. North Carolina, from earliest days of its tutelage, had been conservative.

In the period immediately preceding the war of the Colonies against Great Britain, North Carolina behaved with much reserve. She positively refused for a time to adopt the Articles of Confedera- tion, and Botta, who has written the most instructive history of the war of Independence, says: "She was often excepted from the orders in council which the government of Great Britain denounced against the other colonies." In this particular North Carolina in sentiment shared the attitude of New York more nearly than any other colony.

Unaffectedly modest, the State has lost beyond reparation in divers ways. She has but recently awakened under the importu'ni- ties of her patriotic women to her combined duty and advantage of monuments to her uncounted dead.

The French are perhaps the most civilized people in Europe. In France no unselfish and meritorious act of public service, whether done by artisan or caste, fails to command expressive recognition in brass or stone or canvass.

There is an unpretending shaft in one of the northwestern States erected to the memory of a school-boy, who at the early age of twelve, died under the lash rather than tell an untruth.

The people of North Carolina, while liable, like others, to bursts of vehement impatience, in their normal mood delight to see justice clothed ' ' in orderly forms, unstained by precipitation or suspicion of perversion, advancing to its ends with the majesty of law without unseemly haste, proving things honest in the sight of all men."

Some men have rendered such transcendent and brilliant service that the genius of history in compassion upon the multitude has shadowed their performance.

The philosopher, in dealing with causes, would be greatly amiss if he omitted to reckon with impulses which drive our race to explore