Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Free E-Book: Donald McElroy Scotch Irishman, a novel by W.W.Caldwell, 1918

A short excerpt from this novel by Willie Walker Cadwell...


The life story of most men, who have lived earnest and active lives, would doubtless be worth the hearing, if the various influences and the many vicissitudes which compose it could be separated and skillfully rearranged into some well wrought design. As I look back upon my own life, it seems to me full of interest and instruction, yet I suppose not more so than that of many another; wherefore, were personal experiences and conclusions the sum of it, I should hesitate to write them down, lest those events and struggles which to me have seemed notable and significant, should prove in the telling of them to have been but commonplace incidents to which all are liable. Because of the accident of my birth in the year 1754, however, I have lived through a period which will be ever memorable in the history of the world—a period so crowded with worthy deeds and great men, especially on this continent, that there is small danger its interest will be soon exhausted. Do not conclude that I intend to venture upon a tale of the American Revolution; only a master's hand can fill in with due skill and proportion so wide a canvas, and that story waits. Where my own life's story has been entangled with some of the events of that struggle I must touch upon them, and the real purpose of my narrative—which is to chronicle for future generations the noble part played in the great drama of the nation's making by a certain worthy people—will require me to review briefly a few of the battles and campaigns of our war against autocracy.
The Scotch Irish of America, through the commendable habit of that race, so it be not carried too far, to put their strength into deeds rather than into words, have missed their meed of credit for the important work they did in our struggle for liberty. Now, our honored fellow-countrymen and co-patriots, the Puritans, have not made this mistake; they took their part in action nobly, and also they have taken care to record in history, song, and story the might and glory of their deeds. The "Boston Tea Party" and the "Boston Massacre" will go down emblazoned on the page of history, but the fight at Alamance, and the vehement petitions urging resistance to tyranny sent up to state conventions, and the first Congress, by the Scotch Irish counties of Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have scarcely been heard of.
It is my hope not only to show what the Scotch Irish have done for the cause of liberty, but also to give a just idea of the character of this people, a true picture of their home life, and a correct estimate of that religion which is so dear to them, and which has had so much to do with making them the freedom-loving, and withal broad-minded patriots they are. Few men, I flatter myself, are better equipped to tell a Scotch Irish story than I, Donald McElroy, who in blood am pure blue Scotch Irish, who have been instructed by Scotch Irish divines in things temporal and spiritual, have fought under Scotch Irish leaders, and lived all my life among them: yet I think I may promise that my story shall not be a mere idyl—a panegyric of a people, all whose virtues will be exaggerated, all whose faults will be slurred, or kept out of sight. I have seen too much of life not to know that for each height there is a shadow, that every noble trait of character is closely attended by a special weakness. I know the faults of my people as I know their virtues, and through one dearer to me than all else the world holds, I have suffered much from that narrowness of view and stubbornness of purpose peculiar to some of them.
This novel is now available as a free download. Please click an option below to choose your preferred format or view online. Curtesy of archive.org.

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