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succumbed and lost his Gaelic identity. Not so with the more stolid, unimpressible nature of the Englishman. He presented more resistance, and yielded more slowly to the modifying and moulding forces around him. But they found their way at last to the springs of his life and character, and modified, altered, but never wholly transformed him. It is by no means surprising that we have come to lay much stress on the power of environment in giving tone and bias to a people or community. The life of the pioneer was a continuous struggle of hand, mind and heart, against all-surrounding, relentless nature. How man sinks and perishes before the force, grand and noble though it be, of colossal, unclaimed, trackless nature ! The forests of South America, covering the fairest portions of the globe, and spreading over half the continent, have held the civilization of Spain at bay for more than three hundred years.
“In New England”--the birthplace of our pioneer-"nature gave almost nothing, and all that men obtained had to be won by unflinching and incessant toil. Not wealth and prosperity merely, but a bare subsistence had to be wrung from a niggardly soil and from the cold and stormy sea which washed its jagged cliffs.”
The earliest pioneers of Ohio were in constant contact and frequent struggles with the tribes of that weird race of men, specimens of which are now placed on exhibition with wild animals for the wonderment of our youth. I mean that disinherited race, of whom there is nothing left with us, save the strange music of their names, mingling with the names of England and France on the hills and rivers of this their ancient heritage. They were the pioneers of an earlier age, and we may seem no more than they to the later heirs of future ages. A distinguished writer gives us the following picture of the North American Indian: “His senses were acute ; he was swift of foot ; he never domesticated an animal for milk or food. By the labor of his general drudge, the squaw, he gave the earth a precarious tillage. He had no feeling, no cheerfulness, no sense of the comic. His joy always became frenzy. He had passions which were those of the maniac; jealous, envious, vindictive and unforgiving to the last degree. A master of dissembling when inspired by deep revenge, without genuine courage, strategems, stealth and ambush were his forte. He was devoid of pity.
His swift tomahawk made no distinction between the strong arm of a foe and the helplessness of old age and infancy. Intrepid under privations and suffering, it was not the intrepidity of heroism, but of indumitable pride and stern rigidity of nature. His whole education was to bid grim defiance to his foes. Quick to perceive and slow to reason ; silent, taciturn and deliberate, but not reflective, with oratory, pitched in a high key of grand and pompous magniloquence, he sometimes moved by grand imagery and pathetic appeal.”
Such was this stoic of the woods and wigwam. It is difficult to estimate the influence of this human animal as an educator upon the pioneer in his life in the forest.
The success of the Puritan in his dealings and relations with the Aborigines was most remarkable. He was the only English colonist who ever inspired either awe or confidence in the North American savage.
Better than the peace-loving Quaker with Penn, was the stern, promp justice and inflexible honesty of Standish and his men at Plymouth, in gaining the respect of the red man. The same elements of character gained the mastery on the Cuyahoga over the native savage.
There was a shrewd sagacity, a mixture of Puritan rigor and steady kindness, which saved the settlement at Cleveland from the savage barbarities visited upon other settlements; and while the Indian held permanent ground just west of the river, and his contact with the pioneers was close and constant, he was held in wholesome subordination to the same blood that had mastered “Squanto ” and Massasoit into peaceful and helpful subjection.
Colonial Puritanism underwent a great change in consequence of the minor social results following the War for Independence. The relation of the Revolutionary struggle to the settlement of Ohio has never received, as I believe, the notice its importance and influence demand. It is my purpose here simply to point to a few of the secondary and less obvious effects of the war, in the qualities of individual manners and character they produced.
Not alone in the southern part of Ohio, but on our own Western Reserve, the reflections from the watchfires of the great war continued long to glow upon the hearths and in the hearts of the settlers. This military discipline and experience through which many of them had passed,
gave a peculiar flavor and tone to the habits of these early pioneers. The Anglo-Saxon of all races is most susceptible of irradicable impressions and biases from continued occupations. The spirit of militarism, dominating the citizen soldier, is a healthful educator toward the prompt and efficient observance of public duties. The patriotism of the Puritan was the result of his religious fervor. It was the narrow patriotism of the Hebrew. It required a struggle for purely political rights in the fierce, fiery baptisms of war, that his love of country might be secularized and broadened.
Says Lecky, “War is the great school of heroism. It familiarizes the mind with the idea of noble actions performed under the influence of honor and enthusiasm. It elicits, in the highest degree, strength of character, accustoms men to the abnegation needed for simultaneous action, compels them to repress their fears, and establish a firm con. trol over their affections. It leads them to subordinate their personal wishes to the interests of society.” The Revolution was a great school for the inculcation of this sentiment of patriotism. It infused into the conservative veins of the staid Englishman the ardent blood of restless adventure. This chivalrous spirit thus inherited produced a race of pioneers who were ever faithful in the discharge of civil or military duty. In a day when party fealty bound him by a slight tenure he never failed in his conscientious regard for the public welfare, nor to cast his ballot at each recurring election. No class of men ever placed a higher value on the rights and privileges of our common citizenship. The discipline of the camp, the march, the field, filled him with a fortitude, hardihood and command of expedients, which made it comparatively easy for him to adjust himself to his new condition oflife.
In a large measure the Puritan of New England inherited these qualities from the Cromwells and Hampdens of the Commonwealth ; but in the colonial struggle they were taught the great lesson of the value of civil liberty for its own sake.
The absence of intermediate governmental agencies and corporate intervention between the pioneer and his social duty, was an important circumstance in the strengthening and development of individual character. He did nothing by proxy. He could lay the kindly offices of benevolence upon no “Board of Organized Charities," as can we. Did a sick or wounded settler seek his cabin that cabin must be the hospital, and the pioneer must be the nurse. While his wants were few and simple, yet his necessities gave great diversity to his employments. He often became a tradesman, a farmer, a hunter and a mechanic upon his own clearing. He had no trouble with the “labor problem.” He neither sought nor expected aid from any government nor association in his struggle with nature. All he wanted was an equality of chances in the pursuit of happiness. These are the factors of strong character. These are some of the influences of situation which tended to modify, mould anew and soften somewhat the asperities of the Puritan pioneer.
The religious and political opinions of men at the close of the last century were greatly colored and affected by the ideas born of the French Revolution. We do not at this distance rightly appreciate the force upon men of the new habits and modes of thought which found their way to America out of this great historic convulsion. No spirit has more reacted upon Puritanism than the spirit which arose out of this great upheaval. The political and religious doctrines of this grand epoch mingled with the nascent elements of society in these western wilds. They turned men for a time from the formalities and outward observances of religion. It was so with the rudiments of social growth even in the Puritan settlement of Cleveland. History records the fact that infidelity achieved an early and strong bold among the settlers. It was open and agressive. It is said that in ribald mocking the effigy of Jesus was shockingly paraded in the new streets of the village. It was many years before any organized religious work found favor here ; and by many years the distillery antedated the church. The first church edifice built here was not the work of Puritan nonconformists, but was for an Episcopal parish.
The grandest product of American civilization is personal character. The lives of three typical Americans, born within four hundred miles of this western city, have elicited the world's homage more than all other great men of the century--Lincoln, Garfield and Grant. Bestow the full and justest meed of praise on all their great achievements, and yet each, in his own distinctive manhood and character, rises infinitely higher than all his works. If we make the last analysis, we shall find that nearly all the conditions which made these great lives possible
sprang directly out of the institutions and ideas of western Puritanism.
We need to turn oftener to the Puritan ideals of life to elevate the moral tone of society. Perhaps we need no less of science, but certainly more of sincerity. We should get more of the Puritanical hatred of shams and falsity in life and manners. The one supreme ingredient to mingle in our western brusqueness and activity is more New England honesty. We look to the past for men of giant mould.
Our honorable minister at the court of St. James once said in fitting phrase: “ There is something easier to state than to describe in the influence of the time upon the quality of men produced in the beginning of a state. It is akin to what is seen in some agricultural products, which are better in the virgin soil than any cultivation can ever make them afterwards. Whether it is the dignity of their employment as the founders of institutions—whether it is in the vigor and freshness which attend the youth of a state, like the youth of a life-or whether such emergencies bring to the surface and into conspicuity a higher order of men—whatever the reason may be, the fact remains, the fathers are larger than the children." And yet he adds this hopeful, optimistic sentence : “As change is the condition in life, so compensation is an unfailing condition of change Whatever time takes away it compensates in what it brings. Much that is precious perishes as it passes ; but with new life comes always new beneficence."
I summarize the following as the grand gifts of Puritanism to our modern social life :
First. Reverence for Moral Law.
I know that these teachings of the despised Puritans do no enter forcefully the currents of modern thought. But it should never be forgotten that the Mayflower was freighted with the best fruitage of the Prot. estant Reformation. It should never be forgotten, as said by a quaint old Puritan, “God sifted all England that he might send choice grain into this wilderness." May that “choice corn never lose its vital power to germinate and grow! No truer tribute of tongue or pen to the Puritan was ever offered than what follows from the eloquent New