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Judge C. R. Grant, of Akron, O.
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: When the late Charles Kingsley first visited America some thirty years ago, he reached our shores in the depth of winter and his first inland journey here took him through the hill-country of western New England. It was a most inhospitable welcome; nature wore a forbidding frown, and a snowclad landscape, hiding a grudging soil between the thick-lying rocks, caused the good Canon to note down in his diary: "Truly an iron Country, and none but iron men could have conquered it." To us who know the marvelous transforming power of a New England springtime when nature wakes to her work, the first part of this judgment may not seem quite just; but as to the accuracy of its conclusion there can be no manner of doubt. The men of early New England were in very truth and in every relation which called for unbending qualities, men of iron. The life from which they fled across the water, their environment here, their daily and yearly round of unremitting work in wringing from the niggard earth
"By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,"
their notions of civil liberty, and, not least of all, their religion, made them not only remarkable men themselves and subduers of New England, but fitted them also to be the ancestors of those who within our own recollection have been the winners of the West.