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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
d everywhere the reputation of a shrewd and thriving community. They were the first in New England to cultivate the potato, which their neighbors for a long time regarded as a pernicious root, altogether unfit for a Christian stomach. Every lover of that invaluable esculent has reason to remember with gratitude the settlers of Londonderry. Their moral acclimation in Ireland had not been without its effect upon their character. Side by side with a Presbyterianism as austere as that of John Knox had grown up something of the wild Milesian humor, love of convivial excitement and merry-making. Their long prayers and fierce zeal in behalf of orthodox tenets only served, in the eyes of their Puritan neighbors, to make more glaring still the scandal of their marked social irregularities. It became a common saying in the region round about that the Derry Presbyterians would never give up a pint of doctrine or a pint of rum. Their second minister was an old scarred fighter, who had si