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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life 1 1 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and heart: essays on literature and life, Chapter 22: more mingled races (search)
of new arrivals brought qualities of its own; the French Canadian was less energetic than the Irish, but less turbulent; the Irish more original and aggressive, but less temperate. All our Civil War scarcely brought to light such a phenomenon as an Irish coward; but when it came to the statistics of the guard-house the report was less favorable. We err in assuming that any one race monopolizes all the virtues, or that the community only suffers with each new importation. The late Rev. Horatio Wood, who was for more than half a century city missionary at Lowell, and who watched the whole change from American to Irish factory girls, told me that in one respect it brought a distinct moral improvement: the ignorant Irish girls were more uniformly chaste than the Protestant farmers' daughters whom they superseded. Now the French Canadians have replaced the Irish; but a Protestant physician of great experience, whose practice included several large manufacturing villages, almost whol