Chapter 1: Ancestral
Our mother was once present at a meeting where there was talk of ancestry and heredity. One of the speakers dwelt largely upon the sins of the fathers. He drew stern pictures of the vice, the barbarism, the heathenism of the “good old times,” and ended by saying with emphasis that he felt himself “bowed down beneath the burden of the sins of his ancestors.” Our mother was on her feet in a flash. “Mr. So-and-so,” she said, “is bowed down by the sins of his ancestors. I wish to say that all my life I have been buoyed up and lifted on by the remembrance of the virtues of mine!” These words are so characteristic of her, that in beginning the story of her life it seems proper to dwell at some length on the ancestors whose memory she cherished with such reverence.
These are my people, quaint and ancient,
Gentlefolks with their prim old ways;
This, their leader come from England,
Governed a State in early days.
I must vanish with my ancients,
But a golden web of love
Is around us and beneath us,
Binds us to our home above.