Press enter after choosing selection

Broken-down Families

Broken-down Families image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The Southern States are not only strewn with the wrecks of political, social and industrial systems, but also with the wrecks of the good and great old families that came down from colonial times and contributed so many high, historie characters toillustrate and adorn the annals of the New World. Brokendown familieB ! They are in every city, county and neighborhood of the South. The descendants of statesmen, warriors, and notable old colonial and revolutionary patriota and gentlemen, in numeroua in'stances, reduced almost to beggary. Take Virginia! It is melancholy to trace the decadence of those many grand old families which have made her social life the admiration of all - the synonym of honor, refinement, hospitality. Broken, scattered, impoverished ! The descendants of many of the best people are in absolute want. New people - novi homines - lord it over them, ana tuey feel deeply humiliated. Humau nature is humau nature, and these people feel tli at they are in a false position ; that those who are socially over them ought to be under them. There are young ladies, of the best blood in the land, who have to exert their wits and ■ exeroisn (1 their activities and energies to find the moans to keep up a barely respeotable wardrobe. Schoolteaching and sewingmaohmes ! These are what they are reduced to, and it is noble in them to avail of these resources. We should be thankful to those occupations for giving the opportunity of such honorable developements in oharaoter. Bnt -what shall we say of the yonng men ? Home ot them are taientea, meitlesome, high-spirited lads, who feel that they cannot work, and that to beg is a shame, and so they sit down and do nothing. They dream away the active period of life. Fortunately there are others who have a more practical turn, and do not rest until they find something to do. .They start out with the determination tó find some occupation, and every youth who does that will succeed sooner or later. One thing is certain, if the brokendown families of Virginia, and, indeed, of the whole South, are ever to be recruited and restored, that result is to be brought about by the industry of the young - those from fifteen to thirty. They can do this if they will, and surely there could be no higher duty. We have in Virginia a population, old and young, male and female, rich and poor, white and black, of more than a million and a quarter. We have our lands, our climate, the memories and traditions that have decended from the settlement of the country. We have in every country of the commonwealth families of distinction and culture. True, they are poor and broken-down. The question is, How are their fortunes to be mended? How are they to be restored? One thing is certain, railing at their hard lot is not going to restore them. Railing at the stirring and industrious people who have got above them will do them no good. Goiiig back to the past and suminoning up the shades of illustrious ancestors will be of no avaiL l'üè r, nniasrmcp, can only be accompiittbed by work - steady, persevering work. If a population of a million and a quarter in au old-established oommonwealth like Virginia, who own the lands, who iiave farm animáis and utensils ; who havo ciiies to trade with, railroads, rivers and oanala to transport their produetn to market ; who have churches and schools ; who have all the powers of govermnent- if such a population, with such advantages, do not rise, they deservs, like Milton's angels, to be "forever fallen, To the hundreds of thousands of those decendimts of high but broken-down families that are now bewailing their hard lot, we say, Go to work ! To recruit and restore your fortunes and your rank and prestige, do what your ancestors did to establish them - go to work. In these days all honest work is


Old News
Michigan Argus