Friday, February 22, 2008

Theodore Roosevelt and the Covenanters

100 years ago, the President of the USA was Theodore Roosevelt. He was made President aged just 42, following the assassination of President William McKinley - yet another President of Ulster descent whose ancestors came from Dervock in County Antrim. Roosevelt's term was from 1901 - 1909, and his mother's ancestors had come from Glenoe in County Antrim and emigrated to what were then the "American Colonies" in May 1729.

In his great epic "The Winning of the West" , Roosevelt wrote:

"It is doubtful if we have realised in the leadership of our country, the part played by that stern and virile people, the Scotch-Irish, whose predecessors taught the creed of Knox and Calvin. These Irish representatives of the Covenanters... formed the kernel of the distinctively and intensely American stock who were the pioneers of our people in their march westward, the vanguard of the army of fighting settlers... they became the vanguard of our civilization...these were the men who first declared for American independence... they were the kinsfolk of the Covenanters, they deemed it a religious duty to interpret their own Bible... for generations their whole ecclesiastical and scholastic systems have been found fundamentally democratic."