In a hallowed spot, a typical American home, in Rockbridge Co., Va., Nov. 11, 1771, a male child was born. It has been said that "great men, like great mountains, stand alone, with the valley of ancestry on the one side and the gulf of posterity on the other." This towering character, however, did not stand alone, for the foot-hills of his ancestry were of decided magnitude, prophetic of a genius destined to become one of the greatest benefactors of the human race. His ancestry for three generations commingled the best Scotch and Irish blood, coursing the arteries of men and women of strong bodies and strong characters—characters emphasized, energized and vitalized on historic battle-fields with red-skins, red-coats, wild beasts and hardships of the primitive Virginia forests.
Figuratively speaking, this child was number nine in a family of eleven children. When 13 years of age his parents moved to Danville,
EASTMAN J. RESPONSE TO THE TOAST, "EPHRAIM McDOWELL.". JAMA. 1895;XXV(21):882–883. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430470002001a
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