Plain People

Plain People

Plain People

Plain People

Excerpt

I COME of a long line of plain people, my immediate ancestor being Henry Howe, and his father an Englishman who married a Pennsylvania Dutch woman. In reading biography I have observed that while the writer's ancestors are frequently poor, they have usually been distinguished in some way, but I cannot recall a distinguished man or woman related to me. Indeed, in my youth, Howe seemed an uncommon name. A certain Lord Howe early attracted my attention, but I got no comfort from him, as I found in the revolutionary war he fought my countrymen.

Quite recently, while in New Zealand, I met a London man who had visited Pennsylvania long before, and who believed the Pennsylvania Dutch the best people mankind has produced. This compliment for my grandmother greatly pleased me, for though I had long known my grandfather sprang from a notable race, I have been prejudiced against the English, because of unpleasant things they say about us.

I know the addresses of none of my relatives, except a brother who lives next door, and of his children and my own. In visiting homes, I frequently see old pictures, silver or furniture coming down from ancestors. I have nothing of this kind. The only relic I have of my father is an old spectacle case. I have no picture of my mother, nor anything touched by her . . .

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