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Forward, Pictonians at Home and Abroad

No fairer scenes than Pictou County presents can be found in the land. Merely as a piece of Mother Earth it is deserving of the most enthusiastic admiration and ardent attachment. Its beautiful elm studded valleys, its clear, winding streams, its sunlit hills with their fertile fields gently sloping toward the sea, its bonnie, happy homes, its thriving towns, its peaceful villages, its infinitely varied forests and even its rugged glens present charms which never pall.

But the county's moral claim for its people's love and loyalty is stronger than the physical. No spot in our wide Dominion, of equal size and population, has contributed so much to all that is best in our national life. Nowhere else have religion and education so effectually joined hands for the uplift of the people and the promotion of good. Nowhere have righteousness and truth been more genuinely wedded, or produced finer fruitage.

In support of these statements the evidence in this book is confidently submitted. The gathering of the evidence has been a difficult task. It is not claimed that it is either exhaustive or absolutely accurate, but the author has done his best, and he has had the hearty cooperation of many to whom he is sincerely grateful.

It has been said that Pictou is noted for coal and clergymen. Great as is the yield of coal, yet that which is Pictou's proudest product is her men and women. In less than a hundred years she has given to the church nearly three hundred clergymen. She has sent forth one hundred and ninety physicians, sixty-three lawyers, forty professors, fifteen men and eleven women missionaries, eight college presidents, four judges, two governors, two premiers and a chief justice for the Province, besides a host of journalists, politicians and business men of note and name.

There is inspiration in studying the lives of men and women. It stirs within us a deepening desire to imitate and achieve all that was best in their lives. If this book will help the youth of the land to do this, it will have accomplished the main purpose of the writer.

Our fathers have left us a precious heritage and a rare record. We owe them the debt of a grateful remembrance. "Happy are the people," says John Fiske, "that can look back upon the work of their fathers and in their heart of hearts pronounce it good."

June 1, 1914 J. P. MacPhie

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914

 

Pictou County


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