JAMES GILLESPIE BLAINE.
In the long list of illustrious men who have held the high office of President of the United States, a few names stand out with such prominence as to be constantly before the American people. While Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, Jackson, Grant, and others, did the country service that never will be forgotten, it is indisputable that Washington, Lincoln, and Garfield gained a firmer hold upon the confidence and affection of the masses than any others. And now, as we approach another presidential campaign, the result of which is to place in the highest office of the nation a new man, it is alike a source of pride and satisfaction that the Republican party has put in nomination a man, who, if elected, will bring to the discharge of his duties as high a degree of honesty as Washington, as thorough an acquaintance with human nature as Lincoln, and as profound a knowledge of political economy as Garfield. Through all the years of his manhood he has been a central figure in American politics, and his achievements are indelibly written on almost every page of American history for the last quarter of a century. With such a man as a candidate the country may well congratulate itself that if he proves to be the choice of the majority he will, by his ability and experience, bring as great renown to the office as any of his predecessors, and that under his guidance the material prosperity and intellectual growth of the nation will be such as to gain for his administration great popular favor, the admiration of his friends, and the respect of all nations.
James Gillespie Blaine, the nominee of the Republican party for President of the United States, was born on January 31, 1830, in Washington County, in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, in West Brownsville, a village on the west bank of the Monongahela. Here Neil Gillespie, before the British army left America at the close of the Revolution, had established his family, purchasing the land of the Indians. Nearly twenty years later the Blaines came from Carlisle, seeking investment and development in this new West, and the father of James G. Blaine, who had left Carlisle when a child, married the daughter of Neil Gillespie the second.
The first of the Blaine family of whom much is known was Colonel Ephraim Blaine, who lived at Chester, and in the Revolution was purveyor-general of the Pennsylvania troops, and incidentally of the whole Revolutionary array. He married Rebekah Galbraith in 1765. Elaine is a well-known Scotch name. Galbraith and Gillespie are Scotch-Irish; in fact, the ancestors of James G. Blaine were nearly all Scotch and Irish. It is a circumstance worthy of comment that Blaine comes from a stock which has furnished the United States with many of her ablest public men, notably among them being Andrew Jackson and Horace Greeley.