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19th of April, 1812. His father, Dr. Anthony Wayne Rollins, whose name, an echo from Ticonderoga and Stony Point, is resonant of the martial achievements of the pioneers of liberty and civilization in the New World, was a native of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, whither his father's father, Henry Rollins, had immigrated from Tyrone County, Ireland, after the outbreak of the Revolution, but not too late to signalize his native love of freedom under the flag of Independence, on the field of Brandywine. His grandmother, the wife of Henry Rollins, was a Scotch woman, née Carson, a lifelong Presbyterian, both in faith and in nationality a typical character. Her own Caledonian thrift, energy, and seriousness, rigidity of opinion and resoluteness of purpose, she has transmitted in ample measure, though tempered or disguised by gentler qualities, to her remoter descendants.

Such qualities in James Sidney were the rich legacy from his mother, Sallie Harris, née Rodes, a woman whose nature was graced and life adorned in high degree with all feminine excellence. Her father, Robert Rodes, first as magistrate by appointment of Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, then as Quarter Session Judge of Madison County under commission from Isaac Shelby, first Governor of Kentucky, lastly as Circuit Judge, for nearly a full generation discharged with eminent acceptance the important, difficult, and delicate duties of criminal, civil, and equity jurisdiction, maintaining till the end the confidence and esteem not only of the State authorities and of the people at large, but also of a bar distinguished for learning and still more for native ability. He was not merely, however, an upright judge whose well-considered rulings were seldom amended by the Court of Appeals; he was conspicuously a man of affairs, full of enterprise and fond of adventure, a natural leader among men. Thus, in 1777, at the age of eighteen, amid the great national travail, we find him a volunteer in a campaign against

a the Indians of East Tennessee; two years later, while yet a boy, he is chosen captain of a large company of volunteers, and marches from Albemarle County, Virginia, to the defense of the eastern coast; and in 1783 he is elected commandant of an expedition to Kentucky, yet unredeemed from barbarism. His birthplace, Albemarle County, Virginia, tells the story of his lineage and blood. His father was a landed proprietor in that picturesque valley, a fair reflection in the New World of the well-to-do English gentry, a good liver, of imposing physique, abounding in animal spirits, delighting in the horse as his daily companion, basking lovingly if only half-consciously in the glories of mountain, forest, and stream more in capacity than in achievement.

Thus it appears that James Sidney Rollins, like so many who have signalized themselves in history, drew the current of his life from many fountains. On the paternal side two streams of Celtic blood, a Scotch and an Irish, were mingled : the one contributing the firmness, the persistence, the earnestness, the shrewdness, the sagacity, the sense of opportunity that conquer success in every undertaking; the other softening these rugged virtues with the genial humor, the quick sympathy, the generous impulses, the large benevolence that everywhere and at all times ennoble the true son of Erin. In life and in death this inheritance in the veins of the father, Dr. Rollins, was not divided, as his beneficent career as physician, but still more his remarkable bequest hereafter to be mentioned, bears ample witness. Side by side, however, with this mingled stream there coursed through the veins of the son, James Sidney, the full tide of Saxon blood, with its strength, its courage, its audacity, its lust of combat and conquest, and its delight in power. These were a mother's gift, received from her father to be delivered to her son.

Two distinct races contend with almost equal right in the books of the learned for the glory of being the original Aryans and of having sown in Europe the germs of western and modern civilization: the Celto-Slavic, tall, brawny, broad-headed, ruddy alike of hair and of skin ; the Teutonic, taller still, huge of limb, light of hair, above all, however, long-headed. The brawn and brain of these two races march forward together to the subjugation of the planet; and it is no empty rhetoric nor fulsome laudation, but naked historical fact, that their bloods met in the veins of James Sidney Rollins, and in just proportion.


PERHAPS the most distinguishing feature in the character of Dr. A. W. Rollins was the remarkably high estimate that he set upon


learning, especially upon scholastic attainment. Though not himself by profession a scholar, but dedicated to a bread-and-butter science that of all the learned callings in this land at present most discredits learning and makes least pretensions to scholarship among its devotees, while at the same time borrowing most largely of its methods and ideas from pure science, Dr. Rollins yet rounded his whole life into an example of the benefit of collegiate training and into an eloquent and yearly more effective plea for its encouragement. The straitened circumstances of his early youth could not deter him from attempting, nor prevent him from at last accomplishing, the full course of liberal study offered by Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. Each new addition to his own education he at once utilized — monetized, in fact — by teaching others and so procuring means for his own further advancement. Thus, step by step, he conquered for himself a wide range not only of liberal but also of professional culture, and long after he had firmly established himself in a lucrative practice he voluntarily surrendered this hard won vantage-ground and betook himself, harried by the love of the best, to Philadelphia, there to learn the most then to be known in America, at the feet of the celebrated Dr. Benjamin Rush. It was no ladder of knowledge that round by round he ascended, but rather a vertical wall of rock, where each successive niche had to be painfully cut out and afforded only a precarious foothold. These severe struggles of his early manhood left deep traces in the mind and heart of Dr. Rollins, and the Aid Fund to the struggling youth of Boone County attests at once his generous sympathy with intellectual aspiration and his far-sighted wisdom in devising means for its encouragement.1

It would have been strange if such a father had not availed himself of the best facilities then offered, in the education of his first-born son. In fact, so early did James Sidney begin and so vigorously did he prosecute liberal studies—the humanities, as they are finely called-at Richmond Academy, that when only fifteen he was found fit to enter the sophomore class in Washington College, Pennsylvania.-So it was in the morning; but in this noonday of intelligence and culture the young man can scarcely enter the freshman class at eighteen, the complaint is rife that he can not get into active life before twenty-five or twenty-six, and it is seriously proposed to cut off the last year of the academic course! Do we really learn so

much more in high school and college now than then, and have we improved so little in methods that our knowledge by three years outruns our wisdom? Or, perchance, are we bound hand and foot with red tape, sepulchred in “grades," and overwhelmed with the frills and furbelows of learning ?- Two years after his matriculation at Washington the young Rollins, now a senior, followed his President, Dr. Wylie, to the State University of Indiana, at Bloomington, where he graduated at the age of eighteen and with the honors of his class. Insufficient induction has led some to maintain that academic leaders are seldom heard of afterwards, being content to rest upon their collegiate laurels. At least, such was not the case with young Rollins. Following his father to Missouri, whither the latter had already gone partly at the suasion of paternal affection, his daughter having formed an alliance with Dr. James H. Bennett of Columbia, Missouri, partly at the instance of failing health, which might find recruit or restoration under new climatic conditions, and partly doubtless at the suggestion of the pioneer's love of adventure and the unknown, which is also the wonderful, the young man spent one year in caring for the large farm of his father, two years in the private study of the law in the office of Abiel Leonard, afterwards a Supreme Judge of Missouri, and then, returning to Kentucky, he completed the law course at Transylvania, Lexington, graduating in the spring of 1834 at the age of twenty-two. A life of unremittent, arduous, and exhaustive labor prolonged in full activity beyond seventy years, no less than his commanding physique, attests sufficiently the general strength and hardihood of young Rollins's bodily constitution; yet it is likely that his health had felt unfavorably the protracted application of so many years, and still more probable that his alert, vigorous, adventurous spirit, rejoicing in action rather than in reflection, was cramped and sicklied in the close atmosphere of the law-office; certain it is that, though the young Rollins, having now gathered together and marshalled his forces for the battle of life, began successfully the practice of the law in Columbia, yet his insecure health forbade complete devotion to his profession. At first he sought partial relaxation and diversion in husbandry in the suburbs of Columbia ; but with the outbreak of the Black Hawk war his restless spirit eagerly embraced an opportunity for action, and having enlisted as a volunteer he served as

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aide-de-camp on the staff of Major-General Richard Gentry. There was little glory to be won by the Missouri troops in this campaign in defence of their northeastern border, save from the faithful discharge of monotonous duty, and on its close Major Rollins, as he was henceforth called, resumed actively his profession. Still his restive nature sought other outlet for its energies, and in connection with his law-partner, Thomas Miller, he began and for many years continued to edit the Columbia Patriot, devoted to the principles and interests of the Whig party. The organ was most fitly named, for pride in his country, glory in his country, and love of his country were always the regnant emotions in the soul of Rollins. And now he began to liberate himself more and more from the drudgery of the law and to emerge into notice conspicuously in his true untaught and unlearned character as an homme d'affaires, the creator of ideas, the originator of enterprises, the leader of men. April the 26th, 1836, when the first railroad convention ever held west of the Mississippi assembled in St. Louis. It was an unusual and striking tribute to the ability and enthusiasm, but not less, we suspect, to the recognized scholarship and literary skill, of the young man of twenty-four, that he should have received respectful hearing, even, in a council where the cautious wisdom of age and experience rather than the ardor of youth would naturally have been directive; much more that he should have guided its deliberations and in fact moulded its decisions. He was appointed chairman - with such able associates, afterward highly distinguished, as Edward Bates and Hamilton R. Gamble—of the committee to memorialize Congress, and he drafted the first petition asking the national legislature for a grant of public lands in aid of the system of internal improvement projected by the convention. How extensively this idea has since been adopted by that body, and with what far reaching and momentous consequences to our whole commercial and even governmental polity, is long since a matter of history.

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From this point on it is affairs of great public import, rather than the concerns of private clients, that engage the attention and fascinate the regard of Rollins. Not that he abandoned the practice of the law, nor that he ever neglected or failed to serve diligently the interest of a client; far from it, his practice became extensive

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