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MAJOR-GENERAL GEORGE BRINTON MCCLELLAN was born in the city of Philadelphia, the seat of the Colonial Congress, the original capital of the American Union, the consecrated birthplace of our national greatness, on the 3d day of December, 1826.
His father, a physician of eminence, was a native of Connecticut, into which “land of steady habits” and of sterling men his ancestors had migrated from the mountains of Scotland, bringing with them the ancient Scottish love of liberty and of law, the just, tenacious nature of that hardy and heroic race which has bulwarked freedom and beaten back oppression on so many a hard-fought field from the days of Bruce and Wallace to our own.
The American people are not much given to inquiring into the ancestry of those who do the State service; but the faith which the republicans of old Rome held in the virtue of blood while still the Republic stood, was abundantly vindicated when the Roman people saw the shameless despotism of the worst of the Cæsars administered by men of base extraction and of corrupt birth. And wherever the permanence and the power of the commonwealth depend upon the virtue of its public servants, it should be no insignificant recommendation of a man to the confidence of his fellow-citizens that his