hymns. Cornish choirs quickly became a part of life in Westernrnmining towns. The Grass Valley Cornish Choir gained nationalrnrenown by the 1890’s and eventually performed for seeralrnAmerican presidents.rnThe Cornish introduced and made the pasty a staple of therndiet of miners working long hours underground. Consisting ofrna hearty helping of meat and vegetables in a crimped crust ofrnpastry, the pasty provided enough fuel for a long shift in thernbowels of a mine. Cornish women—”Cousin Jennys”—pridedrnthemselves on their pasties. Today, the frozen-food section ofrnthe market is full of modern versions of the past}’.rnDespite all this, my college students usually give me blankrnstares when I ask them to identify and describe the Cornish. Onrnone occasion, a student with a sense of humor (I think) said shernknew nothing about the Cornish but did know of a recipe forrnCornish game hen stuffed with wild rice. I also ask students tornlocate Cornwall. Again, there is usually no response. “OK, thernGilbert and Sullivan musical, The Piraten of Penzance, is arnclue,” 1 tell them. “Now where is Penzance?” Blank stares.rnThe Cornish have become a non-people. They no longerrncount. In American schools, “diversity” means only differencesrnin physiognomy and skin color. Wliites are a monolithic group.rnThey are without peoples who contribute to “our richly diversernsociety.” Such a view reveals not only an anti-white agenda butrna massive ignorance of American history and of European peoples.rnStudents entering college today can usually write a paragraphrnor two about Sojourner Truth or Harriet Tubman but notrna single line about the Cornish in America.rnThe mining camps of the Old West were almost alwaysrnmore than 90 percent white. The onlv significant numbersrnof nonwhites were Chinese, and even the}’ rarely made uprnmore than eight percent of a camp’s population. Blacks werernvirtuall) nonexistent, usually constituting less than one percentrnof a camp’s population. Still, the camps had great diversify. InrnGrass Valley, where the Coniish made up nearly 20 percent ofrnthe population, the Irish accounted for 22 percent. ^’^Ithoughrnboth were white and—even more—Celtic, they were ver}’ different.rnThe Cornish were mostly Methodists, teetotalers, andrnRepublicans. They were highlv trained, experienced miners,rnstaunchly anti-union, and worked for a percentage of tire take.rnWlien the Civil War erupted, they considered it none of theirrnaffair. The Irish were mostly Catholics, heavy imbibers, andrnDemocrats. They were unskilled laborers and inexperiencedrnminers, fiercely pro-union, and worked for daily wages. Wlienrnthe Civil War erupted, they flocked to the colors.rnPsychologists have argued that the Cornish and the Irishrnwere “emotionally repressed.” Having serious reser’ationsrnabout psycholog}’ in general and its use as an historical tool inrnparticular, I would prefer to sa}’ that there was a general reluctancernin the two peoples to express their feelings. Any similarifyrnends there. Cornishmen found release for pent-up emotionsrnin song-filled and fervent Methodist serxices. Irishmen foundrnrelease not in church but in drinking and fighting. My sisterrnonce told me that Irishmen can only, or dare only, expressrnthemselves emotionallv when drunk. She was probably right.rnThe Cornish were the leaders of the temperance movementrnin the mining country. Temperance was a misnomer: Thernmovement actually advocated total abstinence. The Irish werernthe owners and patrons of many of the numerous saloons thatrnlined the main streets of the mining camps. Conflict betweenrnthe Cornish and the Irish over drinking occurred in nearfy ever}’rncamp; bloody brawls erupted in Virginia Cify, Nevada, andrnButte, Montana. Nearly as often, though, the conflict resultedrnin some good-natured fun. Wlien a temperance crusader arrivedrnin the mining camp of Bodie, California, the local hardrndrinkers packed the leehire hall to hear his speech. He excoriatedrnBodic’s liquor dealers and saloonkeepers, many of whomrnwere in the audience applauding him. The proprietor of thernBank Exchange Saloon, Joe McDermott, thought that “the lecturernis good, possessed of argument and no man in Bodie couldrnpass a more pleasant and edifying hour than by listening to it,rnbut if they think they can deliver more temperance lecturersrnthan I can sell whiskey, why just let them keep it up.”rnNonetheless, the temperance crusaders in Bodie had somernsuccess. They got the counfy supervisors to enact a law prohibitingrnsaloons from opening on Sundays. Just one month later,rnthe district attorney announced that he was discontinuingrnprosecution for violation of the Sunday-closing law becausernlarge-scale violation had made the law impossible to enforce.rnThe small but ephemeral victory was not by accident. ArnMethodist church was one of only two — the other was arnCatholic church—built in Bodie. The Cornish clearly exercisedrna strong presence in the town.rnWliile the Cornish have been erased from American histor}’rnand from the consciousness of young Americans, the PennsylvaniarnDutch have been reduced to obscurify. Asking my studentsrnto describe the Pennsylvania Dutch usually elicits, “Irnriiought the Dutch were in New York.” Explaining to them fliatrn”Dutch” was what evervbody else in America called Germansrnleaves them perplexed. Somehow, they have missed what thernrest of us learned, one way or another, when young. Germansrnwere nicknamed “Dutch” Miller or “Dutch” somebody, andrnthe tid}’ farm down the road was owned b}’ a “tough, old Dutchman.”rnFrom the 18th century on, American landowners werernadvised to lease an unproductive farm to a Dutchman becausernhe would put the properfy- back in shape. If you had been bad,rnyou might get a “Dutch-uncle talk.” Your big brother mightrngive you a “Dutch rub.” Has all this disappeared?rnBy the early 1700’s, large numbers of Germans, mostiy fromrnthe Palatinate in southwestern Germany, were arriving inrnPhiladelphia. By the time of the American Revolution, theyrnmade up a third of Pennsylvania’s population. Thousands ofrnfliem settled in the Susquehanna Valley, its rolling hills and fertilernbottomlands reminding them of their native land. Alongrnthe Susquehanna River and its tributaries, particularly ConestogarnCreek, they laid out their farms. They grew tobaccornalong Conestoga Creek and rolled the leaves into cigars.rnCalled “Conestogas,” the cigars smoked well and were relativelyrninexpensive. They became enormously popular, so much sornthat “stogie” became synonymous with cigar.rnAnother kind of Conestoga, also developed by the PennsylvaniarnDutch, was the Conestoga wagon. Built sturdily with arnbowed bottom (something like the hull of a ship) to keep cargornfrom shifting during transit over rough terrain and covered byrncanvas stretched over iron supports, the Conestoga wagon wasrnwithout rival. The wagon carried the pioneer westward, generationrnafter generation, from one frontier to another.rnEqual!}’ important—perhaps critical —to westward expansionrnwas the Kentucky rifle. Developed by Pennsylvania Dutchrngunsmiths, the rifle was used by frontiersmen for a hundredrnyears. The gunsmiths lengthened the stubby barrel common tornEuropean weapons to four feet, for greater accuracy at long distances.rnThe’ reduced the bore to less than a half-inch to in-rnSEPTEMBER 2001/15rnrnrn