(represented by Wilson and both Roosevelts) and MiddlenAmerican populists and progressives was one chapter in thenceaseless struggle between Jeffersonians and Hamiltoniansnfor the body and soul of America. However, there is andeeper, almost mystical side to the conflict. My predecessornin this position used to say that there were two Americas, thenone symbolized by Plymouth Rock, the other by EllisnIsland, and those whose families had come by way of EllisnIsland had to remember what they owed to the old stock thatnhad made their good fortune possible. On one occasion Inventured to correct Leopold Tyrmand by saying that the oldnAmerica was better typified by Jamestown than by PlymouthnRock. At the hme, he thought that this was thenhalf-serious joke of a Southern nationalist, something likenthe mock outrage of a Scot who protests against thenstatement “there will always be an England.”nBut there is more than regionalism to the symbolicnconflict of the two settlements. If the Puritans came tonfound a city on a hill and drive the Devil from thenwilderness, the settlers of Virginia (and Pennsylvania andnNew York) came for more practical reasons. They wantedncheap land, the opportunity to prosper by their own efforts.nPolitically, many of them wanted nothing more than to benleft alone by government. Their republican ideal was neithernthe theocracy of the godly nor the democratic tyranny of thentown meeting. They were willing to work hard and run greatnrisks but found few attractions in cities where troops werenquartered and where regulations told a man how often henmight bathe and punished him for impudence to his spiritualnsuperiors.nJamestown gave America her first hero. Captain JohnnSmith, a mercenary adventurer who ended our flrst experimentnwith the welfare state. The colony’s backers innEngland had established a form of corporate communismnthat discouraged all individual initiative, and the settiersnneglected their defenses and began to run out of supplies.nAlthough he protected them from the Indians and turnednthem from starvation to plenty, the shirkers and aristocrats innthe little colony hated Smith; they slandered him and almostnsucceeded in killing him, but despite their best efforts — andnthose of such later detractors as the last of the Puritans,nHenry Adams, who devoted one of his first essays tondebunking the captain — Smith remains an enduring symbolnof the American frontiersman and takes his place aheadnof Boone and Crockett as the first of the “lost boys” of thenAmerican frontier.nThe settlement of Middle America could be told as anseries of ethnic invasions. First came the backwoodsmen —nmostly Celts from the Carolinas, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.nThey were looking for rich land but even more for abundantngame. Even after the War Between the States, Pa Ingallsn(Laura’s father) kept his family on the move in search ofngood hunting. After the greatest risks had been run and thenhomesteads had been cleared, a quieter invasion of hardworkingnYankees came in, bringing with them a sense ofnorder that often succeeded in driving out the wild Celts.nThe early history of Illinois is a perpetual friction betweennthe Connecticut Congregationalists of Rockford and Freeportnand the downstate Kentuckians and Virginians. ElizahnFarnham, a New York Quaker who traveled the state in then1830’s, never fails to record her disgust with the shiftlessn”suckers,” and always repaid their hospitality with contempt.nIn time, the two groups — ethnic first cousins, if notnbrothers—began to coalesce and find national politicalnthemes to divide and unite them along different lines. Bynone of the period’s typical ironies, the Yankee StephennDouglas champions the Southern-leaning Democrats andnthe Kentucky cracker Abe Lincoln becomes the hero of thenRepublican Party.nThe tension between Virginia and Massachusetts definesnthe American character at its best. Their friendship —nsummed up in the persons of Adams and Jefferson — madenboth the Revolution and the Constitution. Their hostilityncreated the first political parties and eventually undid thenwork of the Founders. It was during and after the greatnnational suicide of 1860-65 that the new America of EllisnIsland began to supersede both Plymouth Rock and Jamestown,nand it is one of the myths that Americans live by thatnwe have recovered from the massive immigration that wasnhalted by the immigration reform of 1924.nRockford, Illinois, shows the changes as well as any otherntown, and if I seem to pick on Rockford, it is onlynbecause I find myself living here. The earliest settler in thenarea, Stephen Mack, was a Vermonter who married a localnIndian princess, and by 1840 what are now Winnebago andnBoone Counties were home to prospering settlements ofnNew England Congregationalists and Scottish Presbyteriansn(direct from Argyleshire). The first Swedes arrived in 1852nand two years later were able to establish a SwedishnLutheran church with 77 members. The Swedes conhnuednto arrive after the war, and they were joined by Irish (somenhad already come with the railroad in the 1840’s) andnCerman immigrants and eventually by Italians. (The firstnItalian family arrived in 1878.)nA newcomer to Rockford is soon puzzled by the layout ofnstreets and neighborhoods, as if the city were really a set ofnseparate towns haphazardly joined together. Streets cannchange names several times in the course of two or threenmiles. (31st St. becomes Peters before turning into Fairviewnand then Chelsea.) The mystery begins to clear only whennthe newcomer becomes aware of the old ethnic neighborhoodnlines. In fact, the best symbol of Rockford is thenhospital situation: the Swedes go to Swedish-American; thenold families tend to go to Rockford Memorial; and thenCatholics, predominantly Italian, go to St. Anthony.nAll of this might be considered quaint, but unfortunatelynlitfle is left of the old ethnic cultures. The local Swedishnsocieties consist almost exclusively of old people, and apartnfrom the ubiquitous pancakes, it is hard to find real Swedishncuisine on any menu. There are dozens of Italian places, allnof them offering microwaved lasagna, pizza, and overcookednspaghetti with the same red sauce. Hardly anyone under 50ncan speak more than a few words of Italian, but this is not tonsay that they have become fully Americanized. Many of thenItalo-Americans I have talked to express resentment at thenway they and their parents were treated in the old days. Onensuccessful man of 60, whose parents had come from thenVeneto region, told me that, when he first went looking fornwork, Swedish employers routinely told him they had nonjobs for a dago. They also told him to stay on his side ofntown.nnnJULY 1991/15n