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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 322

and Ver, Lorch, von Deesten, Violland and Armat among the new majors. I proceed to the roll of the Sixty-sixth Congress and find Babka, Bacharach, Baer, Chindblom, Crago, Dupré, Esch, Focht, Goldfogel, Goodykoontz, Hernandez, Hoch, Juul, Kahn, Keller, Kiess, Kleczka, Knutson, Kraus, Larsen, Lazaro, Lehlbach, Rodenberg, Romjue, Siegel, Steenerson, Volk, Volstead, Voigt and Zihlman in the House. I go on to the list of members of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1919) and find Cortissoz, deKay, Gummere, Lefevre, Schelling, van Dyke and Wister among the writers, and Ballin, Betts, Brunner, Carlsen, De Camp, Dielman, Du Mond, Guerin, Henri, Jaegers, La Farge, Niehaus, Ochtman, Roth, Volk and Weinman among the painters and sculptors. I conclude with a glance through “Who’s Who in America.” There are Aasgaard, Abbé, Abt, Ackerman, Adler, Agassiz, Agee, Allaire, Alsberg, Alschuler, Althoff, Althouse, Ament, Amstutz, Amweg, Andrus, Angellotti, Anshutz, Anspacher, Anstadt, App, Arndt, Auer, Auerbach, Ault and Auman, to go no further than the A’s—all “notable living men and women of the United States” and all nativeborn.
  Practically any other list of Americans would show many names of the same sort. Indeed, every American telephone directory offers plenty of evidence that, despite the continued political and cultural preponderance of the original English strain, the American people have quite ceased to be authentically English in race, or even, as a London weekly has said, “predominantly of British stock.” 1 The blood in their arteries is inordinately various and inextricably mixed, but yet not mixed enough to run a clear stream. A touch of foreignness still lingers about millions of them, even in the country of their birth. They show their alien origin in their speech, in their domestic customs, in their habits of mind, and in their very names. Just as the Scotch and the Welsh have invaded England, elbowing out the actual English to make room for themselves, so the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, the Scandinavians and the Jews of Eastern Europe, and in some areas, the French, the Slavs and the hybrid-Spaniards have elbowed out the descendants of the first colonists. It is no exaggeration, indeed, to say that whereever the old stock comes into