R.W. Thompson, himself a descendant of Cavalier ancestors in the South, gave an address in 1868 on the merits of the Puritans. It seems in those days the rancor was not at today’s levels, and each side could find admirable qualities in the other side. Thompson said, of the controversy:
“This is no time for disturbing the dust in the graves of our fathers: — let them sleep, until he who will call the nations before his bar shall re-form and re-animate it. The work which lies before is is enough to demand our united energies. The labor of our fathers must not be lost by neglect, at our hands. We must see that there be no chilling frost to wither the fruit of the Great Protestant Reformation. We must take care that liberty is preserved, in all its variety of forms. There must be no hesitancy or halting in the contest between truth and error — right and wrong; –between Protestantism and all the forms of antagonism by which it may be assailed. We must not forget the responsibilities resting upon us, and growing out of our position.
[…]We are the inheritors of a richer legacy than was ever bequeathed to any other people.“