Fourth of July celebration by the Miscegenations on President Davis's plantation.
had a grand celebration of the 4th of July on the plantation and in the house of the President
, Mr. Davis
It was like affairs of the kind generally, and is only noteworthy because of the place where it was held which is thus described by the Vicksburg Herald
Whether the "ladies" alluded to are black
does not appear anywhere in this record:
--This is one of the most extraordinary bends of the wonderful Mississippi river
, and has received its name from the fact of the settlement on the peninsula formed by the bend of two members of the Davis
family, known as "Jeff
" and "Joe." This peninsula is some twelve miles in length, and at the point where it is attached to the main land of the State of Mississippi
it is so narrow that the enterprising planters have dug a canal across, not unlike the celebrated Butler canal
fame, although not near so long.
This canal is called the "cut off," and in high water the peninsula becomes, in fact, an island.
This tract of land is of great fertility, being entirely a deposit of the rich soil washed from the prairies of the Great West.
On this tract are some six plantations, of from 800 to 1,200 acres each.
Two of the largest and best of these were owned by Jeff
and Joe Davis
, and are known as the "Jeff
and Joe places."
The form of this peninsula is such, that a few companies of soldiers, with one or two stockades, can keep out an army of rebels; and the inhabitants, although frequently surrounded by the hordes of Southern murderers and thieves on the opposite banks of the river and canal, dwell in peace and comparative security.
In fact, this site, from its being the home of traitors and oppressors of the poor, has become a sort of earthly paradise for colored refugees.
There they flock in large numbers, and, like Lazarus
of old, are permitted, as it were, to "repose in Father Abraham's bosom." The rich men of the "Southern Confederacy," now homeless wanderers, occasionally cry across for the Lazarus whom they have oppressed and despised, but he is not sent unto them, because between the two parties "there is a great gulf fixed, so that they which would pass from hence cannot." On this freedmen's paradise, parties for cultivating the soil are organized under the superintendence of missionaries, each party cultivating from ten to one hundred acres, with a fair prospect of realizing handsomely.
These efforts are aided by the government — rations, teams, &c., being supplied and charged to each party, to be deducted from the proceeds of their crops.
Cotton is chiefly cultivated, and some very handsome "stands" appear.
"--The "Joe place" is nearest the landing.
The fine brick house, however, is nearly demolished; but the cottage, used as a sort of law library and office, is remaining uninjured.
The negro quarters also remain.
place" is also a very fine plantation.
The residence has not been injured, except the door locks and one or two marble mantels broken up, apparently for trophies.
furniture has been removed, but the rooms are still furnished with furniture brought here.
The House that Jeff. Built.
--The house is, in its ground plan, in the form of a cross — but one floor, with large rooms and ample verandahs.
The portion in front is supported with pillars, and these form the only ornamental features of the house, except such as were added for this occasion by the artificial touches of our Northern sisters.
Of these were festoons, wreaths, stars and garlands, mysteriously woven in evergreens and flowers.
Over the portico entrance outside were the following inscriptions, the letters being formed with cedar foliage:
that Jeff. Built
The latter motto was arched, and, with the festoons, made a very beautiful appearance.
Inside were beautiful stars and garlands of flowers, and over the exit at the back door the following inscription, surmounted by a star:
It was facetiously remarked by an observer that the motto was--
Down with the traitor,
And up with the star.
We understand that to Miss
, of Pennsylvania
, and Miss. Jennie Hudson
, of Indiana
, the party was indebted for those ingenious and appropriate devices.
Very likely, for wit and satire for traitors, and cordial welcome to the loyal and patriotic, are characteristics of these whole-souled missionaries.