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as well as possible, and to accumulate property and establish good homes. The claim that one generation accumulates for the next to spend has been exemplified in many instances among these worthy people, who struggled all their lives and passed away, expecting that their children would emulate their example. Unfortunately, the second generations have neither the energy nor the thrift to add to, or even to keep, their inheritance, and strangers now possess the homes of their ancestors. In August or September camp-meetings were held, always of two weeks duration. Some denominations owned a tract of land in a good neighborhood. Here, different members of the congregation built log houses. Sometimes a series of these one-story log houses, now denominated bungalows, belonged to the more wealthy of the assembly. Into these the families moved, taking beds, bedding, cooking utensils, crockery, table linen, and everything necessary for a comfortable sojourn in the woods. Large quantiti
September (search for this): chapter 1
ossible, and to accumulate property and establish good homes. The claim that one generation accumulates for the next to spend has been exemplified in many instances among these worthy people, who struggled all their lives and passed away, expecting that their children would emulate their example. Unfortunately, the second generations have neither the energy nor the thrift to add to, or even to keep, their inheritance, and strangers now possess the homes of their ancestors. In August or September camp-meetings were held, always of two weeks duration. Some denominations owned a tract of land in a good neighborhood. Here, different members of the congregation built log houses. Sometimes a series of these one-story log houses, now denominated bungalows, belonged to the more wealthy of the assembly. Into these the families moved, taking beds, bedding, cooking utensils, crockery, table linen, and everything necessary for a comfortable sojourn in the woods. Large quantities of suppl
t the mansion of some private individual or in a hall, and was attended by the eligible society people of every community. Extensive preparations, consuming much time of the most prominent members of society, were made for these celebrations of the natal day of the Father of His Country. Training Day, which usually occurred in midsummer, was anticipated with the wildest enthusiasm and outbursts of patriotism. The few who were descendants of the heroes of the Revolutionary War, or War of 1812, or had participated in the Black Hawk or other Indian wars were the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of what might be called the State militia. They imagined that annual meetings were quite sufficient to cultivate the proper military spirit and keep aglow the fires of patriotism in the hearts of the people. They were thoroughly imbued with the belief that-To fight Is the best office of the best of men; And to decline when these motives urge Is infamy beneath a coward's basen
schools population mainly agricultural woman's work on the farm pastimes and holidays quilting-parties, corn-huskings and apple-parings ( Training day ) Fourth of July and Christmas churches infrequent protracted meetings and revivals prominent preachers Doctor Bascom, the friend of Clay pulpit debates organization of tht at one house and the next day going to another, until they had finished their round of festivities. New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, Training Day, Fourth of July, or Independence Day, as it was sometimes called, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas were each observed universally and with prodigality of preparation and earnenic-fashion under shady trees then adjacent to all villages and towns. At high noon everything was suspended for an hour in which to enjoy the feast. The Fourth of July, Independence Day, was the occasion of all occasions for jubilation and patriotic demonstrations. There were mimic military parades, firing of cannon, hoisti
Yankee Doodle (search for this): chapter 1
ost homes. The guns or other implements of warfare were carefully cleaned and polished. Bullets were moulded by hand as if for actual warfare. Faded and moth-eaten clothes and sashes were donned with pride by the scions of military heroes who figured in the early struggles of the republic. Drums and fifes which had been handed down through at least two or three generations played a conspicuous part in the marches that were the features of the day, the shrill notes of Hail, Columbia, Yankee Doodle, and The Star-Spangled banner stirring the latent patriotism in all hearts to the highest pitch. Falstaff's troop presented no more ludicrous spectacle than did some of these soldiers enlisted for a single day. I have vivid recollections of seeing these parades. The captains of the companies, mounted on fiery steeds unused to the sound of drum-beats and the whistling of fifes, employed desperate efforts to manage their horses as they rode up and down the crooked lines, shouting meaning
January 1st (search for this): chapter 1
ing all night at one house and the next day going to another, until they had finished their round of festivities. New Year's Day, Washington's Birthday, Training Day, Fourth of July, or Independence Day, as it was sometimes called, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas were each observed universally and with prodigality of preparation and earnestness. New Year's Day was celebrated generally by dinner-giving, much feasting, and dancing-parties in the evening. The custom of making ceremonious calls on New Year's Day did not obtain in this country until later years. Usually the evening was taken up with social affairs as a finale to the festivities of the preceding holiday week. Washington's Birthday had its annual celebration by banquroprieties. But the holiday of all the year was blessed Christmas-tide, extending from Christmas to and including New Year's Day. For weeks before parents and children would lay aside, with scrupulous care and great secrecy, all they could for C
Mark Twain (search for this): chapter 1
empt to have schools more than a few months in the year was made. They were, however, public-spirited people, and southern Illinois came in for her share of teachers sent out by the governor of Massachusetts at the request of the Western States in the early fifties. I owe a debt of gratitude to one of them for her faithful training when I was very young. The august Board who examined these teachers were the finest specimens of the broad and comprehensive type so graphically described by Mark Twain. Miss C. amused my good-natured father excessively by a description of her experience before the School board. Among other things I remember she was asked: Which is the largest river in the world? To this she replied: The Amazon. Her interrogator frowned severely upon her, and asked: Miss, what are you gwine to do with the Massassippi? With consummate tact she quickly said: I beg your pardon, I misunderstood your question. If you asked which is the largest river in the United States,
Christmas (search for this): chapter 1
s and apple-parings ( Training day ) Fourth of July and Christmas churches infrequent protracted meetings and revivals pce Day, as it was sometimes called, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas were each observed universally and with prodigality of prith scrupulous care and great secrecy, all they could for Christmas; and none was so poor as to be indifferent to the influen afford for Christmas morning, when, at early dawn, Merry Christmas! resounded through their homes. We have seen childree of them in their teens, going from shop to shop crying: Christmas gift! Merry Christmas! and expecting something from eacChristmas! and expecting something from each merchant. Marbles, toys, confections, ribbons, and trinkets were given sometimes, greatly to the loss of profit by the prot factor in the preparation for celebrating the advent of Christmas. A fine evergreen, of which there were giant specimens i all flew into father's and mother's room screaming Merry Christmas! to find the thirteen pairs of well-filled stockings han
Jesus Christ (search for this): chapter 1
for his vainglorious attempt to preach with Mr. Bascom uppermost in his mind. In the afternoon Mr. Clay sought his friend, feeling great solicitude lest he were ill as the solution of the fiasco. As soon as he entered Mr. Bascom's apartments, the minister came forward to greet him cordially, saying: My friend, I know what brings you here. I know how completely I failed in my sermon this morning. I was preaching Mr. Bascom in all his glory, but wait until next Sunday, and I will preach Jesus Christ crucified, and you will have no cause to blush for me. And he fully redeemed his promise. The gigantic form of Elder Heap looms up before me as I look back through the veil of tears and time that has shut out those familiar scenes. He was one of nature's noblemen, and did the work of his Master most effectively. Father Thatcher, that learned and eccentric Methodist divine, whose rugged character was reflected in a most remarkable physiognomy and physique, was another of that wo
and many times, as a child, I have wondered if some of the ministers would or could perform the miracle of the loaves and fishes, to feed the hungry legions who congregated around the tables of the much-imposed-upon householders. For months beaux saved up their best clothes, and the belles their choicest finery, for camp-meeting. The best horses in the whole region were pampered and groomed so that they could be ridden to camp-meeting, as if they were to be exhibited at a county fair. On Sundays the townspeople as well as those in the country, all went carrying great baskets filled with eatables, as if going to a picnic, and, after listening to the ten-thirty clack service, groups of people could be seen sitting all around under the trees, feasting and enjoying themselves as on a holiday excursion. They would then wander up and down the banks of the stream of water — a requisite of an eligible site for camp-meeting grounds-or visit at the different camps. They started to return t
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