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James Yancy Talk - August 1865


Posted By: Pat Ryan White (email)
Date: 2/12/2021 at 15:15:44

(“The Home Journal”, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Friday, August 4, 1865, Page 3)

THE FIRST OF AUGUST – Last Tuesday was a gala day for the colored people of this vicinity. Agreeably to previous announcement they had a celebration in commemoration of Emancipation in the West Indies and in honor of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The day was most auspicious – clear and cool. At nine o’clock they assembled at the African Methodist church, formed in procession and marched through the principal streets and to Saunders’ Grove. Mr. Charles Davis acted as Chief Marshal. The procession was preceded by the Mt. Pleasant Brass Band, and never did “John Brown” sound better or more appropriate than on this occasion. Flags and expressive Banners were carried in the procession, and altogether the display was very creditable. By special request, Mayor Edwards presided over the exercises at the grove. After prayer by the Rev. Mr. Burnett, Mr. Yancey (colored) from Fairfield, Iowa, was introduced. His oration was characterized by ability of no mean order, and was listened to with close attention by the large audience. The Rev. Mr. Yancey of Illinois – late Chaplain in the army, and half brother to the first speaker, next delivered a brief, pointed and eloquent address. This gentleman is as white as a majority of white men, and is much above an average in point of talent. At the conclusion of his speech the meeting adjourned to dinner. The colored women had provided a repast worthy of any women. – The immense table was supplied with the substantials and delicacies of the season in great abundance, to which ample justice was done by the large crowd. After dinner the audience reassembled, and interesting and appropriate remarks were made by the Rev. A.C. Williams. Hon. L.G. Palmer, Rev. Mr. Crane, Rev. Mr. Stout and Rev. J.H. White. The exercises were interspersed with songs by the Mt. Pleasant Glee Club and music by the Band. At about four o’clock the exercises closed, everything having passed off in good order and to the entire satisfaction of all. The colored people seemed entirely happy, and will no doubt long remember with pleasure this celebration.


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