"Raymond Years Ago"

By George W. Harper

Journalist - Editor - Owner Of Hinds County Gazette 1845-1883

A Series Published in the Hinds County Gazette, 1878-1879

From the Gillespie Collections edited by Pattie Adams Snowball and Rebecca Blackwell Drake


History Home Page

"Raymond Years Ago"

Home Page

Part I

Harper Arrives in Mississippi

Vicksburg & Meridian RR

Businesses in 1844

The Raymond Bar

Early Merchants

Part II

1844 Businesses

Seat of Justice

Cotton Industry

Early Churches

Part III

Establishment of Schools

John B. Peyton

Raymond Area Homes

Medicinal Resorts & Spas

Part IV

The Mexican War

Early Churches

Early Schools

Raymond Female Institute

Raymond Military Institute

McNutt-Foote Debate

Part V

1844 Presidential Election

Local Elections of 1845

Literary Raymond

Raymond Fires

Old Log Jail

Part VI

Death of Jos. Stewart

Murder of Benj. Sims

Duel Ends in Death

Part VII

Raymond & Bolton RR

Harper Elected Mayor

Chaos at Oak Tree Hotel


Great Fire of 1858

Early Area Settlements

  • Amsterdam

  • Yeizer's Store

  • Newtown

  • Meridian Springs

  • Sturgiss Store

  • Dry Grove

  • County Line

Part IX

Rev. Fisk's Biology Class

Fisk Charged with Fraud

Part X

Fleetwood Tragedy

Local Racetracks

Dignitaries Visit Raymond

Winning the Lottery

Fire Company No. 1

Part XI

"Devoted & Valued Friend"

Tribute to Amos Johnson

Part XII

Yellow Fever Strikes Raymond

Doctors Treating Victims

Cooper's Well

Mississippi Springs


Newspaper Entrepreneurs

Yankees Sack Gazette Office

Fate of Editorial Giants

Part XIV

Henry Clay Defeated in 1844

Stray Cats in Raymond

"A Remarkable Occurrence"

Blow That Punky Bell to Hell"

Isom Bldgs Destroyed

Part XV

1851 Gubernatorial Election

Union Ticket Sweeps State

Part XVI

New Raymond Courthouse

Gibbs Building Rebuilt

Hinds Co. Poor House

Schools Struggle

Murder of Addie Owens


War comes to Raymond

The Battle of Raymond

Willie Foote Captured

Make-shift Hospitals

Yankees Occupy Raymond


Raymond Lodge No. 21

Odd-Fellows' Graveyard

Bolls Incarceration

Crimes Blamed on Whisky

Peyton's Willow Tree Prank

Part XIX

Politics in Raymond

Presidential Election 1860

Hinds Co. for Succession

Raymond Fencibles Organized

Churches Reorganize

Part XX

The Clinton Riot of 1875

Why the Great Uneasiness?

Deaths of Sivley & Thomson

"Kill the Raymond Men"

Part XXI

Harrison Election

Political Gatherings

Event at Dupree's Grove

Presidential Election 1876


Governor Ames Impeached

Great Wrongs Investigated

Fight the Devil with Fire


Reconstruction Era

Harper Ends with Poetic Vision

Part XV


1851 Gubernatorial Election

Southern Rights Democrats Oppose Union Party

The election of 1851 was by all odds the most spirited and bitter political contest (save that of 1875) that has occurred in Mississippi since 1844. It commenced in Hinds county very early, in 1850 in fact, and the first meeting in Hinds county in opposition to the tide which gave the party a start, was held in the old court house in Raymond. The hand-bill calling that meeting was headed, “Liberty and Union, now and forever,” and was signed by Amos. R. Johnston, John B. Peyton, John Shelton, Geo. W. Harper, S. T. King, and perhaps a half dozen others. But the fight was really inaugurated in the United States Senate, in 1850, when Mississippi’s Senators, Jefferson Davis and H. S. Foote, took opposite grounds on the Compromise measures of that year and appealed to the people of the State for their verdict. The Hinds County Gazette sustained Senator Foote.

In the election of 1851, Senator Jefferson Davis represented the Secessionist party while Senator H. S. Foote supported the Union. Davis was defeated but, a decade later, was named president of the Confederacy.

Jefferson Davis adherents claimed to be State-Rights Democrats, and the peculiar friends of Southern honor and Southern Rights, and charged that their opponents were “cowardly submissionists,” and prepared to surrender to the North every demand that it might make upon the South, even to the abolition of African slavery. Foote’s adherents claimed to be better friends of the true interests of the South than Mr. Davis’ adherents. That Davis and his party were Secessionists and Disunionists, and were in favor per se of the erection of a Southern Confederacy and the destruction of the Union of the Fathers.

The celebrated Nashville Convention had been held, and adjourned to meet again. Its spirit had encouraged the Secessionists. Gen. Quitman was Governor, and adhered strongly to the position of Mr. Davis, as did nearly all the leading Democrats in the State.

On the admission of California, Gov. Quitman called the Legislature together in extraordinary session, to consider and adopt measures for Southern safety. That legislature, (strongly Democratic,) after censuring Foote and applauding Davis, called a Convention to consist of delegates elected by the people to consider of the mode and manner of redress. All this was towards the close of 1850 and the commencement of 1851, and the people immediately divided off and commenced a furious contest – truly wonderful for personal bitterness. The Davis handbills were generally headed “Southern Rights,” while the Foote posters called upon the people to “Rally for the Union.”

Very early in March the Union men, as Foote’s friends called themselves, met in the courthouse in Raymond and nominated their ticket, taking the lead in the State. The ticket was constituted as follows: “For the convention – H. S. Foote, Wm. L. Sharkey, Amos R. Johnston. For the State Senate – D. W. Adams. For the Legislature – T. J. Catchings, Geo. W. Harper, I. N. Selser.” And soon afterwards the same party held their State Convention, nominating Foote for Governor, Freeman for Congress in this district, &c. The nomination of Foote for Governor (which was done against his protestations) necessitated the withdrawal of his name from the county convention ticket, and Dr. Geo. Banks’ name was substituted. All candidates in the county were that summer “called out” as to their sentiments on the great questions, and from constable up no man was tolerated as a candidate for office by the Union men who was not decidedly and unequivocally on the Union platform. The Southern Rights Democrats were quite as restrictive and violent as the Union men. They nominated Quitman for Governor, McWillie for Congress in this district, and the following county ticket: “For the Convention - D. C. Glenn, C. E. Hooker, Wm. Smith. For the Senate - J. W. L. Smith. For the Legislature - M. W. Phillips, A. B. Brown, W. Rossman.”

General John A. Quitman won fame during the Mexican War and later became governor of Mississippi, 1850-1851

The canvass in Hinds was managed with superior ability by both parties, and commenting so early there was time for most comprehensive and ample work. There were barbeques and free discussions in every part of the county. Gov. Quitman, Gen. Foote, Col. Davis, Judge Sharkey, Gen. Freeman, Fulton Anderson, Col. Tarpley, and all the county candidates, of both parties, were on the stump from March until November. While Foote and Quitman were filling an appointment in Panola county, in midsummer, they had a personal encounter, in which blows passed right heartily. Soon afterwards Gen. Quitman (not on account of the fisticuff, however,) withdrew from the contest, and Col. Davis became the regular candidate for Governor against Foote - and here was the appeal to the people, the two U. S. Senators running for Governor, and each on the identical platform he had placed himself upon in the United States Senate. The contest attracted great attention throughout the Union, and no county was looked to with greater interest than Hinds, as it was one of the largest slave holding, wealthiest and most intelligent counties of the State - having the State capital, and likewise the home of the most of the lions in the contest.

Union Ticket Sweeps the State

Henry S. Foote
Mississippi Governor 1852-1854

The Convention election came off first - in October, we believe - while the State election took place in November. The Union men carried Hinds in the convention election by 500 majority, in a vote of 1800, and the State by 10,000 in a vote of 1800, and the State election, a month after, the entire Union ticket was elected in Hinds by from 400 to 500 majority, and the Union ticket swept the State.

The Convention was overwhelmingly Union, and met at the appointed time, but did little beyond advising the North to adhere to the Constitution and laws, respect the rights of the South, and study Washington’s Farewell address.

The Legislature, too, was largely Union, but the Senate being Southern-Rights, (owing to the number who held over,) prevented the Union men from doing all that they had promised the people to do.


All photographs and illustrations were edited into the series by Pattie Snowball and Rebecca Drake.

Copyright © 2008  PattieAdams Snowball, James and Rebecca Drake