"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 XIX


Politics in Raymond

We have before adverted to the fact, that, 35 years ago, almost every substantial citizen of the county made it a point to visit Raymond one or more days during every term of the Circuit court. This was deemed a point of honor, with many, as it enabled them to keep up with the times, to see new men who had come into the county, to renew social relations, to hear a political speech or two, (a feast which was always spread during “the first week of Court,”) and for other purposes. As the reader is doubtless aware, this custom is no longer observed, The people of the county now come to Raymond, during a term of the court, only under compulsion. And, as the people of the county came in a body to Raymond the first week of court, so the people of the neighborhood, for miles in every direction, came in on every Monday – came in whether they had business or not – came in to enjoy themselves as gentlemen, often with their families, and prepared to spend a day or two.

Thirty years ago, on almost any Monday, we would see Hugh McGown, W. S. Jones, Thos. S. Dabney, John Stewart, Andrew Thomas, Wash. Rossman, S. D. Kelly, G. W. Summers, John A. Fairchild, M. A. Gillespie, S. S. Heard, Maj. Bracey, A. Lynch, Hamilton Sivley, John Futch, J. F. Watson, G. E. Beauchamp, R. O. Edwards, W. F. Dillon, R. Sivley, A. R. Brown, Angus Morrison, Lewis Smith, Danl. Thomas, and a multitude of other just such men – who were the true nobility of the land. Alas! alas! how few of them are now with us, and how seldom we now see the living. With but here and there an exception, they have passed over the quiet river – and most of the very few who remain may with truth be said to be but lingerers on the shores of time. The old stock have well nigh passed away, and with them have passed away the old social habits of the country.

Presidential Election of 1860: Lincoln and Hamlin

The Presidential election of 1860 was warmly contested in Hinds county, and especially in Raymond, as the county conventions and barbecues were held here. Bell and Everett, the Union candidates, were the favorites, and received about 300 majority in the county, and about 50 majority at the Raymond box, over Breckenridge and Lane, who were regarded as the Secession candidates. The Douglas ticket received a few votes in the in the county, but not one was cast for Lincoln and Hamlin, the successful candidates before the country.

An 1860 Abraham Lincoln & Hannibal Hamlin campaign ferrotype
 in brass shell.

Image courtesy of Early American History Auctions

The Bell ticket was supported here on the ground, mainly, that his election would restore peace to the country, which was then greatly exercised on sectional questions, whereas the election of either Breckenridge or Lincoln would, it was thought, but intensify public feeling, and most probably lead to revolution and war, and the extinguishment of the peculiar institution in which the South was then so deeply interested. The Hinds County Gazette, in this contest, as in that of 1851, which was akin to it, sustained the Union ticket, and had the satisfaction of knowing that its position was sustained by a large majority of the slaveholders and landholders of the county.

Hinds County Votes for Secession

Lincoln and Hamlin, however, were elected, and with that announcement an unprecedented feeling of disgust and discontent everywhere manifested itself throughout the South. “The Cotton State” had been especially assaulted, and Lincoln’s election was sufficient to “precipitate them into revolution” nolens volens [willing or not]. For the first time in its history Hinds county, at an election for members of a convention to decide what it was proper for Mississippi to do in the premises, elected (though by a small majority) the Secession ticket. Secession came, and at once all Hinds county, Secessionists and Unionists, were for the South and the Southern cause, pledging to the flag their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.

The Raymond Fencibles Organized

Raymond at once organized a splendid company, and in an incredibly short space of time sent it forward, under the then sheriff of the county. It bore the old name, “Raymond Fencibles,” and contained a number of the veterans of the Mexican war. Two or three other companies were also organized in the town during the war, all of which performed good service in the field, and lost in killed and wounded a large number of our choicest men. Raymondites were in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and elsewhere where fighting was done and the flag of the Confederacy was supported, and none did it more readily or efficiently, and none suffered more severely on the death roll.

Colored and White Churches Reorganize

In noticing the white churches of the town, we might with justice and propriety also have noticed the churches of the colored people. Until the war, the great body of our colored people, who were church members, belonged to the white Baptist and Methodist churches of the town. There were arrangements in each of those church buildings for their accommodation, and, besides, sermons were usually preached especially for them, by the pastors, on Sunday afternoons. After the war, however, the colored people withdrew from the white churches and organized churches of their own, which remain prosperous to the day. The Baptists were the first to erect a building, having purchased for that purpose a lot in the southeastern part of the town. The Methodists soon afterwards also purchased a lot, near the graveyard, and put up a building. Both of these churches are now largely attended and have regular colored pastors, while many of the members are known to be very correct and religious men and women. Both churches, we believe, belong to strictly colored Conferences and Associations. The white, of course, gave them all the encouragement in their power, and freely assisted in the first instance, in the purchase of the lots and the erection of the church buildings.


NOTEAfter the above was put in type we discovered that we reverse the order of the building of the two colored churches. It was the Methodist, and not the Baptist church, that was first built.

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

Copyright © 2008  PattieAdams Snowball, James and Rebecca Drake