"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



Raymond During Reconstruction Era

Raymond was quite a famous locality during the era of carpet-bag and Radical rule. True, we had but few white carpet-baggers located here at any time, but we had, throughout the entire period, many of the most active and indefatigable colored politicians in the State. They were not, however, bad men, or wanting in patriotism, but they were completely and utterly under the influence of the rascals who swarmed at Vicksburg and Jackson, and, unwittingly, perhaps, helped them in all their schemes of plunder, and all their insults to the white taxpayers and property-holders of the county and State.

Immense meetings of colored men frequently assembled here, and although as a body their conduct was unobjectionable, still there were always those among them who delighted in excesses, and who seemed to think, judging by their actions, that they must find favor with the ring leaders, and that the only was to do so was to act insultingly and violently towards the white citizens. But we can say now, and we publish the fact with great pleasure, that through all the troublesome times from 1868 to 1876, ( the period during which carpetbaggers ran riot,) not a disrespectful word or act was visited upon us, personally, by a colored man, save at the affair at Clinton, on the 4th of Sept. 1875. We have uniformly treated the well disposed colored people fairly, and with all proper respect, and in return they have uniformly treated us with a scrupulous respect.

Under the influence of the white leaders, the colored people, however, carried things on quite lively. The men they elected to the public offices were, almost without exception, utterly incompetent, and some as dishonest as incompetent. They elected men as Supervisors who paid not a dollar of county taxes – elected men to important offices who could not write their names – elevated men to offices who commenced stealing upon the very day they entered upon their duties.

Their Supervisors ran the taxes up from $3.50 to $30.00 on the one thousand dollars of valuation, on a very high assessment, and yet that amount of tax money would not appease their hunger, and a county debt of $140,000 was created in addition - and yet there was nothing to show for all the money expended.

Raymond had many very determined Radicals, but it had also many very determined Democrats and Conservatives. Often when the large colored meetings were going on, and the white carpet-baggers from Jackson or Vicksburg were addressing them, propositions were made to break them up. But wise and peaceful counsels always prevailed, and happily force was never resorted to in Raymond, nor was a white or colored man ever killed here, in a political difficulty or from anything growing out of political or race differences. The same can not be said, we imagine, of many other county towns in the State. And when 1875 arrived, and the whites and their allies among the blacks, determined that they would no longer submit to carpet-bag rule, and that the carpet-baggers should get out of the state – none more heartily co-operated in the work, or worked more efficiently, than the great body of our colored people, and from that time to this they have remained firm and unyielding despite the blandishments which have beset them.

For the overwhelming majorities given to the Democratic – Conservatives at the Raymond box, commencing with 1875, the county and the country are greatly indebted to the intelligent and well disposed colored men of Raymond, and with pride we thus hold them up for the kindness and good offices of every reader of these lines who loves peace and would do justice at all.

Harper Ends “Raymond Years Ago” with Poetic Vision

Morning, noon and night come and go. And so, too, evening’s shades and midnight’s gloomy hour. And the beautiful foliage with which all Nature is now clothed, will ere long pass away, giving place to the sere [withered] and yellow leaf. Ever man, the proudest and noblest of God’s creatures has his day. He comes, he goes, almost as the passing breeze – and soon he and his deeds, whether good or evil, are forgotten. And these Notes on the past career of a village dear to our heart, must, like every thing earthly, have an end.

Twenty-three weeks have passed since the Notes on “Raymond Years Ago,” were commenced, and every week a No. has appeared in these columns. If collected and published in book form, they would make a pamphlet of one hundred or more pages; and would cover perhaps the entire space of two or three issues of the Gazette.

Faneuil Hall, built in Boston in 1742, has served as a marketplace and open forum meeting hall. The historic structure is referred to as the “home of free speech” and the “Cradle of Liberty.” Many of the founding fathers and patriots, including Daniel Webster, often gave speeches in this hall. During one of Webster’s speeches he expressed the thought, “There it stands and there it will stand forever,” referring to the granite monument placed at Bunker Hill nearby.

As the Notes have been extended much beyond the original design, and attracted more attention than we expected, we now regret that we did not observe more care in their preparation, and give to them more thought. But what has been done, is done – and although we cannot say, as Mr. Webster did of Fannel Hall [sic], “there it stands, and there it will stand forever” – we can say the Notes have been printed, and fifty years from now they will be read with more interest than they have been while passing through the press.

We commenced the Notes with our departure from a city surrounded by rock-bound mountains away off in old Virginia, the mother of States and statesmen. That city then had a population of 10,000 souls, while now its population is reckoned at from 40,000 to 50,000. It had not then a mile of railroad. It now has railroads branching out in every direction, and the whistle of the locomotive is almost an incessant sound.

We have traveled all along with Raymond, from its commencement, supplying, as they have been verbally handed down, such incidents of interest as occurred before our settlement here. The town may be said to be fifty years old. What changes have occurred within that period! How ruthless has been time! What a fearful mortality list! And what a change with the writer! As announced in No.1, we were then but a boy in age, in experience, in thought, and in feeling, footloose and free. How different our situation now. And with this line we close our Notes on “Raymond Years Ago.”


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

Copyright © 2008  PattieAdams Snowball, James and Rebecca Drake