The first official celebration of Thanksgiving in Mississippi occurred on November 25, 1847. The following verse appeared in The Daily Whig (a Vicksburg Newspaper) that day. I learned of it from the booklet WE GATHER TOGETHER Thanksgiving in Mississippi by H. Grady Howell.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our Family & Friends
Cheese, cakes and pumpkin pies
Are Spread before our wistful eyes;
And savory steam from smoking meats
All pleasantly our noses greets!
Here’s turkey young and turkey old’
Sweetbreads hot and light-bread cold;
Mutton tender and chicken tough,
We thank thee Lord we have enough,
A Prayer for the President
By Morgan Gates
A scene from an Episcopal prayer service, in Vicksburg Mississippi the Rector leads the congregation in prayer:
O LORD, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favor to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A murmur runs through the congregation, there is a tension in the room, most are too polite to speak it, but the thoughts running through their minds are almost audible. Oh My God, did he really just pray for God to bless that awful man? He is not my President! The only reason he is in charge of us is due to outside meddling!
There are also members of the local government and law enforcement in the congregation that day as well. They can see the discontent in the crowd; they wonder if a violent protest is about to break out right here in this church service. Churches have often been hotbeds of political dissent. One of them wonders if he should summon back up immediately. Another thinks “what is wrong with these people, can’t they at least respect the office if not the man?” Then several of the leading ladies of the congregation storm out the back door in protest! The tension breaks the officials breath a sigh of relief.
The protest described above was not a protest against Donald Trump, it was against Abraham Lincoln, and it occurred in a prayer service in Christ Episcopal Church on Christmas Eve in 1863! On December 24th, 1863 Vicksburg had been an occupied city for six months! Martial law was in effect; Blue coated troops patrolled the streets! The previous rector of the church the Reverend W.W. Lord and ardent Confederate had departed the City after the surrender. Another man now filled the pulpit. Quite a few of the Union occupiers were of the Episcopal denomination and attended services at the church regularly, and it was at their insistence that he pulled out the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and led the congregation that particular prayer on that particular day. The Prayer for the President of the United States was not something new, but it had been modified to read the Prayer for the President of the Confederate States by most southerners since succession! The protesting ladies did not get off “scot free” however, they were identified by the Union officials and banned from the city for the duration of the war! It was said that the Union officials discovered that: The Men of Vicksburg had surrendered, but the women had not!
Thank You! A Veterans Day Message
One hundred years ago today the “War To End All Wars" ended with the signing of an Armistice (a ceasefire) signed on the "Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month"! We know today, of course, that war continued and will continue into the foreseeable future and what was originally celebrated as “Armistice Day” became Veterans Day, a day to remember all those who served of our country. So we here at Rediscovering Historic Vicksburg would like to thank all those who have served our country.
Yes, we are the Sons (and Daughters) of the South.
Yes, our ancestors suffered through the most horrible war in our history. Yes, many lie in graves of that long-ago war.
Yes, many of those who survived bore the scars of that war for the rest of their lives.
Yes, we have fought many wars against implacable enemies since then.
Yes, we the children of the South have joined together with the children of the North to repel those enemies.
Yes, we are the greatest and freest country on the face of the Earth.
Yes, the enemies of freedom still lurk in the shadows, both within and without.
Yes, we both South and North, must never let political differences divide us that completely again.
Yes, we who study the past must never forget to look to the future, for…
Yes, we ALL are Americans!
The Gettysburg Address
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
November 19, 1863
By David Maggio
Have you ever been told, “put your money where your mouth is,” or ‘if you do not like it, make a change”? Well, the people and neighborhood of 2300 – 2500 Drummond Street have taken those sayings to heart. On Saturday, November 3rd, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, they are having Porchfest, and if you do not show up, you will be missing out on a wonderful event. A number of local sponsors and homeowners are investing time and money to help get this Vicksburg's 1stAnnual event off the ground, and support from us is what is going to make it survive.
This historic location is known as Fostoria, a name that dates to the early 1880’s when it was part of Lonewood Plantation. Judge Frederick Speed and Thomas R. Foster secured 210 acres of property there, and developed a Vicksburg subdivision known for a while as Fostoria, and later as Speed’s addition. It was Mr. Foster, who was then serving in the state legislature, who secured a municipal charter for the section. Judge Speed wanted to name the village Fostoria, but Foster insisted that it be named after the Judge. One day, Mr. Foster suggested that a coin be tossed to determine which partner would select the name. Mr. Foster won the toss and picked out the name Speed – Speed’s Addition. Later, when the officials of the City of Vicksburg promised to give the villagers lights and other conveniences, the villagers gave up their permit and permitted annexation. Porchfest is part of this historic district.
Live music with local musicians will be on 7 porch stages with art vendors, food and drinks throughout the 2 city blocks. There will also be an "after party" at Martin's at Midtown, with more music, food, and fun. This grass root community event that can be enjoyed by your whole family, so come help the neighborhood highlight their wonderful community and visit with friends and neighbors.