Letter From Macon, Ga.
Christian Recorder: December 29, 1866
Mr. Editor:-I said in my last letter that I did not expect to scribble for the Recorder very soon again; but on my arrival here, this morning, I took up the Recorder, and, in scanning over my letter relative to the Georgia Conference, I noticed that several small mistakes had crept in by some means. One of them I feel it my duty to correct, viz: you made me say, “Brethren who had been accustomed to meet annually for three or four years, were about to part, likely to meet no more on earth forever.” The “three or four” should have read “thirty or forty,” as there are some very old ministers in that Conference. Dr. Pierce and Rev. Mr. Glen have been members of that Conference for over sixty years. I also noticed that you softened the phraseology somewhat, in my reference to some of our Bishops travelling South. Well, it is likely you know how plain a man should speak in references to ecclesiastical dignitaries; but, at a venture, I now emphatically say, it is high time our Bishops were taking some Southern tours.
I am pleased to inform you that I have just been on a visit to Warrenton and Athens, Ga., where I have organized one large congregation, and shall organize another soon.
Warrenton has a splendid church edifice; but is laboring under debt of $700. We have in contemplation a plan, however, which, we think, will save the property. The people are generally brave, defiant and thrifty. They have had likely, more persecution than in any other part of Georgia. I learn, that some good men were subjected to cruel treatment, owing to a report which was created by devils and believed by fools, that the negroes were going to rise in insurrection and assassinate the whites. I do not believe there is a white person in the country, who thinks, or ever thought any such thing. It is only an excuse to pillage, rob and murder the poor, innocent blacks. And the same story is being started again. Last Christmas a few evil disposed whites endeavored to get up a hubbub over a report of negro insurrection, and actually had many good persons frightened. As Christmas is again drawing near, they are trying it again, at a time when the colored people are thinking about such a thing, about as much as the angels are thinking about revolting against the Majesty of heaven. The persons who raise these false reports, are guilty of a degree of meanness and villainy which language cannot describe.
Athens, Ga, is a fine place in many respects. It is healthy, high, and forty in appearance. They have a good church and a fine congregation, and, upon the whole, they have a good share of intelligence, considering it to be an inland town. There is good material there to work upon. The young men and ladies show a high capacity for intellectual improvement, and if they had a good leader in their midst, would grow rapidly in knowledge. The leading men of the place, I fear, are little wanting in moral courage. They all know what is best, but how to get at it without being seen, seems to be the trouble. Yet there are several among them, who dare to speak out, regardless of consequences. The female portion of our people, however, are perfect heroines, they seem not to care what others may think; they have a right to think for themselves, and act, too, when they chose. The ladies in Atlanta and Macon are preparing for a great fair to be held on Christmas.
Report says Col. Gabriel is going to have me arrested in a few days, for writing about his conduct at Cuthbert, Ga. I never saw the man, but wrote what I heard, and stated, at the same time, that I got it from rumor. But I shall patiently await my arrest, and thunder from Mt. Sinai, if ever released.
H. M. T.
Macon, Ga., Dec. 21st, 1866.