Charles Henry Manship arrived in Jackson on February 9, 1836. Thirty years later, the Manships hosted a reunion of Jackson’s early citizens to remember the occasion. The following article is from Anabel Power’s “Pages From an Old Scrap Book,” The Jackson Daily News, May 30, 1948.
The Men of Old Jackson
The writer recently found a copy of “The Mississippi Standard,” published every morning Monday excepted, by Power and Jones. Official Journal of the City of Jackson dated, Sunday, February 11, 1866. In it is an interesting story:
The men of 1836, 1837, and 1838. HAPPY REUNION AT THE RESIDENCE OF C. H. MANSHIP ESQUIRE. Interesting Narrative! Toasts, Sentiments and a Good Time Generally!
On Friday last there was a very pleasant reunion of the old citizens of Jackson, the men of 1836, 1837, and 1838, at the hospitable residence of C. H. Manship, Esquire, himself one of the old citizens.
The repast, furnished by the hospitable host and his excellent wife, was indeed elegant, bountiful and luxurious. The assemblage of guest was somewhat frosty with age, it is true, but most of them, under the influence of the good cheer spread before them, and the interesting associations of the past, seemed oblivious to “bald pates and gray locks” and waxed young again, while bringing up, in conversation, the past history of the city and its former inhabitants.
Governor Humphreys and several other gentlemen of distinction were present. The only feeling which seemed at all to mar the general hilarity of the feast was the recollection of the race of noble men and women who once dwelt amongst us, but who are now either absent in distant cities or “pale sleepers in the silent city of the dead.”
We regret not being able, in this issue, to give as full an account of the interesting ceremonies of the occasion as we would desire. Happy toasts and fine sentiments were the order of the evening. Brief, but eloquent addresses were made by the Honorable William Yerger, David Shelton, Esquire, Honorable Amos R. Johnston, Thomas Palmer, Dr. Farrar, Mayor D. N. Barrows and others.
Mr. Manship spoke, in substances as follows, relative to his first visit to Jackson:
Gentlemen: Thirty years ago this day, (February 9, 1836), and about this hour, I entered the city of Jackson after a walk of two days from Vicksburg, with blistered feet, weary limbs and great anxiety as to whether I would be able to secure shelter for that night–the Legislature being in session and every place of entertainment filled to its utmost capacity, but after several efforts I at length met with Mr. S. Judd, who many of you recollect,–he took me in and treated me kindly. Next day I took a walk around town, and to my great astonishment met an old friend, who many of you still remember. I refer to the presiding genius of the First National Bank, J. Green, Jr. I was pleased to meet in a strange land one whom I had known well in my boyhood days, and one, too, whom I knew to be, in the full sense of the term, a man. Thirty additional years’ acquaintance has confirmed my previous judgement of the man, whom we all recognize as one of our best citizens.
The same day I made the acquaintance of the model man, James Smith, T. S. with whom I formed a friendship and intimacy I have not realized with other men. I was attached to him with more than a brother’s love; he, it was, at the sound of trouble between the South and North, sent a stand of arms, a cannon and ammunition for the defense of Jackson and made your humble servant the medium of presenting the same to the city.
True, the object so near his noble heart was lost, but it showed the love he bore for the home city of his early days and the self-sacrificial act.
Time sped on with me, and the remnant of others of that day, and brought us with varied fortunes up to 1861, when war with all its horrors visited the land; but nowhere in the South was it so keenly felt as at this our once beautiful little city.
We were all made to feel it as no people ever felt that terrible scourge. Our city, of which we were all so justly proud, was reduced to ashes by a merciless and unfeeling for our home desolated and desecrated, with unsparing and wicked hands.
In view of these facts, and as we, of the old stock, are rapidly passing away and as our frosty locks and aching limbs admonish us that we are hurrying to that bourne whence no traveler returns, I thought it appropriate that we should assemble and pass an hour of social reunion and brotherly love, that we may forget each other’s foibles, late troubles, should learn to rely on each other and live to better purposes than we have hitherto done.
And why not? With our noble old Roman, Gov. B. G. Humphreys as executive of the state, and our excellent and most efficient mayor, Hon. D. N. Barrows, we hope to see from their ashes, and tower far above those who have suffered less during the recent war.
I cannot close these remarks without returning you, my friends, my most hearty thanks for your various words of confidence, however unmerited they may have been, which you have been pleased to confer upon me; and in the evening of my days, the fervent hope I indulge is that the retrospect of my public and private life will reflect no dishonor or reproach upon the other.
In conclusion I propose the memory of the departed and absent men of 1836, 1837, and 1838, of the city of Jackson.