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THE CHARLOTTESVILLE FAIR. A Grand Success-Newsy Items.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA., Oct. 26, '91.
To the Editor PLANET:--
As there were no representatives of your paper here to chronicle the doings of our people in the celebration of their first
County Fair, I ask that you publish from the following report which gives me the greatest pleasure to write. I think I may
it say it without fear of successful contradiction, that the Afro-American people of this city in the holding of said County
Fair have not only excelled the state, but the whole Southland by giving the first Fair having the prefix "County" before
it. It is a fact worthy of commendation that we did not attempt to cover more than a modest territory, nor to do more than
in our power, this, we did well, and the general verdict is that it was the grandest and most successful race undertaking
in this section of the state. This Fair was given under the auspices of the Piedmont Industrial, Land and Improvement Company,
of which Mr. Robert Kelser is the honored President, and which has served its purpose in forming the Company and given an
immeasurable popularity to the President and Rev. J. Francis Robinson, the promoters of the scheme. Pedestrians by the hundred
and a variety of vehicles indescribable were seen early Wednesday morning wending their way to Bremanm's Farm where great
improvements were already made in preparation for the Fair.
THE FAIR OPENS.
It was on this morning that the Fair was opened with impressing ceremonies. But all agree that the Second Day, on which day
the greatest parade ever seen in the city passed down her streets. The first evening Concert was given in the Mt. Zion Baptist
Church. Lawyer Harrison H. Ferrell, a recent graduate of Howard and our only colored lawyer in the city delivered a very fine
industrial address. He was assisted by Mrs. Geo. P. Irge, Pianist, Dr. H. Floyd Gamble Manager. The Misses Jane C. Cary and
Malinda Staples, soloists and last, but not least Mrs. Anna Robinson, our only elocutionist. This concert was a grand success.
The Fitches Brass Band furnished exhilarating music throughout the Fair.
The grand procession took place nothwithstanding the inclemency of the weather precisely at 12 M. headed by the band; following
was the handsome carriage drawn by the finest four- in-hand horses owned and driven by Mr. T. B. Jones, a popular Afro-American
liveryman. In this carriage sat Revs. Walter H. Brooks, J. Francis Robinson, Messrs. Lawyers Jas H. Hayes and Harrison H.
Ferrell. The procession was over a mile long. President Kelser and his directors appropriately rode horse back while Mr. William
L. Brown acted chief marshall.
The Waynesboro Brass band was placed about midway the line. Arriving at the grounds, the commonwealth's Attorney on behalf
of the county made the address of welcome, which was followed by an able speech from James H. Hayes, Esq. A grand concert
in the afternoon on the grounds followed by a very excellent concert at the First Baptist church, where Rev. Walter H. Brooks,
D. D. of Washington, delivered the evening address.
THE CLOSING DAY
There was a large attendance. Friday was the closing day. The sun shone in its brilliancy, the people still enthusiastic thronged
the grounds and the managers proceeded to award the prize winners for the finest horses, cattle, chickens and other articles
of merit on exhibition, all of which were deserving and highly commendable. "The race is marching on." There was no confusion,
no disorder, no arrest.
At night, the closing concert took place in the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and as usual there was a large crowd to listen to
the very excellent musical and literary program. Dr. C. C. Stumm, of Staunton Mt. Zion Baptist church delighted the audience
with a very instructive address. We could mention much more but for want of time and space we will be obliged to defer until
a subsequent letter. The Fair was a grand success financially and numerically. It was a credit to Charlottesville and a great
boom for the Piedmont Industrial, Land and Improvement Company, and a proof positive of the asserted fact that the Afro-American
is "HERE TO STAY," and share in the benefits accruing from a land of plenty and abundant prosperity. This was well done and
God grant that the race here may continue on her upward and onward march.
Yours for God and the Race,
J. Francis Robinson.
Summary of Article
A letter reporting on the success of the first Afro-American County Fair held in Charlottesville.