Race and Place Newspapers

Richmond Planet

Newspaper Information
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Date of Publication: November 07, 1891 (Wednesday)
Frequency: weekly
Article Transcripts

Page 4

Column 1
THE CHARLOTTESVILLE FAIR. A Grand Success-Newsy Items.

Transcript of Article


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.


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.


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.

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