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February 19, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County: The Winter of 1872, Part II

Click here for Buckingham County: The Winter of 1872, Part I

In December 1872, Richmond’s Whig printed a letter from Buckingham County, M. B. D.  Following a description of lasting drought, the author (whose education included that ability to quote Shakespeare’s Hamlet) condemned irresponsible black men, whom he saw abandon their families to winter’s cruel winds.

Winter In The Country.

     Big log fires are very comfortable, and in this well-wooded country they cost little but the trouble of making. Still, they do not answer for clothing or glass and shattered windows. They will not rehang a door swagging on broken hinges, or daub a wall “to expel the Winter’s flaw.” Nor, yet, answer for food for the hungry, nor medicine for the sick, and families there are about the country who know and suffer these privations. In many cases this is the result of the most abject laziness, but instances have come within my observation of negroes who have left their families destitute of food and clothing (and in some cases almost without shelter) and have gone off to the railroads, from whence they only return to vote for some Radical office-seeker and hurry back to the railroad again, perhaps leaving a few dollars to be expended in frippery at some auction stand on court days, leaving wretched, ragged children at “home” to starve to death or burned alive in the flames that often consumed their wretched hovels.

In his final comment, M.B.D. names several honorable black men in Buckingham County, while condemning others.

Coming Next: “About the Crops”


Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne Yeck / Feb 19 2018 12:38 pm

    Linda, Thanks for the kind words about the blog. Are you in touch with Harry S. Holman? He is a Hooper and is currently completely a book which includes a genealogy of the Hoopers of Buckingham County. Joanne

  2. Joanne Yeck / Feb 19 2018 10:55 am

    Linda, Many thanks for your comment. It was definitely not all mint juleps and galas. Part III is coming on Thursday which offers a strange balance to M.B.D.’s comments. Joanne

    • Linda Loftin / Feb 19 2018 12:25 pm

      Hi Joanne,
      I enjoy your columns.
      My Buckingham family was named Hooper. Apparently there was a Hooper’s Mountain and Hooper’s Road in that area at one time. The plantation was called Arcanum. Various Hooper descendants lived in that area from about the mid 1700’s to about mid 1800’s. My direct branch moved to West Virginia, in the early 1800’s, where my Hooper grandmother was born.

  3. Linda Loftin / Feb 19 2018 10:45 am

    No doubt the “radicals” were in favor of protecting the few rights that the African-Americans had been granted. The wealthy white landowners would not have wanted that. Thanks for posting the truths that are not all mint juleps and galas! Too often, those more unpleasant aspects are left covered up in order to not make any white folks uncomfortable.

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