ral desire for knowledge. This desire must be extraordinary in the
race, for in the days of slavery it so actuated them till every moral
and legal force was used in the South to destroy it. But it has sur¬
vived the suppression of ages, and now urges the whole race along
in spite of the obstacles that have been long standing in the path¬
way of its gratification and the vanities that becloud its object.
On New Year's dav a meeting was called at Villa to celebrate
the twenty-first anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and
was largely attended by persons of all ages and sexes. Pollit, of the
United States revenue office, said :
" Here we are, after twenty-one years of freedom ; a few of us are
educated, some of us own our homes, most of us have institutions of
benevolence and learning, and all of us worship in our own churches.
Twenty-one years ago we were all ignorant, poor, and homeless ;
how great is the change. What we have acquired is what slavery
denied us and what freedom gave us. How great is the difference in
the fruits of the two."
This speech aroused the people, so now they begin to compare
their past and present lives.
" See my hand," said Libro ; " the finger that was here they cut off
twenty-five years ago this very day because I was learning how to
\ " I was a little boy then," cried Braddo, " butjmy father was in
the swamp runen' from the hounds."
Timus, with tears in his eves, said : "'I was chained to de w'ip-
pen post, standen in mer own blood."
"Ah, Lord," said Micur, "dis berry day twenty-five years ago
dey sell me from mer wife and child'en."
"In der mids ub trouble, now," said Moor, "if we dis think
bout slavery we'll get happy My people, we must nebber forgit to
tank de Lord and der Norden people."
Sorney, an old woman, said : " Ah, mer children, talk no more
bout dem old times, you meak me feel der blood runen down mer
side, and Jedde, der driber, w'ip and der hound er barking."
Ticcian, the last speaker, said : "As you rejoice in your freedom
and your progress, hope and work that the next twenty years yield
up a still more abundant harvest."
" Yes," said Moor, " for dis freedom is too good for we for idle