The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It has been many years since my first visit to Forsyth Taney County, Mo. It was then quite a small village but it did not lack for lively and stirring scenes. The memory of that day has never faded from my mind, but time and humanity since then have wrought a great change, it was on the 4th of July 1848. The weather was warm and serene there was not a cloud hardly visible. The citizens of the village and the surrounding country gave a big dinner. It was an old fashioned barbecue and good order prevailed throughout the day. Though the country was thinly settled yet the size of the crowd that collected there on that day was astonishing. They came from far and near and from every direction. Some of the men and women came over 50 miles. The number of people were estimated at 1500 including children, this was remarkable when we take into consideration the manner of traveling. Some come on horse back. Some in ox wagons and hundreds came on foot. They were all patriotic and enthusiastic and took that occasion to celebrate the great victories gained by the daring and valor of the American troops in the Mexican war. Peace had already been declared but news could not fly over the world in a minute in those days and the people of Taney County had not learned of the fact, and so they organized a company of volunteers to send to the front, but news of the declaration of peace reached Forsyth soon afterward and the company was soon disbanded. I am not exagerating when I say that Forsyth was honored on that 4th day of July by the presence of 500 ladies. I was only 4 years old then but I never will forget as long as I live what a beautiful appearance the ladies presented as they marched to the table in proper order. Nearly all of them were neatly dressed in clothes of their own manufacture dyed with old fashioned indigo and madder and barks, roots and weeds gathered in the forest. Many of the men wore moccasins and had on garbs of dressed buck skins, but a majority of the men and boys wore garments spun and woven by the industrious housewives and daughters. Nearly all the women and girls wore paste board and cedar split bonnets. There were no lemonade stands for speculation nor dancing floors to mar the feeling of those religiously inclined, but was simply an old time gathering of the people with plenty to eat and free to all that was present.

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