Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Colored Celebration
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TitleColored Celebration
DescriptionReport in the Galesburg Republican newspaper from April 23, 1870 about a parade and celebration in response to the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving the right to vote to African American citizens.
Parades & processions
Constitutional amendments
Subject (LCSH)Galesburg (Ill.) - Newspapers
Named PersonFletcher, Dennis; Knowles, J.R.; Williams, Aaron; Gash, Franklin; Gash, Anderson;
AuthorGalesburg Republican
Time Period1870s
Date Created (original)April 23, 1870
IdentifierMicroforms Cabinets
RightsThis item is out-of-copyright.
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-08-22
A Respectable Turn Out--the Proces-
sion, Speeches, Etc.

The celebration on Thursday, inaugu-
rated by the colored citizens in honor of
the ratification of the fifteenth amend-
ment, was a quite creditable affair, and
was managed admirably bythe commit-
tee of arrangements. At about ten
o'clock in the forenoon, the procession
began its march and the utmost decorum
and order marked its progress through-
out the city. Heading the cavalcade
was the College City Cornet band which
discoursed the most enlivening strains of
music, while immediately behind was a
chariot containing twenty-nine young
ladies of color representing the stages
that ratified the amendment. They
were neatly and appropriately costumed,
and each one bore a small flag on which
the name of a state was inscribed. They
made a really fine appearance--far bet-
ter looking and much more lady-like in
their deportment than those democratic
females who formerly paraded the
streets under the shadow of "White Hus-
band or None" banners. Following in
their wake were wagons containing the
scholars of the Methodist Episcopal
and Baptist Sabbath schools while
vehicles to the number of about twenty-
five formed the remainder of the
equestrian portion of the cortege.
Probably the most noticeable fea-
ture of the affair was the military com-
manded by Captain Anderson Gash.
The men kept step with precision and
handled their places fairly, evincing
considerable militray knowledge in their
evolutions. The display throughout
was really excellent, and was a decided
triumph in every way for our colored
citizens, and too much praise cannot be
accorded to the various officers who
worked faithfully and earnestly for its
success. In every part of the city the
procession met with words of encour-
agement and cheer, for, to the honor of
our good city, let it be said that there
are not enough democratic rowdies with-
in the corporate limits to get up even
the semblance of a free fight. The de-
mocracy of Galesburg are far more re-
spectable, tolerant and intelligent than
those of any other locality on this con-
tinent, and they seem pleased that the
colored folks celebrated their full free-
doms in such a becoming manner.
The line of march was under the di-
rection of Colonel Dennis Fletcher, with
Major J.R. Knowles, Captain Aaron
Williams and Lieutenant Franklin Gash,
comprising his staff as assistant marshals.
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