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  • Emancipation Committee of Upson

The Emancipation Celebration: Articles 1885 and 1887

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

Here is a look into our past celebrations. These newspaper articles were published in the Thomaston Times.



The first article was published in 1885 by J.E. Drake, Chairman and reads as the following:

The colored people of Thomaston and Upson county will have their annual emancipation celebration on Friday, the 29th of May at Thomaston. W.A. Pledger, col. of Atlanta, will be the (or???) of the day, and all colored people of the county are invited to attend and bring their baskets well filled with good things. All our white friends are invited to hear the speaking and to take dinner. The colored Brass Band of Griffin will furnish the music for the occasion.

The second articles was published on June 4, 1887 and reads as the following:


Last Saturday was the appointed time for the colored people to celebrate their emancipation, and it was very generally observed. All of them in town took holiday, and large numbers came from the country. The streets were thronged all day, and so were the woods where the celebration was held. The exercises came (o?) according to the programme. They seemed enjoy the day greatly and the very best of order prevailed throughout. For this they deserve credit, which we gladly give them. They have celebrated this day twenty-one years, and they always invite a number of their white friends to be present. One of the first speakers they had was James M. Smith, afterwards Governor

Through these articles, we learn so much about the earlier celebrations. From speakers to the number of years the celebration has been happening, these articles are an important piece of information.

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