Colored (Freedman's) Cemetery, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas

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    The colored people held a meeting in the city judge's court room last night which was very largely attended. The meeting was for the purpose of organizing a club to raise funds to build a fence around and purchase more ground for the colored people's cemetery.
    The meeting was called to order by S. P. Pittman, who stated its object. He said that Dallas darkies had the reputation abroad of being well up in the world financially, but that delusion would be expelled from the minds of visiting darkies by the cemetery, if it was not fixed up.
    When the speaker took his seat, a temporary chairman and secretary were elected, and a committee on organization, consisting of Messrs. Pittman, Thompson, and Moore, was appointed.
    Rev. Holloway said that it was an historic fact that no race of people, who did not respect their dead, ever amounted to anything.
    Melvin Wade said that in the cemetery, it looked as if the dead people had been hauled out on the cars, pitched off, and covered up just anywhere, and in any position that they struck the ground. He said that it is customary for the dead to be laid away with their heads to the west, but in this cemetery, headstones faced every point of the compass.
    Melvin's remarks were followed by the report of the organization committee, as follows: We recommend that the organization be named "The Dallas Citizens' Club," who shall have in view, the fencing of the colored cemetery. We recommend George Fuqua as permanent chairman, and M. C. Cooper as secretary. The report was adopted.
    After much speaking, Mr. Sims was elected treasurer, and will be required to give bond.
    A motion was made and adopted that all present enroll their names.
    A motion was adopted that a committee on rules and by-laws be appointed, and the president appointed the following gentlemen on the committee: Messrs. Ray, Starks, Lowry, Moore, Pittman, Wiggins & McLin.
    Rev. Carson arose and asked the chair where he got that committee.
    The chairman replied that he took them from the pool of members.
    Rev. Carson told the chairman that he had not done any such thing; that he had been watching him, that the list was furnished him, that the thing had been cut and dried, that if the chairman wanted to make a success out of that thing, all the churches must be represented, and lastly, but not leastly, that if that meeting was not conducted on the square, Rome was going to howl, and things were going to happen.
    Melvin Wade hinted slightly that it was not anybody's business where the chair got the names.
    Rev. Carson wanted the house to elect the committee.
    Melvin Wade desired to know if the man, Carson, who kept his head going so regularly, was a citizen of this county, or not.
    Rev. Carson hinted back that it was none of Melvin's business. He said in plain United States, that he was tired of Melvin Wade running everything.
    About this time, Melvin and the parson got sulphur and saltpeter in their voices and gave it to each other, straight from the shoulder. The discussion finally reached a point where forbearance ceases to be a virtue, for Melvin remarked that the parson ought to be fired bodily out of the house. The parson said that he would like to see the color of the man's hair that could put him out of the house. Things were reaching the "razzer" point and the house arose as one man in wild confusion. Several darkies began shooting -- shooting out the door into the night, and breathed the pure free air of heaven once more with delight. Finally, everything quieted down, and an old darky named Johnson addressed the meeting. He said that the meeting was called to improve their cemetery, and here they were on the verge of a pitched battle. He remarked that it had been said that negroes did not make good soldiers, because every man wanted to be captain.
    After some further discussion, and a contribution of $5 from Pat O'Keefe, the meeting adjourned sine die.

- March 7, 1891, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 1.
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