29 July 2013

My Ancestors: God-Fearing Cotton & Tobacco Farmers

I've blogged about my great-great grandfather before. His son, Robert M. Williams did not attend college yet spoke several languages (including Latin) fluently, served as Mayor of Crewe, Virginia, and was a successful farmer and lumberman. He was also a devout Christian, Sunday school teacher, and wrote poetry. Below are a couple of scanned images of poetry he penned on his letterhead, circa 1924.

The second poem reads:

The Leper knelt low at the feet of the Lord,
And for healing and cleansing contritely implored.

And the Master constrained by his earnest request,
Felt the impulse of pity move strong in His breast.

And Mercy and Love beamed forth from his eye,
As He stopped and gave heed to the Suppliant’s cry.

And He put forth His hand and touched that poor worm,
And the warm glow of health was diffused thro’ his form.

Then straitly He charged that glad mortal released,
“See thou tell it to no man, save the priest.”

But his gratitude swelled like the waves of the sea,
And he blazed the great tidings throughout Galilee.

Oh, the song of the spheres may be muted, I wean,
But not the glad song of a heart newly clean.

And that cadences of Joy, thro’ the long aisles of time,
Still vocally vibrant, wakes echoes sublime!


ropelight said...

B.F. Williams must have been concerned that opposition to General Mahone could well have resulted in curtailed access to rail transportation, or at least to being subjected to premium pricing.

Cotton, tobacco, and timber all required shipment to metropolitan centers.

At first glance, Mahone seemed to be holding all the high cards.

PS: Traveling 460 back and forth from Tidewater to Roanoke from the mid-40s I've passed through Crewe many times.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Rope - Yes, I have no doubt that was some of the concern. Mahone was creating a "machine" with lots cronyism all the way down to the local level and . . . "under the leadership of General William Mahone, and originally composed principally of Democrats, for the forcible readjustment of the debt on terms dictated by the State without the consent of the bondholders."

Sound familiar?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

BTW, B.F. Williams was threatened, offered bribes, and his political career suffered. However, I'm proud to say he stood firm.