Eli Adams d 1871
Posted by Jan Slater on Mon, 28 Aug 2000
Wednesday, March 15, 1871 edition of the
Eli Adams an old citizen of Centre township, this county, died week before last after a lingering illness, Mr. Adams although not a white man, in color was white in principles and a man of property and influence in his neighborhood. He had lived to see several changes in
the Constitution of his state; having been a voter before that right was taken from the colored men in 1837. But he hailed its restoration again in 1870; casting one more ballot. He was then called to pass in his last ballot, and give up his life.
From the Waynesburg Republican
OLD RICHHILL AGAIN,
Reminiscences - In the days of Slavery - A colored Man of Some Note.
Again your scribe made a visit of inquiry concerning the "days of yore" and found much of interest from memory's pages as told by our townsman, Mr. Samuel Harvey, a native and long-time resident of old Richhill - now Center township. Mr. Harvey, although not so old by a dozen or more years as Mr. Teagarden, to whom we were indebted for reminiscences in our last issue, had a mind well stored with tales of the "long ago" and talked freely. Said he:
My eyes first rested upon the light about half way between Rutan and Graysville, near sixty-five years ago. Your story as told in last week's Republican was correct in the main, and I can do no better than to continue in the same strain. The improvements and advancement made in that portion of Greene county known as Richhill township, in my recollection, is very marked. About the time I took up the battle of life in earnest and set to work to carve my own way in the world, Richhill township was still in the woods, and numbered her voters at less than a hundred and fifty. There were few others than log houses, and many of the substantial citizens of to-day were raised in log cabins, with but one room doing duty as kitchen, parlor, bed-room and guest's chamber, and where you travel now and see magnificent frame and brick farm houses and fine barns, forty years ago their original owners were content to occupy the more humble log dwellings. Indeed the change is very great and conclusively shows how step by step the people of that portion of Greene county have advanced in wealth and affluence.
A NOTED COLORED MAN
"In your last week's article," continued Mr. Harvey, "you mentioned the gradual advance from the hand mills to the steam mills of the present day. I suppose many of your readers would hardly believe that most of these mills were contracted and build by a colored man named Jacob Adams whose descendants still live in the west end of the county. Yet it is true. Nor would it hardly be believed that this same man Adams once wielded more influence in local politics than any other man of his day in that section; which is, however, true. And it was common thing for him to carry the township for his man against all adversaries. He voted himself and was a man of much native intelligence, but when the Legislature disfranchised the colored man about 1830 Mr. Adams went with the rest and just never got over the matter."
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