Thursday, December 16, 2010
Mr Charles Christmas : Buelah Mississippi
Soon Christmas will be upon us once again. I know that times are hard because of the economy and I also know that we must think about the real reason for celebrating this time of the the season.
I also know what bought joy to my kids and now to my grand kids. It was "all those goodies under the tree!"
My grandchildren will not have a tree loaded with presents like they did last year. However,I have listened to some of the things that they wanted for Christmas. Some things they will get,some they won't. Yeah,I fixed my mouth to say that, thank you very much. (smile)
I also wanted to see what the children asked for back in the early 1900's,and boy things sure have changed. I went to some of the early papers and saw some of the letters that was written to Santa Claus.
Talk about hard times, this little kids parents were in a bad way
Look at Solomon, he had work on his mind and what he asked for may very well have been a way to help his parents out. And to top it off, that was all he wanted.
Now its "can I get an laptop,ipod or a car!"
"What about that new G4 phone that just came out!" or that "Wrestlers Ring with all the latest wrestlers"
For some reason while I was reading the letters the name Charlie infiltrated my thoughts and I put Charlie and Christmas together. Now Santa Claus was someone that has been around for eons and we were told that he came down the Chimney on Christmas Eve.
On the other hand, Charles T Christmas was a real person residing in Mississippi .
I followed him through several census where he lived his life as a laborer.
This is some of what I found:
I found him in 1870 living in Mississippi with his wife (click to enlarge)
and then again in 1880 (click to enlarge)
Curious, I searched around some more and found this man, this former slave does have a story to be told and it should not just be a footnote.
In 1880 this man had three patents.
One device simplified the bailing of cotton, one was an attachment to hand power the sewing machine and one was a bale band tightener. I was floored because I had never heard of Charles Christmas,and to have the name come across my vision was meant to be I'm guessing.
I knew about Granville Woods,Jan Matzeliger,Elijah McCoy and a few others but very little is said about old Charlie in the annals of history. I do wonder though if he were paid for any of his inventions. I wonder who his slave owner was and who were his parents.
this is an excerpt of the patents showing registration of the wire stretcher and where he resided which was Beulah Mississippi.
We must not forget the reason for the season but I do also want to acknowledge Mr Christmas and say this posthumous.
Merry Christmas Mr Christmas and thanks for the wisdom to use the tools the Almighty put in your hand to make life a little easier for those who toiled in that period of history.