Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Mrs. Emma Falconer]
“There were wines and the old Madira that had been warming and ripening for many a year in cedar shingled garrets, port and rum punch made with pineapple, limes etc. used for appetizers. Of course, the guests enjoyed themselves, but the ones who had the biggest share of the enjoyment were the slaves who had watched with longing the preparations for these dances which were given about the holiday season. No master could keep them away from the windows, at every window there were the black faces of the slaves gazing in fascination at the scene. As soon as the company left the big dining hall the slave musicians adjourned with the rest of the slaves belonging to the household where the remains of the feast was carried out with the musicians playing for them until the rising of the sun. I will tell you about the last Christmas before the Civil War which changed this way of living entirely.
“Christmas in the year 1859! The last one just like it on the old plantation. As a child the memory still is with me of how for days before there was the hurry and preparation in both the home of my father and the quarters as well. The family is more than usual itself and for the time there is banishment of the war clouds that were then hanging over the south. I can see our old mammy servant as she brings in the tray of mine to serve to some guests as the older ones ask about the plans for Christmas, for on a plantation Christmas is the most important time of the year.