- Wed, Feb 24, 2010
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
The first colored Senator Reverend H.R. Revels
The first colored Senator Reverend H.R. Revels [Hiram R. Revels] - A correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial writes from Holly Springs, Mississippi, as follows concerning ex-Senator Revels, now a Methodist minister near there: "When we entered the door of the plain white frame meeting house, it was filled with worshipers. The Pastor is held in high esteem by his flock at home.
He is both law maker and shepard [i.e. shepherd], statesman and preacher. His party has put an "Hon." [Honorable] before his name, and a college of his church has put a "D.D." [Doctor of Divinity" behind it. He cane home from Washington City as pure as he went,which cannot be said of every white Senator [or ANY Senator these days]...
Pastor Revels is a man of about 30, rather below medium height, with wide perceptive faculties, and a face remarkably bland and winning. He is a light mulatto,with eyes tinged with blue. He is comely, graceful and dignified, and in manner as polite as Chesterfield, without the least affectation.
His voice is strong and rich of accordant tones, his modulation distinct, his sentences models of compact English. You can almost see his punctuation points as he speaks, so exactly measured and as symmetrical as his diction. His gestures are mostly with the forearm, hand and finger, as if he would paint on canvas every shade of his meaning, and touch delicately every color of flower in his rhetoric.
There is no bombast, no trick of syllable or scare of sound. He just talks to you right out in an earnest, straightforward way, and you are arrested, interested, affected and helped by what he says. All this from a farm chattel - a United States Senator, a self-made man.
But he is far in advance of his race. He is a pioneer. Well might his colored substitute in the pulpit, a preacher black as ebony, referring to Pastor Revels in his public prayer, beseech blessings upon the head of "de old, leader of the army". We "heard a white amen to that. And he has an army of a congregation!"
It is much above the average in intelligence, and the order and attention excellent. The Pastor’s influence over the people is marvelous. He can sway a thousand people by a gesture or a word. He said to us that strange as certain demonstrations might seem, it was paradise in order and sweetness to what it had been in former days.
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