Sunday, November 28, 2010

Salem 100 Year Jubilee - 1866

Excerpt from "Old Salem - The Official Guidebook" by Penelope Niven and Cornelia Wright (click on the link to purchase your copy). Visit the official website of Old Salem Museums and Gardens
"The history of the Moravians comes to life at Old Salem. A unique religious group, the Moravians made the town of Salem an oasis of beauty and order in the Carolina back-country. Today in the workshops, homes, and gardens of Old Salem, men and women carry on the daily tasks of living just as they were done in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries - crafting beautiful objects, running households and businesses, and  engaging in artistic and musical pursuits. This guide will help you make the most of your visit to Old Salem, one of the most authentic living-history museums in the United States."
Salem 100 Year Jubilee - 1866

They lived then with questions that face us now. They wrestled with the rhetoric of liberty and human rights, and the challenges of ever-increasing religious and ethnic diversity. Like citizens across the country, the people of Salem grappled with pivotal issues: the sometimes bloody quest for freedom; the tensions between a local society and an emerging nation; the national and personal wounds and scars of slavery; the upheaval of change brought on by the expansion of industrialism and capitalism; the dramatic repercussions of war; and the need to live harmoniously in Salem and the world beyond.

God's Acre Salem, NC
In February 1866, the Moravians marked their Jubilee with three days of church services and a procession of 1500 people to the cemetery, God's Acre, where the graves of the first settlers were covered with evergreen crosses. Despite their worries about the postwar economy and a "severance of family ties," they celebrated this "solemn and festive occasion" with gratitude. For a century the Moravians had simultaneously maintained their unique identity and mirrored the struggles and aspirations of their neighbors in Piedmont North Carolina, the South, and the nation.

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