Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve, 1860

Those of you who are complaining about Christmas this year feeling a little glum might feel more blessed when you consider the mood of trepidation that gripped East Tennesseans 150 years ago on Christmas Eve of 1860:

A lot of folks didn't know the big fancy Christmases that we do today, but one has to imagine that people tried to be in holiday mood as much as they could, for the tension in the country and in the community was rising, and neighbors could surely feel it in the air. Outside the major cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga, much of East Tennessee was still isolated from the rest of the State and the country. Those who paid enough attention to what was happening were as worried about whether there would be peace on their front porch tomorrow as they were about the "peace on Earth" so many speak of during Christmastime. In our own day and time we read and hear of civil wars and social and ethnic tensions in far away lands. Perhaps we might learn about the slow-simmering cauldron that would eventually become the Balkan Wars of the 1990's. On Christmas Eve of 1860, the cauldron was bubbling in East Tennessee-not in a land far away.

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At Saturday, December 25, 2010 9:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this on Christmas Eve. It caused me to reflect on stories that have been handed down in my family that lived on the Cumberland Plateau at that time.


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