A Rockin’ Christmas, Old School

January 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Although no one much knows or cares these days, outside of the Hispanic community (Que viven los Tres Magos!), the 12 Days of Christmas end today. A century and more ago, when the Christmas season actually started with Christmas, the 12 days that followed were among the liveliest of the year in Austin, as duly noted below:

January 6, 1854

Our Christmas holidays passed off quietly. Christmas day was duly celebrated by a portion of our church going people. It was ushered in by the boys with the usual amount of fire crackers, shooting and squalling. Those fond of sporting enjoyed the races that came off during the week. There was the usual quantity of “red eye” disposed of, and we are told several night fights came off by way of variety, but that nothing serious occurred. None, however, seemed so elated at the return of this annual holiday, as our “darkies.” – Could one of our Northern philanthropists have seen Sambo and Dinah perambulating our streets, dressed in their “Sunday go to meeting Christmas clothes,” he would have been perfectly astonished at the miserable condition of the Southern slave.

January 6, 1855

CHRISTMAS FIGHTS. – The Christmas fights began with too much vim, they couldn’t hold out – Little Windy got up a scrimmage between Quincy and the “loud talking man” – “Loud Talk” didn’t win – he was turned from the bottom, like a “jack” in “old sledge.” He coaxed somebody else into a nice little fight, and got “knifed” for his pains. There were various other pugilistic exhibitions – by all sorts of people – in all sorts of conditions.  Friends were generally on hand to separate them, which increased their wrath – “distance lends enchantment to the view.” We would give the names of the parties, but they have, most of them, assured us of their undying devotion to us and ours – winding up by saying “that little affair was funny, but of course you never mention such things.” Well we don’t. Go on boys – amuse yourselves, it draws no blood from our rock-broken nose.


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