Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Kingdom Of The Happy Land

The Kingdom of The Happy Land:  This painting is based on a wonderful story that is half historical fact and half folklore.  According to an old story,  after the Civil War some two hundred free slaves in Mississippi followed a leader in his search for "The Happy Land." Many more freed slaves joined him as he traveled through Alabama and Georgia and somewhere near the North Carolina and South Carolina line, the leader heard of a large plantation nearby and found an old lady who was the only member of the family to survive the war.  The leader struck a bargain with the owner.  He and his followers would make her land thrive again if she would sell them enough land to create "The Happy Land." She agreed, and slowly the freed slaves (working for twenty-five cents a day) acquired enough land to make their dream a reality.  According to the history of Henderson County, they reverted to the religion of their African elders and elected a King and Queen.  The Happy Land thrived for some forty years by farming and selling their produce throughout the region.

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