The following was written in 1873 about Richland Parish. These words were likely written by the editor and proprietor of the Richland Beacon News, Wiley P. Mangham. It was captioned appropriately with the simple headline, “It Is Ours To Enjoy.”
“Go till the ground”- said God to man,
“Subdue the earth, it shall be thine;”
How grand, how glorious was the plan!
How wise the Law divine.
And none of Adam’s race can draw
A title, save beneath this Law,
To hold the world in trust;
Earth is the Lord’s, and He hath sworn
That ere old Time has reached his bourne,
It shall reward the Just!
IT IS OURS TO ENJOY
When properly understood and rightfully appreciated we, the citizens of Richland Parish are among the most favored people of the world. Nature hath lavished upon our section all the rich stores of wealth that minister to the wants of man. –
No matter how deeply dyed in sin may become the political ermine of the military Despot now lording it over our nation; nor how black the panorama of mordern statesmanship staining the Congressional escutcheon; so our skirts are clear; “We are favored with a genial climate, and posses a soil, the redundant wealth of which is a sure guarantee of all that is needed to build us up in the enjoyment of comfortable, peaceful and happy homes.”
We should not worry and fret our lives away because of the national sins which threaten the demolition of true Republicans, nor stand idly trembling in fear that Justice will be dethroned. When we have done all that we can do, by a dissenting ballot, it behooves us to disengage ourselves from the meshes of politics, for a time, and turn to the inviting fields of agriculture spreading so beautiful and level around us.
Here, we can build our houses, spin and weave our clothing, and raise our meat and bread. Away from the busy marts of the world, and undisturbed by the clanking sound of demoniacal chains that will ere long twine about the necks of office-holding Tyrants, we can here enjoy all the sweet comforts of a home-made home, and bask in the sunshine of that domestic happiness for which the princely millionaire would gladly yield up his vast possessions, if we will but use the means which God has given us to the ends for which they were intended.
Our planters should no longer let Cotton be king, but make their home supplies, raise their stock, and fortify themselves against whatever calamity may befall our country, in consequence of its unprincipled and dishonest Rulers. To attain happiness in this, and in the life to come, is the acme of all man’s aspirations: And we would have our good people abandon the universally mistaken idea that this great boon can be found in the accumulation of the gold. The secret of unalloyed pleasure, ease and comfort to the human soul, is found alone in putting to a proper use the means with which we are surrounded for the upbuilding of those enterprises which tend more immediately to satisfy the demands of our daily existence.
To this end, we have rich fields and pastures, finely timbered forests and excellent ranges for stock, sufficiently enabling us to produce every article of home consumption independent of the outside world.
Our first parents, as they walked in innocence through the antiquated Eden, were doubtless not charmed by more enchanting scenery than what our people now survey. The little birds are caroling sweet songs of approaching Spring, and the woodlands around us are budding redolent with the perfumed beauties of nature that “minister delight to man.” What more need we want, if we use what we have. It is ours to enjoy.The Richland Beacon News, 1873