Former members return to chorus.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 August 1947.


During the summer, college students returned to sing with their former choristers in Hartford Bess‘ Handel’s Chorus.

  • Mary Gilchrist — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Viola, Canon Gilchrist, 38; wife Ruth, 32; and children Dorothea, 15, Mary L., 12, Gene, 11, Bella M., 5, and Janey V., 2.
  • Katie Chestnut
  • Virginia Ward — probably, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Preston Ward, 38, widower; sister Annie, 26; and children James P., 20, Alonza, 18, Johnny Lee, 17, Rosa, 14, Virginia, 12, Sylvester, 10, Ruby, 8, Doris, 6, and Golden, 2.
  • Ann Johnson

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Send-off at Calvary.

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The Africo-American Presbyterian, 15 September 1938.

False, unscientific belief in racial superiority.

In March 1945, the Torchlight, a student journal at Atlantic Christian College — a small college founded in Wilson in 1902 — published this surprisingly progressive review of Lillian Smith’s Strange Fruit:

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“True, the affair between Tracy and Nonnie is disturbing; but an illicit affair should be disturbing, regardless of a situation of mixed races. No, the love affair is not Lillian Smith’s problem; the thing she points out with capital letters is the question: What are we going to do about the Negroes in our country, the Negroes who are thinking and desiring a new life? And that question is one we must answer soon. If Lillian Smith has awakened one person to the cruelty involved in a false, unscientific belief in racial superiority and to a consciousness of the white people whose misused power has produced a spiritual degeneracy, her purpose has been accomplished. …Revolting, shocking book? Yes, for those who cling to the past!”