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Freedom Days 2007
Stringfellow Orchard
News Release
Monday, June 11, 2007

Historic Stringfellow Orchard to Host Juneteenth Picnic & Celebration June 16th
 
On Saturday, June 16 the family of Sam and Doris Collins will open the grounds of their historic property in Hitchcock, Texas to welcome people to join them in their annual celebration of the holiday known as “Juneteenth”.
 
Saturday’s activities will include the presentation of a special play, “One Dollar A Day”, written by Samuel L. Collins, III depicting Henry and Alice Stringfellow and their importance to the history of Galveston County and to their commitment to equal rights for those who worked in their orchard, primarily freed slaves.

After the presentation of the play, comments will be made by a man who has become an authority on Henry Stringfellow and his family.

Stephen Chism will explain the significance of the play’s name as well as other notable aspects of the Stringfellow legacy and how the current owners, the Collins family, has played a key role in preserving a remarkable piece of Texas and African-American history.

Chism, author of The Afterlife of Leslie Stringfellow- A Nineteenth-Century Southern Family’s Experiences with Spiritualism, will be visiting from Fayetteville, Arkansas where he is an associate librarian at the University of Arkansas.
 
In 1973 Chism’s chance purchase of objects at a yard sale in the historic district of Fayetteville, Arkansas led him through a series of coincidences ultimately compelling him to document the story of Leslie Stringfellow, who was born in Texas just after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Leslie’s untimely death at age twenty resulted in what his well-educated parents, the owners of Stringfellow Orchard, considered to be successful attempts to make contact with their dead son through private séances held nightly in their own home.  Learn more at Afterlife Of Leslie Stringfellow.  Chism has also authored From A to Zotamorf: The Dictionary of Palindromes.
 
Juneteenth, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Since its origin in Galveston, Texas in 1865, observances have spread across the U.S. and beyond.  The official date of the holiday is June 19th.

Juneteenth.com  states, “Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month, marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future.“
 
“Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting  improvements in our society.” 

Visitors are encouraged to spend the day and enjoy planned activities as well as picnicking under the shade of spreading oaks.  The property will be open from
11 am. to 5 pm.  “Bring your picnic and cooler and enjoy the festivities.”
 
Stringfellow Orchard is located at 7902 Hwy 6, Hitchcock, Texas.  In case of rain the program will move to New Macedonia Baptist Church, 6619 Prino St., Hitchcock, Texas.

For more information contact Sam and Doris Collins at (409) 938-3782.






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