Carolina, The Blue Waves Are Breaking

While looking for something totally unrelated, I stumbled across this poem in the December 1853 edition of The North-Carolina University Magazine. For those Tar Heels who have had the unfortunate pleasure of emigrating elsewhere, this poem may make you hop the next flight back home.

Carolina, the blue waves are breaking,
Soft, soft on thy shell-spangled shore;
And the wild birds, their songs are making
In sweetness and gladness once more.

And the sun rays are softly reclining
On the sweet dimpled waves of thy tide,
And as gently are heaving and shining,
As the gems on the breast of a bride.

Carolina, mid the pines of thy wildwood
The breezes are passing away,
Like the fast fleeting memories of childhood,
Or the last dying tints of the day.

Carolina, I love, I adore thee;
Thy valleys, thy mountains and shore
Will e’er be in memories before me,
Altho’ I should see them no more.

Yet no matter what skies are above me,
Tho’ a wanderer to many a strand;
Carolina, I ever will love thee
And call thee my own sunny land.

By A. Perry Sperry (pseud.?). Greensboro, Nov. 10, 1853.

Anyone For a Smoke?


“This view shows the world’s largest pipe smoked by beautiful Wilson girls, during the North Carolina Tobacco Exposition and Festival held annually in Wilson, North Carolina.” — postcard caption.

I’m guessing that something like this wouldn’t go over too well these days, considering modern attitudes on smoking, but scenes like this were fairly common at tobacco festivals around the South, especially at the large annual event in Wilson. There is an excellent article by Blain Roberts on the origins of the “tobacco queen” in the 1930s in the Summer 2006 issue of Southern Cultures.