Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 145
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The Writings of Fannie Amelia Dickson Darden
wards well known to the literati of the state as
Mrs. M. J. Young. Soon after her arrival inthe
republic, a grand naval and military ball was given
in Galveston, at which she was present. All who
knew her acknowledged her queenly grace of
figure, and beautiful countenance, heightened by
the light of intellectuality. She had accepted an
invitation to the first dance from a handsome
young naval officer, when it was announced that
Gen. Houston had entered the hall. All eyes were
bent upon his commanding figure. He walked
the length of the room, and, stopping in front of
Miss Fuller, presented her a rose, saying, "Lady,
I have brought this rose to present to the most
beautiful lady in the room. May I have the plea-
sure of dancing the first set with you." The young
officer gracefully waived his claim, and Miss
Fuller, appreciative of the honor conferred, gladly
opened the ball with the hero of San Jacinto.
One more anecdote of the general will
close my reminiscences of him, and his career
as a dancer. After his marriage with Miss Lee,
who was a member of the Baptist church, he
attended a ball given in Houston on some public
occasion, and approaching Mrs. A. C. Allen, well
known in social circles as a leader of society
(and noted for her strength of character and be-
nevolence of heart), said to her, "Mrs. Allen, I
have promised my wife to give up dancing. You
and I have had many a dance together; let us
make a bargain. Dance with me one more set,
and let this be the last time that either of us shall
ever dance." Mrs. Allen consenting, they danced
a quadrille together, which proved to be the last
dance that either of them ever indulged in.
As I have mentioned my three first in-
structors in dancing, I feel it due to them to tell
who they were, and I hope I will be pardoned
this digression as it represents a phase of life
now entirely passed away, of which the coming
generation has no conception.
An Autobiography of Childhood-
Me and Rhody and Betsy
"Me and Rhody and Betsy" were raised
together. I was born in what they called the big
house, and they first saw the light in a negro
cabin. My home was a large house, in the midst
of a cotton plantation, and surrounded by one of
the largest and most beautiful flower gardens in
Alabama. Theirs was a comfortable log cabin,
surrounded by a beautiful grove of oaks, also on
the same plantation. My mother was a young,
refined and accomplished lady. Their mothers
were black and shiny; one was the cook, and the
other the washwoman, but there was one thing
in which Betsy and I were equal-we both took
in our sustenance from the same maternal foun-
tain. Betsy's mother was my foster-mother, or,
to use her language, "she suckled me." I, lying
at her bosom in my white muslins and laces, knew
no distinction between myself and Betsy, with
her blue check frock and red apron. As we grew
older, the distinction dawned so slowly upon us,
and our respective situations were assumed so
naturally that we never knew anything about it,
or cared. After a while Betsy and Rhody were
promoted to play with me in the big house, and,
as they grew older, "to wait on de white folks."
Their duties consisted in the winter time in light-
ing grandpa's pipe, and winding balls of yarn to
knit, and in the summer in "toting water" from
the spring, and handing it around in dippers, in
threading grandma's needles, and running up and
down stairs on errands. Most of the time they
played with me, running up and down the garden
walks, which were very long with avenues of
cedar and wild peach, with occasionally clusters
of trees, and now and then a large, old-fashioned
arbor, where we would sit and tell tales.
Oh! what wonderful tales Rhody and
Betsy could tell about Mr. Fox, Mr. Hare, Mr.
Rabbit, and the old wolf that "shigeles-hogeled"
the piggy's house down. The dramatic earnest-
ness and pathos of the story-tellers were only
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/17/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.