Poem of the Pilgrims, 1863

Up from the caves and sands adrift,

by river rocks and wayward logs,

inside the waters brought to drink,

from Freedom dropped from angels’ hearts,

when better nature did nature touch,

and mercy learned from traveling,

to look about a promised land,

and wilderness could find the heart,

the quiet River’s starting place, where it begins to course and beat,

then drained now richer dark and deep,

the land where now becomes the home,

where freedmen walk to breathe the dream.

This is the place where Freedom’s born.

-Albert Turner Goins