Archive for July, 2011

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident

July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July.

To the sages who spoke, to the heroes who bled,
To the day and deed, strike the harpstrings of glory!
Let the song of the ransomed remember the dead,
And the tongue of the eloquent hallow the story!
O’er the bones of the bold
Be the story long told,
And on fame’s golden tablets the triumphs enrolled,
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fired raised that gave light to the world!
They are gone — mighty men! — and they sleep in their fame;
Shall we ever forget them? Oh, no, never!
Let our sons learn from us to embalm each great name
And the anthem send down — “Independence forever!”
Wake, wake, heart and tongue!
Keep the theme ever young;
Let their deeds through the long line of ages be sung
Who on freedom’s green hills freedom’s banner unfurled,
And the beacon-fire raised that gave light to the world!

— Charles Sprague

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jul 3, 1939

Celebrating Freedom and Independence

July 3, 2011

Letter from Senator Oldham.

RICHMOND, VA., January, 20th, 1865
[Excerpt]

Thus might the patriot manfully say:
“So freedom now so seldom makes
The only throb she gives,
As when some heart indignant breaks,
To tell that still she lives.”

No, better die ten thousand deaths battling for Liberty and right, than live a life so pregnant with ignominious shame.”

W.S. OLDHAM

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Feb 21, 1865

Centennial Poem.

Delivered by Hon. H.H. Hogan, at Reno, Nevada, July 4th, 1876.

With joy we hail our natal day!
Again we meet to homage pay,
And our exultant voices raise
In never ceasing songs of praise,
Unto the men so true and brave,
Those who to us our country gave;
And to give thanks to Him above,
For His great mercy and the love
He unto us has ever shown,
Since we a nation have been known.
Again the deeds of valor tell,
Of those who fought and those who fell;
Again recall the names of those
Who dealt destruction to their foes,
On battle field, on raging sea,
Their war-cry always victory.
Of Warren tell, so true and brave,
Who’d sooner die than be a slave;
He, when offer’d supreme command
Quickly grasped his gun in hand,
And to his gen’ral firmly said,
I fight where falls the thickest lead.
Of Washington, whose name will be
Revered unto Eternity,
In every clime, in every land
Where freemen breathe and freemen stand,
Upon the rights of man to man.
Of Henry bold, whose clarion tongue
Loud out in House of Burgess rung,
With stentorian eager cry,
Give to me death or liberty.
Not only men but women too,
In those days were staunch and true.
Moll Pitcher fought with bated breath
T’ avenge with blood her husband’s death,
On Monmouth’s field neath sweltering sun
By foes outnumbered two to one;
With form erect, and fearless mien,
None braver on that field were seen.
That widow in the old North State,
Whose age was nearly sixty-eight,
When asked by him who had command
For food himself with all his band,
She by herself did food prepare,
Of coarse but good substantial fare.
When they had finished their repast,
Each sated full his long felt fast,
To her again their leader then
Advanced to pay for all his men.
To you dear dame our gold we bring,
You serve of course our honored King.
Take back your gold ne’er be it said
That I for gold gave to you bread,
I gave you food as way my duty,
But not for gold, nor spoil, nor booty.
I serve your King! can such things be?
A charge like that and that of me?
In me, young man, in me behold,
A widow childless, worn and old;
Yet I was blessed with seven sons,
None ever bore more manly ones,
Who with their sire went forth to fight,
In Honor’s cause, for truth and right;
But non returned, all, all were lain
In graves unmarked upon the plain.
Look on this hand, so thin and poor,
These trembling limbs so near death’s door.
Had they the vigored strength of youth,
I, even I, would fight for truth.
But still to me ’tis thought most dear,
That when I’m called to leave this sphere,
Him shall I meet, him with the seven,
With their Maker, God, in Heaven.
Why speak of these, or names recall,
When all were heroes, each and all,
Each Mother offered up her prayer
That God would make his special care,
And safe return to her her son
As soon as freedom’s boon was won.
Each father with determined stand
Grasped his musket firm in hand,
And swore by Him above the sky
That he would conquer or would die.
For seven years amid toil and strife,
They fought exposing health and life;
They fought as brave men ever fight,
For God, Humanity and Right;
For parents, freedom, home and wife,
For children, liberty and life;
At times with hunger sore oppressed,
At times with clothing thinly dressed,
At Morristown for miles around
Their bare footprints in snow were found,
With sinews like the tempered steel,
These men seemed not to hardships feel,
But always eager for the fray
Came it by night, came it by day;
Not for vengeance, but with the thought
Each victory won the nearer brought
The time when Peace would them restore
To home, with friends, to part no more.
Nor were their toils and suff’ring vain,
They in the end did vict’ry gain
And have to us their children given
A boon, the dearest under Heaven;
A country vast, of wide domain
Made up of valley, hill and plain.
Where freemen live by honest toil
In happiness, and own the soil.
Where virtue brings its own reward,
Where every man stands out a lord.
Our land of every land most blessed,
Our Government the very best,
Here meet all nations of the earth
To celebrate our country’s birth.
No Oligarchs with titles old
Can tithings take, or rob our fold,
For us no tax for King remains,
For us no tyrant forges chains;
We can exclaim o’er land and sea,
In tones exultant, we are free.
For us n North, no South, shall be,
No East, no West, but unity;
With stern resolve to guard our land
From ruthless grasp of foreign hand;
And may that emblem of the free
To unborn nations yet to be.
Stand as did those pillar’d lights
To Moses and the Israelites,
When storms assail our Ship of State.
Do thou, Oh, God! Almighty! Great!
Avert the storm at Thy command,
Or guard us with Thy shelt’ring hand;
And may this our first Centennial
Be to others as perennial,
Till shall come the day Millennial.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jul 5, 1876

Image from Find-A-Grave

The Passing of One of Reno’s Grand Old Men.

Dr. H.H. Hogan sleeps now. His noble life work is ended. Like the physician Ian McLaurin told us about in “Beside the Bonny Brier Bush,” Dr. Hogan was a willing servant of the poor. Many a time he accepted a less fee than was tendered him. Many a poor patient was tenderly and skillfully cared for and when asked for his bill, the good old physician would reply with a wave of his hand: “It is nothing.”

Henry Hardy Hogan closed his eyes at dawn yesterday morning. The light of the sun he did not see. His spirit eyes beheld the radiance of the city not built with hands.

He was the oldest physician in Nevada. Born in Alburg, Vermont, three score and eight years ago, he spent his boyhood days in the Green mountains. He had graduated from two medical colleges when Abraham Lincoln called him to arms.

The doctor enlisted in Co. G, 142d New York Infantry, and took part in many a battle for the flag.

After the war he came to Nevada and began the practice of medicine. He is survived by a wife, a son and an adopted daughter.

The funeral of this good man will take place from his late residence on Center street at 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon.

Daily Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Mar 18, 1902

From the History of Washoe County (PDF):

…Washoe County pioneer Henry Hardy Hogan, M. D. Hogan had been born in Vermont in 1834, attended a college in Albany, New York, and studied medicine at a medical school in Burlington, Vermont. He enlisted as a private in the New York infantry for service in the Civil War and was discharged honorably on account of disability in 1863. Arriving at Ophir, Nevada Territory, in 1864, he resided there until moving to Reno when that town became the county seat. Hogan took a great interest in politics, serving in the Nevada legislature from Washoe County during the 1871, 1875 and 1895 sessions. In 1881 he established and edited the Plaindealer, a weekly and later a twice weekly Greenback paper, which suspended operations in 1884. The newspaper was revived in 1895 and lasted until 1899. On his death in Reno in 1902, Hogan was one of the oldest physicians residing in Nevada….

How Not to Enjoy the Fourth

July 2, 2011

PLEASANT MOTORING

RUN OUT OF GASOLINE!

BURN OUT A BEARING!

WORK UP STEAM!

GET PUSHED AROUND!

BE A BLOW-OUT VICTIM!

GET LOST!

I remember when gas stations used to provide these services — Those were the days!

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING

Standard Oil Dealers are in a position to give you service and supplies that will make your Fourth of July motor trip more enjoyable and less costly. Such things as clean windshield and windows, air for tires, and water for radiators are free, of course. And in addition to good gasoline and motor oil, they can furnish expert chassis lubrication, spark-plug and headlight bulb replacement, tires and batteries. A few minutes under the STANDARD SERVICE sign before you start your trip will be time well spent.

MORE THAN 23,000 STANDARD OIL DEALERS ARE AT YOUR SERVICE

Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) Jul 1, 1939

The American Girl

July 2, 2011

The American Girl.

Our hearts are with our native land,
Our song is for her glory;
Her warrior’s wreath is in our hand,
Our lips breathe out her story.
Her lofty hills and valleys green
Are shining bright before us,
And, like a rainbow sign, is seen
Her proud flag waving o’er us.

And there are smiles upon our lips
For those who meet her foemen,
For glory’s star knows no eclipse
When smiled upon by Women.
For those who brave the mighty deep,
And scorn the threat of danger,
We’ve smiles to cheer, and tears to weep
For every ocean danger.

Our hearts are with our native land,
Our songs are for her freedom;
Our prayers are for the gallant band
Who strike where honor leads them
We love the taintless air we breathe —
‘Tis freedom’s endless dower —
We’ll twine for him an endless wreath
Who scorns a tyrant’s power.

They tell of France’s beauties fair,
Of Italy’s proud daughters;
Of Scotland’s lasses — England’s fair,
And nymphs of Shannon’s waters.
We need not boast their haughty charms,
Though lords around them hover,
Our glory lies in freedom’s arms —
A freeman for a lover!

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California) Apr 28, 1855

The Last Leaf

July 1, 2011

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. image from the HubPages website

Background: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., wrote a poem entitled, “The Last Leaf,”  about the American patriot, Major Thomas Melvill(e). In turn, this poem, a parody of Holmes’ version, is about Holmes, himself:

The Last Leaf

We see the patriarch still
Briskly treading Beacon Hill
Full of joy.
For his heart is pure and glad
As the good Sir Galahad,
Or a boy.

By the tea cups when he sat —
The unrivaled Autocrat —
Did he know
He would some day cling, ah me! —
Last leaf on the lonely tree
Bent with snow!

Had he felt and had he known
He would wear the bays alone.
Still I hold
Never would have blanched that cheek.
Still his harp had blessed the weak,
Charmed the old.

His the gospel of good cheer,
Doctor’s art and poet’s ear
Joined to bless,
Heart with human kind atouch,
Like the Master healing such
In the press.

Writing no impassioned screeds
To uphold a party’s creeds
Or its wrongs.
Broader than his Brahmin caste,
He has won the world at last
With his songs.

Still he walks the Boston streets,
And he smiles at those he meets
As he roams;
Ah! we love that gray haired man,
Grasp his hand, dear, if you can;
That’s our Holmes!

— FRED L. KNOWLES.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 20, 1890

Image and poem from The Melville Family website, where you can read an interesting history of this poem:

“The Last Leaf”

By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1831)
A poem on Major Thomas Melvill(e), grandfather of Herman Melville, last of the Boston Tea Party Indians

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.

But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
“They are gone!”

The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.

My grandmamma has said–
Poor old lady, she is dead
Long ago–
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow;

But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook is in his back,
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.

I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!

And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.