Posts Tagged ‘4th of July’

Celebrating Freedom and Independence

July 3, 2011

Letter from Senator Oldham.

RICHMOND, VA., January, 20th, 1865

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.”


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….

Vintage Poetry for the Fourth of July

July 2, 2009



While the vote on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence was being taken in the State House at Philadelphia, crowds surged about the streets. The suspense was terrible. Would Congress dare declare the colonies free? Would they dare defy the power of England?

The old State House bell was to ring out the news if Congress acted. Already, in the belfry the old bell-ringer waited for the signal. At last it came, and as his grandson bounded up the stairs shouting “Ring! Ring! Ring!” the peals of the bell broke forth spreading the good news far and near. And the shouts from the crowds below told that the joyous sound found echo in the hearts of the people of the new and independent nation.


There was tumult in the city,
In the quaint old Quaker town,
And the streets were rife with people
Pacing restless up and down, —
People gathering at corners,
Where they whispered each to each
And the sweat stood on their temples
With the earnestness of speech.

As the bleak Atlantic currents
Lash the wild Newfoundland shore,
So they beat against the State-House,
So they surged against the door;
And the mingling of their voices
Made a harmony profound,
Till the quiet street of Chestnut
Was all turbulent with sound.
“Will the do it?” “Dare they do it?”
“Who is speaking? “What’s the news?”
“What of Adams?” “What of Sherman?”
“Oh, God grant they won’t refuse?”
“Make some way there!” “Let me nearer!”
“I am stifling!” “Stifle, then!
When a nation’s life’s a hazard,
We’ve no time to think of men!”

So they beat against the portal,
Man and woman, maid and child;
And the July sun is heaven
On the scene looked down and smiled’
The same sun that saw the Spartan
Shed his patriot blood in vain,
Now beheld the soul of freedom
All unconquer’d rise again.
See! See! The dense crowd quivers,
Thru all its lengthy line,
As the boy beside the portal
Looks forth to give the sign!
With his little hand uplifted,
Breezes dallying with his hair.
Hark! with deep, clear intonation,
Breaks his young voice on the air.

Hushed the people’s swelling murmur,
List the boy’s exultant cry!
“Ring!” he shouts, “Ring! grandpa,
Ring! oh, ring for Liberty!”
Quickly at the given signal
The old bell-man lifts his hand,
Forth he sends the good news, making
Iron music thru the land.

How they shouted! What rejoicing!
How the old bell shook the air.
Till the clang of freedom ruffled
The calmly gliding Delaware!
How the bonfires and the torches
Lighted up the night’s repose,
And from the flames, like fabled Phoenix,
Our glorious Liberty arose!

That old State-House bell is silent,
Hushed is now its clamorous tongue;
But the spirit it awakened
Still is living — ever young;
And when we greet the smiling sunlight
On the Fourth of each July,
We will ne’er forget the bell-man
Who, betwixt the earth and sky,
Rung out, loudly, “Independence”
Which, please God, shall never die.

–Author Unknown

** The two stanzas between the double asterisks are from the version of the poem printed in the Bayard Advocate, 1916. The rest of the poem is for the most part, the same as the Davenport Democrat, 1925 version.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader (Davenport, Iowa) Jul 3, 1925
Bayard Advocate (Bayard, Iowa) Jun 29, 1916

The First State Print (Image from

The First State Print (Image from


On the Third day of July, 1776, Caesar Rodney rode on horseback from St. James’ Neck, below Dover, Delaware, to Philadelphia, in a driving rain storm, for the purpose of voting for the Declaration of Independence.

In that soft mid-land where the breezes bear
The North and South on the genial air,
Through the county of Kent, on affairs of State,
Rode Caesar Rodney, the delegate.

Burly and big, and bold and bluff,
In his three-cornered hat and coat of snuff,
A foe to King George and the English State,
Was Caesar Rodney, the delegate.

Into Dover village he rode apace,
And his kinfolk knew from his anxious face,
It was matter grave that brought him there,
To the counties three upon the Delaware.

“Money and men we must have,” he said,
“Or the Congress fails and our cause is dead.
Give us both and the King shall not work his will.
We are men, since the blood of Bunker Hill.”

Comes a rider swift on a panting bay;
“Ho, Rodney, ho! you must save the day,
For the Congress halts at a deed so great,
And your vote alone may decide its fate.”

Answered Rodney then: “I will ride with speed;
It is Liberty’s stress; it is Freedom’s need.”
“When stands it?” “Tonight.” “Not a moment to spare,
But ride like the wind from the Delaware.”

“Ho, saddle the black! I’ve but half a day,
And the Congress sits eighty miles away —
But I’ll be in time, if God grants me grace,
To shake my fist in King George’s face.”

He is up; he is off! and the black horse flies
On the northward road ere the “God-speed” dies,
It is gallop and spur, as the leagues they clear,
And the clustering mile-stones move arear.

It is two of the clock; and the fleet hoofs fling
The Fieldboro’s dust with a clang and a cling,
It is three; and he gallops with slack rein where
The road winds down to the Delaware.

Four; and he spurs into New Castle town,
From his panting steed he gets him down —
“A fresh one quick! and not a moment’s wait!”
And off speeds Rodney, the delegate.

It is five; and the beams of the western sun
Tinge the spires of Wilmington, gold and dun;
Six; and the dust of Chester street
Flies back in a cloud from his courser’s feet.

It is seven; the horse-beat broad of beam,
At the Schuyikill ferry crawls over the stream —
And at seven fifteen by the Rittenhouse clock,
He flings his reins to the tavern jock.

The Congress is met; the debate’s begun.
And Liberty lags for the vote of one —
When into the hall, not a moment late,
Walks Caesar Rodney, the delegate.

Not a moment late! and that half day’s ride
Forwards the world with a mighty stride;
For the act was passed; ere the midnight stroke
O’er the Quaker City its echoes woke.

At Tyranny’s feet was the gauntlet flung
“We are free!” all the bells through the colonies rung,
And the sons of the free may recall with pride,
The day of Delegate Rodney’s ride.

Bayard Advocate (Bayard, Iowa) Jun 29, 1916

Vintage Flag


Stand by the flag! on land and ocean billow;
By it your fathers stood, unmoved and true;
Living, defended; lying, from their pillow,
With their last blessing, passed it on to you.
The lines that divide us are written in water.
The love that unites us is cut deep as rock.

Thus by friendship’s ties united,
We will change the bloody past
Into golden links of union,
Blending all in love at last.

Thus beneath the one broad banner,
Flag of the true, the brave and free,
We will build anew the Union,
Fortress of our Liberty.

Bayard Advocate (Bayard, Iowa) Jun 29, 1916



God bless our star-gemmed banner;
Shake its folds out to the breeze;
From church, from fort, from housetop,
Over the city, on the seas;

The die is cast, the storm at last
Has broken in its might;
Unfurl the starry banner,
And may God defend the right.

Then bless our banner, God of hosts!
Watch o’er each starry fold;
Tis Freedom’s standard, tried and proved
On many a field of old;

And Then, who long has blessed us,
Now bless us yet again,
And crown our cause with victory,
And keep our flag from stain.

Bayard Advocate (Bayard, Iowa) Jun 29, 1916


Independence Day.

Columbia fair,
With glory rare.
Sitting as queen in thy western sea,
The peoples pause
To give applause,
To celebrate thine ascendancy.

From eastern surge
To western verge
They sons, in glad activity,
Hail loud and long
With shout and song
They day of thy nativity.

Though dark they morn
Of oppression born,
And bloody thine earliest history,
Splendidly bright
Is they noonday light;
Grand be thy future of mystery.

The portal gleams
With the radiant beams
From the lifted hand of Liberty,
A sign of rest
For those opprest
And promise of peace and prosperity.

God save our land,
Where, hand in hand,
Justice and mercy habitate.
For her be strong
Whene’er the wrong,
Or dangers ‘gainst her militate.

Free as the breeze
That fans her leas,
Bright as the stars of her summer night,
Pure as the ore
In her treasured store,
Lord, may she ever by thy delight.

— E.B. Van Arsdale.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 30, 1893


Our Glorious Fourth — 1899.

Our flag on high
Kissing the sky,
Red, white and blue,
In gallant array.
O hear the drum
Of those who come
With fife and drum
On this natal day.

Patriots cheering,
Rockets glaring,
As the royal
And the brave come forth,
A united life,
Where once was rife
The earthly strife
Betwixt South and North.

Ye Yankee sons,
Shoot off the guns!
O Columbia,
Your proud spirit wake!
Let cannons roar
And huzzahs pour
From shore to shore
Until hillsides quake.

Urchin and man,
Those of our clan,
To the spirit
Of patriotism yield.
This mighty throng
Sings loud the song
Which makes us strong
Our valor to wield.

Our soldier boys
Will fire their toys
Upon the Philippines.
Steam whistles toot
And guns’ salute
Will crack and shoot
From marshalled lines.

Phalanx and file
In Cuba’s isle
For our Yankee
Liberty will root.
The Spaniards brave
And those that clave
Their land to save
Will join in and hoot.

Bells sway and ring
And patriots sing
But it is not
Our requiem song.
Our Nation’s creed
And daring deed
The world will heed,
If not now, ere long.

Freemen by birth
All join in mirth
Upon this day,
“Our Glorious Fourth.”
No alien’s hand
Shall spoil our land,
Firmly we stand
Now no South no North.

— J. EDWARD LUTZ, Harmony, Md.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jul 1, 1899

Fourth of July Circa 1850

July 1, 2009


No paper will be issued from the office of the Sanduskian. We hope all who love their country well enjoy this glorious anniversary, and that no one will get drunk or be blown up.

The Daily Sanduskian (Sandusky, Ohio) Jul 3, 1850


We are informed that two men had both hands blown off by the premature discharge of a cannon at Detroit yesterday. One of the boys from our office saw one of the men in this condition, and heard of the other.

We heard that a connon burst at Bellevue, but without injuring any one.
There was some drunkenness here last night, and some fighting; but whether these irregularities were accidental or premeditated, we are unable to say. —

It is a very improper time, when the heat is at 91, as we are informed was the case yesterday, to engage in either drinking or fighting, and if sickness follows such kind of amusement, it will not all surprise us.

The Daily Sanduskian (Sandusky, Ohio) Jul 5, 1850

Fourth of July, 1854 – Old Town San Diego

July 1, 2009
Old Town (Image from

Old Town (Image from

Phoenix on “the Fourth,” in San Diego.

The immortal John Phoenix has furnished the Herald with a report of the celebration of the late national anniversary in San Diego. We extract as follows:

At 8 A.M. a procession was formed, and moved to the sound of a military band, consisting of a gong and a hand bell, across the Plaza, where it separated into two divisions, one proceeding to the Union House, the other to the Colorado Hotel. At each of these excellent establishment and elegant dejeuner was served up of the sumptuousness of which the following bill of fare will give some faint idea:

Coffee,    Cafe, con sucre,
Bread,     Pan,
Butter,    Montequilla,
Fried Beefsteaks,    Carne,
Hash,      No se.

At 9 A.M. precisely, the San Diego Light Infantry, in full uniform, consisting of Brown’s little boy, in his shirt-tail, fired a national salute with a large bunch of fire-crackers. This part of the celebration went off admirably; with the exception of the young gentleman having set fire to his shirt tail, which was fortunately immediately extinguished without incident.

At 12 M., an oration was delivered by a gentleman in the Spanish language, in front of the Exchange, of which your reporter regrets to say he has been unable to remember but the concluding sentence, which, however, he is informed, contains many fine ideas.

It was nearly as follows:

“Hoy es el dia de Santa Refugia! — Hio, los Americanos son abajos, no vale nada! Hio [or Hie?], nada, nada, nada, hiccup! Mira! hombre, dar me poco de aquadiente. Carajo [e?]!”

This oration was remarkably well received, and shortly after, the band commencing its performance, the procession was again formed, and, dividing as before moved off to dinner.

The afternoon passed pleasantly away it witnessing the performance of a gentleman who had been instituting a series of experiments to test the relative strength of various descriptions of spiritous liquors, and who becoming excited and enthusiastic thereby, walked round the Plaza and howled dismally.

Mountain Democrat, The (Placerville, California) Sep 9,  1854

Image from Phoenixiana

Image from Phoenixiana

From The Journal of San Diego History:


Fear that the San Diego River would silt up the San Diego Bay to the extent that its value as a harbor would be lessened, caused the government to send Lt. George Horatio Derby, of the U. S Corps of Topographical Engineers, here in 1853, to deflect the river into False (now Mission) Bay.

Derby employed sixty Indian laborers in the raising of a levee from Old Town across the flats to the nearest high land to the west – about twelve hundred yards away. The dike was washed out, and the Army built another, and parts of a later one until recently could be seen a few yards north of Frontier at Midway Drive.

The dike is remembered because it brought Derby here. As “John Phoenix” he was America’s leading humorist. His delightful descriptions of San Diego life a century ago were best-selling literature before the Civil War.

And from Save Our Heritage Organization:

Derby is perhaps best remembered as one of the foremost humorists of the nineteenth century, whose “typically American” style inspired Mark Twain, Artemus Ward, and other later authors. Squibob and John Phoenix were two of his pseudonyms and in 1855 he published his best-known work, Phoenixiana.


When searching  Google for a picture for this post, I ran across Phoenixiana in Google Book Search. It includes the above transcribed newspaper article.