A New Hampshire Fourth of July — 200 Years Ago

Portsmouth, Tuesday, July 5, 1808–THE FOURTH OF JULY

This Glorious anniversary of American independence was celebrated by the Republicans in Portsmouth with all those joyful emotions which the love of liberty alone can inspire. The day was ushered in by the animating sound of bells, and the peal of cannon. A numerous band of brothers assembled at Jefferson-hall, and thence proceeded to Doctor Buckminster's meeting-house, where after a solemn religious exercise apposite to the occasion, by the reverend Pastor

–The Hon. Charles Cutts, Esq. read the declaration of American Independence, and made some pertinent and forcible reflections on the situation of the country. –George Washington Prescott, Esq. then, in an impressive manner, pronounced an oration replete with patriotic sentiments and good sense, and well calculated to awaken the energies, and to call forth the exertions of Republican in defence of those rights for which our fathers freely shed their blood. The Orator portrayed in glowing colours the excellency of those institutions which were intended to secure to us innumerable blessings; He reminded us of the danger of disunion, and of the solemn warning, given us by the father of this country–the great George Washington, equally to guard against the open and insidious designs of foreign foes and domestic incendiaries. He depicted most truly the conduct to those, who under the specious garb of federalism conceal a poison intended to destroy the political life of the nation; and be appealed to the honor of the people, to their magnanimity, to their love of country, and to all the tender feelings of Parents, and brothers, and friends, to preserve our national independence and the blessings of civil and religious liberty, and to perpetuate them to future generations.

Some excellent pieces of music were performed, and about 100 firm Republicans (among whom we noticed with pleasure that tried patriot and friend of his Country, His Excellency John Langdon, Esq.) proceeded to Davenport's large and elegant hall and surrounded the — board, the Hon. Jonathan Warner, Esq. presided as president, and Thomas Manning, Esq., as vice-president.

The scene was interesting!–amid the group were seen, here and there, the aged patriot, whose locks silvered with age, reminded the beholder that they had witnessed those days of peril, when in the cause of Liberty, privations, and extreme sufferings were endured without a murmur. These venerable men forgot for a moment that age was upon them. They remembered the days of youth, the noble struggle in which they engaged, and the glorious prize they obtained. Patriotism beamed on their countenance, and the virtuous enthusiasm pervaded every bosom.–the following TOASTS were given, accompanied by the cheering huzza and the roar of cannon:–

1. The 4th of July 1776.–The day which opened an asylum to persecuted liberty and pointed the way to our national Independence, may its remembrance unite us to a man against all foreign aggression, and animate us in the preservation of our dear bought rights.
2. The People of the United States,–Free, Sovereign, and Independent, may they never basely barter their freedom for paultry baubles, their sovereignty for filthy lucre, their independence for ignoble ease, nor their birth right for a mess of foreign pottage.
3. Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States.–When he quits his political labours, may the blessings of millions follow him in his retirement, and may his successor pursue with determined vigor the measures so happily commenced as the best and most sure means of our political salvation.
4. The Vice President of the United States.–He has been crowned with honors by a grateful country, may he never be covered with disgrace by a disorganizing Junto.
5. The Congress of the United States,–The measures they have adopted to provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity will meet the firm support of every friend to his Country.
6. The heads of Departments,–Their honesty, capacity and fidelity, will appal enemies without and traitors within.
7. The State of Newhampshire,–A bright Star in the Republican constellation, may she never be obscured by the dark clouds of faction.
8. Agriculture and Commerce–May the hardy son of Columbia plough the Ocean and land with equal freedom.
9. Manufactures and Mechanic Arts.–May they be encouraged for National Defence and National prosperity.
10. The Embargo–Peace, Commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none–may we prefer a perpetual embargo to eternal disgrace.
11. The memory of Washington–Woe be unto those who call themselves his disciples, and do not the things which he has commanded them to do.
12. James Madison–the friend of Jefferson, and long tried Patriot–May a grateful people in due time delight to honor him and reward his faithful services with the greatest gift in their power.
13. The Servants of the People–May they inflexibly adhere to the welfare of their Country, untainted by foreign influence or private motives.
14. The Militia of the United States–May they be ever ready to defend the rights of their Country.
15. The Army and Navy of the United States,–May the flag of Union wave triumphant.
16. The Clergy,–May patriotism warm and illume their minds, may they faithfully adhere to theological functions, and not interfere with secular affairs.
17. The Daughters of Columbia–They need not aid of foreign ornaments, but are in native garments clad, adorned the most.

Headline: Portsmouth. Tuesday, July 5, 1808. the Fourth of July
Newspaper: New-Hampshire Gazette, published as The New Hampshire Gazette
Date: 07-05-1808; Volume: 8; Issue: 31; Page: 3;
Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire  

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