Monday, July 4, 2016
1834 New York City 4th of July Celebration
1834 Looking south on Broadway from the corner of Cortlandt Street, 1834. Harper’s Weekly
Celebrations of the Fourth of July in New York City included street vendors selling all sorts of food & spirits. Branded a "highly improper" social evil, the Fourth of July booths were accused of corrupting the nation's holiday with "disgusting scenes of vulgarity, profanity, rioting, and drunkenness" (Commercial Advertiser, June 11, 1827).
"Our wives and children, who might else ramble through [the booths], in the enjoyment of innocent mirth and healthful pastime, are shut out by whiskey kegs and cider barrels, rum sellers and rum drinkers, until the grass plats which adorn the Park are strewed with drunken men and women, and its paths thronged with reeling sots. And all of this on the Fourth of July—our national jubilee!" (Commercial Advertiser, June 27, 1840).