Saturday, July 4, 2020

America - A Struggle between Aspirations & Realities - July 4th by 19C Presidents

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)    1801-1809

1803- The President holds a reception at the Executive Mansion between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. for the various heads of departments, foreign ministers, military officers, and others. He also reviews a military parade.

1804- The President hosts a reception with refreshments at the Executive Mansion and reviews a military parade.

1805- The President holds a reception at the Executive Mansion to the sounds of "a powerful band of music, playing patriotic airs at short intervals."

1807- The President "standing in the north portico" of the Executive Mansion reviews a military parade and thereafter receives the officers, and opens the Mansion for guests.

1808- The President hosts a reception at the Executive Mansion and reviews a military parade.
James Madison (1751-1836)    1809-1817

1810- The President attends the ceremony in the Baptist Meeting House in Washington and hears an oration given by Robert Polk there. Following, the President entertains the assemblage at the Executive Mansion.

1811- Madison attends a church on F street, reviews a military parade, and entertains guests in the Executive Mansion.

1812- The President attends a ceremony held in the Capitol and then returns to the Executive Mansion to review a military parade and to entertain guests.

1815- Madison attends a ceremony held at the Capitol and later entertains the assemblage at the Octagon House.
James Monroe (1758-1831)    1817-1825

1817- The White House is not yet ready for receptions, so Monroe, on tour in New England, is in Boston with various government officials and naval commodores and participates in the ceremony there by giving a speech. He visits the ship-of-the-line Independence 74, Fort Warren, and stops off at the Exchange Coffee House.

1819- The President is in Lexington, Kentucky, in the company of General Andrew Jackson, and visiting the Lexington Athenaeum and attending a ceremony at Dunlap's Hotel there.

1824- The President rides in a carriage in a procession to the Capitol, attends a ceremony there, and later holds a reception at the Executive Mansion.
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)    1825-1829

1825- Adams is at the White House where he hears the Marine Band perform; at 10 a.m. he and various Secretaries review several volunteer companies. He then proceeds to the Capitol to hear the Declaration read. Following that, he returns to the White House to receive numerous guests.

1826- The President, accompanied by the Vice President and others, joins a procession that marches to the Capitol and later returns to the Executive Mansion to receive guests.

1828-John Quincy Adams attends ground-breaking ceremony for the excavation of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Little Falls located just above Georgetown, and gives an address, with music supplied by the U.S. Marine Band.
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)    1829-1837

1829- President Jackson holds a public reception at the White House at 1 p.m. and at 3 p.m. is supposed to participate in a ceremony for the laying of a cornerstone of one of the "Eastern locks of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, near the mouth of Rock Creek," but a driving rain forces the cancellation of the ceremony

1831- Jackson celebrates at Fortress Monroe in Norfolk and turns down an invitation to a public dinner there. Later, he returns to the Executive Mansion in the steamboat Potomac.
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862)    1837-1841

1837- The President reviews a military parade in Washington.

1839- Van Buren is in New York attending an outdoor festival and sabbath school celebration with thousands of children participating.
John Tyler (1790-1862)    1841-1845

1842- The President is in the White House receiving "an unusually large number of citizens. President Tyler, dressed in a full suit of black silk, from the manufactory of Mr. Rapp, of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, received them with his accustomed frank courtesy, and all seemed in the highest spirits." In the morning, the President received the Sunday Schools, listened to two addresses made to him by children, and the "temperance people made a desent upon the White House, too, and the President made a capital speech to them."
James K. Polk (1795-1849)    1845-1849

1846- Polk is at the White House and briefly addresses about 200 young students.

1847- From Polk's Diary: "Spent the day in Portland [Maine] and attended a Unitarian church in the morning, in company with the Hon. John Anderson; and a congregational church in the afternoon, in company with the Mayor."

1848- The President receives guests in the Executive Mansion, attends the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument and then reviews a military parade.
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)    1849-1850

1849- Taylor receives guests at the White House, including the E Street Baptist School children, and Master R.W. Wilcox.

1850- Taylor attends a ceremony at the Washington Monument, eats a bowl of cherries and milk, gets sick, and dies a few days later.
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)   1850-1853

1850- Vice-President Fillmore attends a ceremony held at the Washington Monument and takes over as President on July 9, upon the death of Zachary Taylor.

1851- The President has a busy day attenting a ceremony at the Washington Monument in the company of various military officials and other dignitaries, then joins a procession from City Hall to the Capitol, where he ceremonially participates in the laying of the "cornerstone of the new Capitol edifice."
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)    1853-1857

1854- Pierce is in the Executive Mansion and receives guests, including members of the Western Presbyterian Sabbath School. Pierce later views the fireworks set off on Monument Square.
James Buchanan (1791-1868)    1857-1861

1858- Buchanan is at the White House entertaining guests.
Abraham Lincoln  (1809-1865)   1861-1865

1861- Lincoln reviews 29 New York military regiments in front of the White House and also raises the stars and stripes (the flag presented to the city of Washington by the Union Committee of New York) on a 100-foot high flagstaff located at the south front of the Treasury Department.

1863- The President issues an address to the people honoring the Army of the Potomac and "for the many gallant fallen." There was a ceremony on the grounds of the Executive Mansion. Upon hearing of the news of the surrender of Vicksburg, the President gives a "Fourth of July" speech on July 7 from the upper window of the White House to an "immense" crowd.
Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)    1865-1869

1866- Johnson is at the White House entertaining guests, including members of the Survivors of the Associated Soldiers of the War of 1812.
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)    1869-1877

1870- Grant is on the Presidential train in New England on his way to Woodstock, Conn. He stops in several towns along the way where he is received by cheering crowds. In Woodstock, he participates in that town's celebration and hears speeches by several persons, including one given by Henry Ward Beecher.

1872- Grant is at Long Branch, N.J., amidst a crowd enjoying canons firing, bells ringing, and fireworks going off.

1875- Grant visits Heightstown, N.J., and returns to the "President's Cottage" at Long Branch later that evening.
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893)    1877-1881

1879- Early on the Fourth, Hayes is on the grounds of Fort Monroe in Virginia with Secretaries of the Treasury, War, Navy, the Attorney-General, and others, and witnesses test firing of bombs and large guns. Later that afternoon, he spends two or three hours on the U.S. steamboat Tallapoosa cruising around in the ocean. The evening is spent viewing fireworks.
James A. Garfield (1831-1881)    1881


Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886)  1881-1885 


Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)    1885-1889 & 1893-1897

1885- In the early evening, he receives a cable dispatch from Cyrus W. Field in London which announces the celebration of the Fourth there. The President ends the evening with a drive around Washington which lasts about two hours.
Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)    1889-1893

1889- Harrison is in Woodstock, Conn., giving a traditional Fourth of July speech

1892- Harrison spends "a very quiet and uneventful day [in Washington]. In the morning he drives to the Monument Grounds with Secretary Halford to witness the celebration there, returning to the Executive Mansion about 11 o'clock.
William McKinley (1843-1901)    1897-1901

1900- McKinley is in Canton, Ohio, reviewing a parade.

For much more about the 4th of July, see;
The Fourth of July Encyclopedia by James R. Heintze (2007)

America - A Struggle between Aspirations & Realities - July 4th in the 18C

On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."
While John Adams may have chosen the wrong day, he certainly predicted how Americans would come to celebrate the day that the states of the union declared their independence from England. In fact, celebrations of the Declaration of Independence began soon after its signing and long before freedom had been secured.

Christopher Marshall wrote in his diary from Philadelphia on July 6, 1776, "the King's arms there are to be taken down by nine Associators, here appointed, who are to convey it to a pile of casks erected upon the commons, for the purpose of a bonfire, and the arms placed on the top."


On July 8, 1776, Marshall reported that he "went to State House Yard, where, in the presence of a great concourse of people, the Declaration of Independence was read by John Nixon. The company declared their approbation by three repeated huzzas. The King's Arms were taken down in the Court Room, State House same time...Fine starlight, pleasant evening. There were bonfires, ringing bells, with other great demonstrations of joy upon the unanimity and agreement of the declaration."

As the news spread throughout the colonies, other celebrations took place. The Virginia Gazette of July 26, 1776 which was published in Williamsburg reported that most of the townsfolk were joyful on July 25, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read aloud for all to hear "at the Capitol, the Courthouse, and the Palace, amidst the acclamations of the people." Citizens in Williamsburg celebrated even further with a military parade and the firing of cannon and muskets.
The Gazette also reported that in July of 1776 in Trenton, New Jersey, at a gathering of the militia & citizens: "The declaration, and other proceedings, were received with loud acclamations"

In New York, the "Declaration of Independence was read at the head of each brigade of the continental army posted at and near New York, and every where received with loud huzzas and the utmost demonstrations of joy...the equestrian statue of George III" in New York City was torn down. The Virginia Gazette reported that the lead from the New York monument would be turned into bullets for upcoming battles.
In one short but bloody year, the 4th of July celebration in Philadelphia had grown considerably. A newpaper account described the 1777 event,  "Yesterday the 4th of July, being the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America, was celebrated in this city with demon stration of joy and festivity.  About noon all the armed ships and gallies in the river were drawn up before the city, dressed in the gayest manner, with the colours of the United States and streamers displayed. At one o'clock, the yards being properly manned, they began the celebration of the day by a discharge of thirteen cannon from each of the ships, and one from each of the thirteen gallies, in honour of the Thirteen United States.  In the afternoon an elegant dinner was prepared for Congress, to which were invited the President and Supreme Executive Council, and Speaker of the Assembly of this State, the General Officers and Colonels of the army, and strangers of eminence, and the members of the several Continental Boards in town.  The Hessian band of music taken in Trenton the 26th of December last, attended and heightened the festivity with some fine performances suited to the joyous occasion, while a corps of British deserters, taken into the service of the continent by the State of Georgia, being drawn up before the door, filled up the intervals with feux de joie.  After dinner a number of toasts were drank, all breaking independence, and a generous love of liberty, and commemorating the memories of those brave and worthy patriots who gallantly exposed their lives, and fell gloriously in defence of freedom and the righteous cause of their country.  Each toasts was followed by a discharge of artillery and small arms, and a suitable piece of music by the Hessian band. The glorious fourth of July was reiterated three times accompanied with triple discharges of cannon and small arms, and loud huzzas that resounded from street to street through the city.  Towards evening several troops of horse, a corps of artillery, and a brigade of North Carolina forces, which was in town on its way to join the grand army, were drawn up in Second street and reviewed by Congress and the General Officers. The evening was closed with the ringing of bells, and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks, which began and concluded with thirteen rockets on the commons, and the city was beautifully illuminated.  Every thing was conducted with the greatest order and decorum, and the face of joy and gladness was universal. Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen, and amen." (Virginia Gazette, 18 July 1777 Publish
ed in Williamsburg. )

A much less elaborate but heartfelt celebration took place a year later. In the midst of the Revolutionary War on July 4, 1778, at his headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, General George Washington directed his army to put "green boughs" in their hats; issued them a double allowance of rum; and ordered a Fourth of July artillery salute.

Throughout the Revolution, men & women spontaneously celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, before it became an officially sanctioned holiday at the end of the war. In 1781, the Massachusettes Legislature resolved to have the 1st official state celebration of the Fourth.

Boston was the first municipality to designate July 4th as a holiday, in 1783.  In the same year, Alexander Martin of North Carolina was the first governor to issue a state order for celebrating the independence of the country on the Fourth of July.

Other proclamations by governors included Governor William Livingston of New Jersey who declared on July 4, 1787, that "the present day naturally recalls to our minds an event that ought never to be forgotten, and the revival of the military spirit amongst us, affords a happy argument of our determined resolution to maintain under the auspices of heaven, that glorious independence, the anniversary of which it has pleased God to preserve our lives this day to celebrate" (Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 14 July 1787)

1776- The Pennsylvania Evening Post is the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence, on 6 July 1776;

The Pennsylvania Gazette publishes the Declaration on 10 July;

The Maryland Gazette publishes the Declaration on 11 July;

The first two public readings of this historic document include one given by John Nixon on 8 July at Independence Square, Philadelphia, and another on the same day in Trenton;

The first public reading in New York is given on 10 July;

The first public readings in Boston and Portsmouth, N.H., take place on 18 July;

Three public readings take place on the same day (25 July) in Williamsburg;

A public reading in Baltimore takes place on 29 July;

in Annapolis on 17 August at a convening of the convention, "unanimous" support of the tenets of the Declaration are expressed

1777- At Portsmouth, N.H., Americans are invited by Captain Thompson to lunch on board a Continental frigate;

In Philadelphia, windows of Quakers' homes are broken because Quakers refuse to close their businesses on holidays that celebrate American military victories;

The first religious sermon about Independence Day is given by Rev. William Gordon in Boston before the General Court of Massachusetts

1778- From his headquarters in New Brunswick, N.J., General George Washington directs his army to put "green boughs" in their hats, issues them a double allowance of rum, and orders a Fourth of July artillery salute;

At Princeton, N.J., an artillery salute is fired from a cannon taken from Burgoyne's army;

In Philadelphia, guns and "sky rockets" are fired, but candles are not used for illuminations due to their scarcity;

At Passy, France, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin host a dinner for "the American Gentlemen and ladies, in and about Paris;"

The first Independence Day oration is given by David Ramsay in Charleston, S.C. before "a Publick Assembly of the Inhabitants;"

On Kaskaskia Island, Ill., George Rogers Clark rings a liberty bell as he and his Revolutionary troops occupy Kaskaskia (under British rule) without firing a shot;

At Mill Prison, near Plymouth, England, Charles Herbert (of Newburyport, Mass.) and other captured American prisoners of war celebrate the Fourth of July by attaching home-made American flags to their hats which they wear the entire day

1779- The Fourth falls for the first time on a Sunday and celebrations take place on the following day, initiating that tradition;

In Boston, continental ships fire a "grand salute" from their cannons;

In Philadelphia, although 14 members of the Continental Congress object to having a celebration, an elegant dinner at the City Tavern, followed by a display of fireworks, is given.

1781- The first official state celebration as recognized under resolve of a legislature occurs in Massachusetts;

At Newport, R.I., the militia hosts French officers at a celebration dinner

1782- At Saratoga, N.Y., the "officers of the Regement" of the Continental Army celebrate with toasts and a "volley of Musquets at the end of each"

1783- Alexander Martin of North Carolina is the first governor to issue a state order (18 June) for celebrating the Fourth and the Moravian community of Salem responds with a special service and Lovefeast;

Boston is the first municipality to designate (by vote on 25 March) July 4 as the official day of celebration;

The governor of South Carolina gives a dinner at the State House in Charleston and at the celebration there, 13 toasts are drank, the last one accompanied by artillery guns firing 13 times and the band playing a dirge lasting 13 minutes

1786- In Beaufort, N.C., the Court House burns down, the result of an errant artillery shell during a celebration there

1787- John Quincy Adams celebrates the Fourth in Boston where he hears an oration delivered at the old brick meeting house and watches no less than 6 independent military companies process

1788- Fourth celebrations first become political as factions fight over the adoption of the Federal Constitution; pro- and anti-Constitution factions clash at Albany, N.Y.;

In Providence, R.I., an unsuccessful attempt is made by 1,000 citizens headed by William Weston judge of the Superior Court, on July 4, to prevent the celebration of the proposed ratification of the Constitution;

In Philadelphia, a "Grand Federal Procession," the largest parade in the U.S. to date, occurs under the planning of Francis Hopkinson;

In Marietta, Ohio, James M. Varnum delivers the first Independence Day oration west of the Alleghany Mountains, in what was then known as the Northwestern territory

1791- The only Fourth of July address ever made by George Washington occurs at Lancaster, Pa.

1792- In Washington, a cornerstone for the "Federal Bridge" is laid by the Commissioners of the Federal Buildings

1794- Forty Revolutionary War soldiers celebrate near Nicholasville, in Jessamine County, Kentucky, at the home of Colonel William Price

1795- A mock battle engagement with infantry, cavalry and artillery units occurs in Alexandria, Va.;

in Boston, the cornerstone for the Massachusetts State House is laid by Paul Revere and Gov. Samuel Adams

1796- In Baltimore, the Republican Society meets at Mr. Evan's Tavern

1798- George Washington attends the celebration in Alexandria, Va., and dines with a large group of citizens and military officers of Fairfax County there; in Portsmouth, N.H., the keel of the 20-gun sloop of war Portsmouth is laid

1799- The "musical drama," The Fourth of July or, Temple of American Independence (music by Victor Pelissier?), is premiered in New York;

George Washington celebrates in Alexandria, Va. by dining with a number of citizens at Kemps Tavern there.

America - A Struggle between Aspirations & Realities - July 4th 1st at the White House

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Peale Polk

The White House Historical Association tells us that although John Adams was the first president to occupy the executive mansion, it was Thomas Jefferson who established the traditions of a July 4th celebration at the White House or President’s House as it was called in his time. Jefferson opened the house and greeted the people along with diplomats, civil and military officers, and Cherokee chiefs in the center of the oval saloon under Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington. Jefferson also added music to the celebration. The Marine Band, already "The President’s Own," played in the Entrance Hall performing "The President’s March" and other "patriotic airs."

The north grounds of the President’s Park—the "common"—came alive at daybreak with the raising of tents and booths, soon followed by crowds of people. A festival took place just for the day. Food and drink and cottage goods of all types were sold. There were horse races and cockfights and parades of the Washington Militia and other military companies. A bare headed Jefferson with his "grey locks waving in the air" watched from the steps of the White House. Then he invited everyone in to partake of his hospitality and his thanksgiving for the preservation of independence.

An Account of July Fourth at the President’s House, 1801, from a letter from Mrs. Smith to her sister Mary Ann Smith: "About 12 o'clock yesterday, the citizens of Washington and Geo. Town waited upon the President to make their devoirs. I accompanied Mr. Sumpter (?). We found about 20 persons present in a room where sat Mr. J. surrounded by the five Cherokee chiefs. After a conversation of a few minutes, he invited his company into the usual dining room, whose four large sideboards were covered with refreshments, such as cakes of various kinds, wine, punch, &c. Every citizen was invited to partake, as his taste dictated, of them, and the invitation was most cheerfully accepted, and the consequent duties discharged with alacrity. The company soon increased to near a hundred, including all the public officers and most of the respectable citizens, and strangers of distinction. Martial music soon announced the approach of the marine corps of Capt. Burrows, who in due military form saluted the President, accompanied by the President's March played by an excellent hand attached to the corps. After undergoing various military evolutions, the company returned to the dining room, and the hand from an adjacent room played a succession of fine patriotic airs. All appeared to be cheerful, all happy. Mr. Jefferson mingled promiscuously with the citizens."

Source: Margaret Bayard Smith, The First Forty Years of Washington Society, ed. Galliard Hunt (New York: Scribner’s, 1906), 30.

America - A Struggle between Aspirations & Realities - July 4th by 18C Presidents

1789- George Washington is in New York and is ill but writes a letter to the New York State's Society of the Cinncinati letting that organization know that he received their congratulations.

1790- Washington is in New York on the Fourth attending services at Trinity Church. (Writings of George Washington, 31:67). However, the actual celebration occurs on the 5th. Together with members of Congress and other officials, Washington attends a celebration held at St. Paul's Chapel. On that day he also receives many guests.

1791- Washington is in Lancaster, Pa. giving an address, dining, and walking "about the town."

1793- Washington is home at Mount Vernon writing a letter to the Secretary of State; on that day he also attends a public celebration in Alexandria, VA

1795- Washington is in Philadelphia

1796- Washington is at Mount Vernon writing letters to the Secretaries of State and Treasury and he also attends a public celebration in Alexandria, VA
1797- John Adams is in Philadelphia where the Society of the Cincinnati and House of Representatives "and a great concorse of citizens" waited on him. "The volunteer corps pertook of a cold collation prepared for them in the President's garden, drank his health with three huzzas, and then filed off thro' the House."

1798- Adams is in Philadelphia reviewing a parade of military companies and later that afternoon receiving and entertaining guests

1799- President Adams is at the Old South Meeting House in Boston listening to an oration presented by John Lowell, Jr.

1800- the President is in Quincy, Massachusetts

America - A Struggle between Aspirations & Realities - Already in battle, Geo Washington reacts to 1776 Declaration Days Later

George Washington (1732-1799) By Charles Willson Peale Dated 1772

By the summer of 1776, American & British forces had been engaged in armed conflict for 15 months. The Declaration came 442 days after the opening shots of the American Revolution at the Battles of Lexington & Concord in Massachusetts. General George Washington was Commander of the Continental Army defending New York City on July 4, 1776; when the Declaration of Independence changed the purpose & nature of that conflict. On the evening of July 9, 1776, thousands of Continental soldiers who had come from Boston to defend New York City from the British marched to the parade grounds in Lower Manhattan. Washington had ordered them to assemble promptly at six o'clock to hear a declaration approved by the Continental Congress calling for American independence from Great Britain. Only 19 years old in the summer of 1776, Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) was a face in the crowd of the Continental Army in New York City, when the Declaration of Independence was drafted, approved, & signed.

Mount Vernon tells us that Washington, like many others in the army, had been waiting for this declaration for some time. He had grown impatient with representatives who hoped for reconciliation with the mother country. To those who believed peace commissioners were on their way to the colonies to effect this reconciliation, Washington responded that the only people heading to the colonies were Hessian mercenaries. Even as his men waited to hear the proclamation read aloud to them, Washington knew that thousands of Hessians & even more redcoats were landing on Staten Island, preparing for an attack on New York.

The Continental Congress had voted for independence on July 2. Two days later on July 4, a declaration explaining the reasons for independence, largely written by Thomas Jefferson, had also been adopted.  Jefferson was credited with writing the first draft, but the "Committee of Five" actually worked on  it, including: Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826), Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Robert Livingston (1746-1813), John Adams (1735-1826) & Roger Sherman (1721-1793).  Washington received official notification when a letter dated July 6 arrived from John Hancock (1737-1793), the president of the Continental Congress, along with a copy of the declaration.

Hancock explained that Congress had struggled with American independence for some time, & even after making this momentous decision many members were worried about its consequences. He concluded that Americans would have to rely on the "Being who controls both Causes & Events to bring about his own determination," a sentiment which Washington shared.  For the commander-in-chief, who needed to lead his untrained army against Great Britain, the decision for independence came as welcome news, especially since his men would now fight not merely in defense of their colonies but for the birth of a new nation.

Washington sent out orders that all the troops should be assembled on their parade grounds at 6pm on July 9th. The parade grounds were on New York's Commons, which is very near today's City Hall. As Washington's soldiers stood ready for the brigadiers & colonels of their regiments to read the Declaration of Independence, they first heard words written by their commander. Washington explained that Congress had "dissolved the connection" between "this country" & Great Britain & declared the "United Colonies of North America" to be "free & independent states."

With hundreds of British naval ships occupying New York Harbor, revolutionary spirit & military tensions were running high. Commander Washington had the document read aloud in front of City Hall. Numerous citizens came out for the reading as well, which sparked a celebration through the streets. Part of the crowd, including many soldiers, rushed to the Bowling Green where a large equestrian statue of King George III stood. Lieutenant Isaac Bangs (1752-1780) wrote a description of the statue in his journal: “Near the Fort, is the Equestrian Statue of King George … The Man is represented about 3 feet larger than a natural Man; the Horse, in proportion, both neatly constructed of Lead gilt with Gold raised on a Pedestal of White Marble, about 15 feet high, enclosed with a very elegant Fence about 10 feet high; the enclosure was oval.” 

The 4,000 pound lead statue was torn down. The iron fence surrounding the Green had posts topped with little crowns, all of which were sawed off as well. The horse statue was cut in pieces. The crowd hacked King George's head off of the statue. After the statue was broken up, Captain Oliver Brown's (1753-1846) troops hoisted the lead pieces, except the head, onto wagons & headed for a schooner which delivered it to the foundry at Litchfield, Connecticut to be melted down & transformed into musket balls. Washington expressed displeasure at the destruction of property, writing in his diary the next day he hoped in the future people would leave this sort of thing "to the proper authorities."  Pulling down a statue of the King was a symbolic gesture indicating that the time had come to change from the rule of a monarchy to the rule of a democracy.

George Washington issued these General Orders, July 9, 1776. "The Hon. The Continental Congress, impelled by the dictates of duty, policy & necessity, having been pleased to dissolve the Connection which subsisted between this Country, & Great Britain, & to declare the United Colonies of North America, free & independent States: The several brigades are to be drawn up this evening on their respective Parades, at Six OClock, when the declaration of Congress, shewing the grounds & reasons of this measure, is to be read with an audible voice. The General hopes this important Event will serve as a fresh incentive to every officer, & soldier, to act with Fidelity & Courage, as knowing that now the peace & safety of his Country depends (under God) solely on the success of our arms: And that he is now in the service of a State, possessed of sufficient power to reward his merit, & advance him to the highest Honors of a free Country."

Washington wrote to the  Continental Congress, New York, July 10, 1776. "Sir: I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your two favors of the 4th & 6th instants, which came duly to hand, with their important inclosures. I perceive that Congress have been employed in deliberating on measures of the most interesting Nature. It is certain that it is not with us to determine in many instances what consequences will flow from our Counsels, but yet it behoves us to adopt such, as under the smiles of a Gracious & all kind Providence will be most likely to promote our happiness; I trust the late decisive part they have taken, is calculated for that end, & will secure us that freedom & those priviledges, which have been, & are refused us, contrary to the voice of Nature & the British Constitution. Agreeable to the request of Congress I caused the Declaration to be proclaimed before all the Army under my immediate Command, & have the pleasure to inform them, that the measure seemed to have their most hearty assent; the Expressions & behaviour both of Officers & Men testifying their warmest approbation of it. I have transmitted a Copy to General Ward at Boston, requesting him to have it proclaimed to the Continental Troops in that Department...If our Troops will behave well, which I hope will be the case, having every thing to contend for that Freemen hold dear, they will have to wade thro' much Blood & Slaughter before they can carry any part of our Works, if they carry them at all; & at best be in possession of a Melancholly & Mournfull Victory. May the Sacredness of our cause inspire our Soldiery with Sentiments of Heroism, & lead them to the performance of the noblest Exploits. With this Wish, I have the honor to be, etc."

Washington ordered that all Continental Army soldiers hear the document read, but the reading required sufficient copies to be made & distributed to the headquarters of the various Continental Army commands. Even with dispatch riders, the troops had to wait to celebrate the Declaration until Continental regiments in the faraway south could actually hear the momentous words. The Declaration made it to Captain Joseph Bloomfield (1753-1823) of the 3rd New Jersey Continental Regiment on July 15th. He recorded the orders of the day in his journal, which read: "The Declaration of Independency being read, the whole present signifyed their hearty & sincere Approbation by Three Cheers and cheerfully drinking the following Patriotic Toastes, Harmony, virtue, Honor and all Prosperity to the free and independent United States of America, Wise Legislatures, brave & Victorious Armies, both by Sea & Land to the American States." It took until August 5th, for the text of the Declaration to be read in South Carolina. Henry Drayton (1742-1779), in John Drayton's (1767-1822)Memoirs of the Revolution¸ stated that it was received in Charleston "with the greatest joy" by "all officers civil and military, making a grand procession in honor of the event." 

General Washington believed that the Declaration would serve as a "fresh incentive" for his men to stay committed to the fight against Great Britain. His troops were now fighting for the birth of a new nation. Washington also knew that the only countries with the motivation & the military & naval capabilities to defeat Britain were France & Spain.

While Washington & John Adams & Thomas Jefferson certainly intended to motivate the troops & the early American colonials, they also hoped that the Declaration of Independence would spur the French & Spanish to join the battle. And they did.  Comte of Vergennes (1719-1787), foreign minister of France, directed the resulting European alliance both with America & Spanish minister Conde de Floridablanca (1728-1808). The French admiral the Comte de Grasse (1722-1788) kept the British from reinforcing the usually successful British General Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) in 1781 Virginia. And Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, (1722-1807) commander of all French forces in America during the War for Independence, actively assisted American military leaders & troops. Washington & Rochambeau covered 680 miles of roads with the Continental Army under the command of Washington & the Expédition Particulière under the command of Rochambeau during their 1781 march from Newport, Rhode Island, through New England, Pennsylvania, & Maryland to victory at Yorktown, Virginia.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Biblical Gardens - The Garden of Eden & Creation - Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated Manuscript, Bible (part), Creation of the world, and Eve, Walters Manuscript W.805, fol. 6v detail
Illustrated manuscripts and early depictions of landscapes in portrayals of Biblical gardens give us a glimpse of gardens familiar & imagined during the periods the images were created. Gardens are often mentioned in the Bible. In the language of the Hebrews, every place where plants & trees were cultivated with greater care than in the open field, was called a garden. Fruit & shade trees, with aromatic shrubs, sometimes constituted the garden; though roses, lilies, & various gardens were used only for table vegetables, Genesis 2:8-10 15:1-21; 1 Kings 21:2; Ecclesiastes 2:5,6.

Genesis 2:8 “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed...And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
Animals & Humans Emerging from the Earth Together; from an illustrated manuscript version of Augustine's City of God, c. 1475 (The Hague, RMMW, 10 A 11, fol. 300v)
Secrets d'histoire naturelle Centre-ouest de la France, vers 1480-1485  Bibliothèque nationale de France, Manuscrits, Français 22971 fol. 15v
Genesis, The Creation of the Animals.  Oxford MS. Douce 135 fol-017v
God Creating the Birds and Animals Vatican Library Collection
French illuminated manuscript, Image du Monde, attributed to Gautier de Metz, portraying God creating animals and birds; Harley 344, folio 1. British Library
 Adam and Eve in The Garden pf Edem Eating the Forbidden Fruit (detail), by Willem Vrelant, early 1460s
The Garden of Eden, Paradise Garden, The Temptation of Adam and Eve (detail) in Concerning the Fates of Illustrious Men and Women, about 1415, Boucicaut Master. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 63, fol. 3

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Summer Myth of Pomona & Vertumnus - Gardens, Orchards, & Finding Love

Pomona Portrait of a lady as Goddess by Jean Ranc (French, 1674 - 1735) 

Pomona was the beautiful goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion & myth. Pomona was said to be a wood nymph. The name Pomona comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be  a part of the Numia, the guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. While Pomona watches over & protects fruit trees & cares for their cultivation, she is not actually associated with the harvest of fruit itself, but with tending the flourishing of the fruit trees. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia & perhaps her pruning knife

Pomona, the alluring wood nymph, actually cared nothing for the wild woods but cared only for her well-cultivated fruit filled gardens & orchards. And Pomona had a thing about men. She fenced her garden orchards, so the rude young men couldn't trample her plants & vines. She also kept her orchards enclosed, because she wanted to keep away the men who were attracted to her good looks. Even dancing satyrs(a cross between a man & a goat) were attracted to her beauty. Despite the fact that she preferred to be alone to care & nurture her trees, this beauty was continually besieged by suitors, in particular one persistent god named Vertumnus. Vertumnus had the ability to take different human guises & made numerous attempts to woo Pomona, but she turned him away each time.

The god Vertumus caught on to Pomona's aversion to men in her orchards & in her life generally. In Roman mythology, Vertumnus, the young, handsome god of changing seasons & patron of fruits, determined to win over Pomona.  He could change his form at will according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (xiv).  He came to her in various male disguises, which included, a reaper, an apple picker, a fisher, a solider, & more. Even with the disguises, she still never paid him the slightest bit of attention. One day Vertumnus tried a disguise as an old women. And Pomona finally allowed him to enter her garden, where he pretended to be interested in her fruit. But he finally told her he was more exquisite than her crops. After saying that, he kissed her passionately, but it wasn't enough. Vertumnus kept trying to sway her by telling her a story of a young women who rejected a boy who loved her; in despair, the boy killed hung himself, & Venus punished the girl by turning her to stone. This narrative warning of the extreme dangers of rejecting a suitor (the embedded tale of Iphis & Anaxarete) still did not seduce her. It just didn't work, of course. He then realized that it was the feminine disguise didn't work & tore it off.  It wasn't until Vertumnus appeared before her in his full manliness (apparently quite a good looking male specimen), that Pomona finally gave in to his inviting male charms. Vertumnus is a god of gardens & orchards & so it appears they were a match made in heaven. To his surprise, she fell in love with his manly wiles, & they became the ultimate loving couple working & playing in gardens & orchards together from then on.

The tale of Vertumnus & Pomona has been said to be the only purely Latin tale in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The subject of Vertumnus & Pomona appealed to European sculptors & painters of the 16th through the 18th centuries, providing a disguised erotic subtext in a scenario that contrasted youthful female beauty with an aged old woman. But it wasn't the old woman that ultimatrly won the day. In narrating the tale in the Metamorphoses, Ovid observed that the kind of kisses given by Vertumnus were never given by an old woman.  In Ovid's myth, Pomona scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus & Picus, but finally married the brutally handsome Vertumnus. She & Vertumnus were celebrated in  an annual Roman festival on August 13. There is a grove that is dedicated to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome. Unlike many other Roman goddesses & gods, Pomona does not have a Greek counterpart, though she is often associated with Demeter.

Monday, July 1, 2019

template Summer Myth of Pomona & Vertumnus - Gardens, Orchards, & Finding Love

Pomona, by Nicolas Fouché, c. 1700

Pomona was the beautiful goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion & myth. Pomona was said to be a wood nymph. The name Pomona comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. She was said to be  a part of the Numia, the guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes. While Pomona watches over & protects fruit trees & cares for their cultivation, she is not actually associated with the harvest of fruit itself, but with tending the flourishing of the fruit trees. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia & perhaps her pruning knife

Pomona, the alluring wood nymph, actually cared nothing for the wild woods but cared only for her well-cultivated fruit filled gardens & orchards. And Pomona had a thing about men. She fenced her garden orchards, so the rude young men couldn't trample her plants & vines. She also kept her orchards enclosed, because she wanted to keep away the men who were attracted to her good looks. Even dancing satyrs(a cross between a man & a goat) were attracted to her beauty. Despite the fact that she preferred to be alone to care & nurture her trees, this beauty was continually besieged by suitors, in particular one persistent god named Vertumnus. Vertumnus had the ability to take different human guises & made numerous attempts to woo Pomona, but she turned him away each time.

The god Vertumus caught on to Pomona's aversion to men in her orchards & in her life generally. In Roman mythology, Vertumnus, the young, handsome god of changing seasons & patron of fruits, determined to win over Pomona.  He could change his form at will according to Ovid's Metamorphoses (xiv).  He came to her in various male disguises, which included, a reaper, an apple picker, a fisher, a solider, & more. Even with the disguises, she still never paid him the slightest bit of attention. One day Vertumnus tried a disguise as an old women. And Pomona finally allowed him to enter her garden, where he pretended to be interested in her fruit. But he finally told her he was more exquisite than her crops. After saying that, he kissed her passionately, but it wasn't enough. Vertumnus kept trying to sway her by telling her a story of a young women who rejected a boy who loved her; in despair, the boy killed hung himself, & Venus punished the girl by turning her to stone. This narrative warning of the extreme dangers of rejecting a suitor (the embedded tale of Iphis & Anaxarete) still did not seduce her. It just didn't work, of course. He then realized that it was the feminine disguise didn't work & tore it off.  It wasn't until Vertumnus appeared before her in his full manliness (apparently quite a good looking male specimen), that Pomona finally gave in to his inviting male charms. Vertumnus is a god of gardens & orchards & so it appears they were a match made in heaven. To his surprise, she fell in love with his manly wiles, & they became the ultimate loving couple working & playing in gardens & orchards together from then on.

The tale of Vertumnus & Pomona has been said to be the only purely Latin tale in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The subject of Vertumnus & Pomona appealed to European sculptors & painters of the 16th through the 18th centuries, providing a disguised erotic subtext in a scenario that contrasted youthful female beauty with an aged old woman. But it wasn't the old woman that ultimatrly won the day. In narrating the tale in the Metamorphoses, Ovid observed that the kind of kisses given by Vertumnus were never given by an old woman.  In Ovid's myth, Pomona scorned the love of the woodland gods Silvanus & Picus, but finally married the brutally handsome Vertumnus. She & Vertumnus were celebrated in  an annual Roman festival on August 13. There is a grove that is dedicated to her called the Pomonal, located not far from Ostia, the ancient port of Rome. Unlike many other Roman goddesses & gods, Pomona does not have a Greek counterpart, though she is often associated with Demeter.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Time for Sitting Outdoors with Flowers & Dogs

William Marshall (British printmaker, 1617-1649) Woman with Flower Basket & Intrigued Dog

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

18C Allegory of Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1800 Spring by P Stampa published in London

This couple is in a garden with flowers in bloom & a cold frame on the right side. The man is picking a rose to add to the bunch he holds, while looking back at the woman, who carries a parasol. A boy shows passes a birds' nest to a little girl who holds out her apron.  In the background are men in a hay-field.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Myth - Diana Goddess of the Hunt portrayed bt 17C & 18C Women

1765 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (French painter, 1705-1765) Luise Henriette Wilhelmine von Anhalt-Dessau as Diana.  She has a dog, an animal-skin wrap, a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.

Early European portrait artists sometimes painted their contemporaries as allegories.  Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or nymph or muse in in a rustic setting.  Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt, the moon, & nature, associated with wild animals & woodland.  Diana was known as the virgin goddess of childbirth & women. Diana was originally considered to be a goddess of the wilderness & of the hunt, a central sport in both Roman & Greek culture. 
1751 Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Italian artist, 1708-1787) Sarah Lethieullier as Lady Fetherstonhaugh, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & a dog.

Early Roman inscriptions to Diana celebrated her primarily as a patron of hunters. Diana was often considered to be a goddess associated with fertility & childbirth, & the protection of women during labor.  Her care of infants also extended to the training of both young people & dogs, especially for hunting. Unlike the Greek gods, Roman gods were originally considered to be divine powers of presence that did not necessarily have physical form. The idea of gods having anthropomorphic qualities & human-like personalities & actions developed later, under the influence of Greek & Etruscan religion.  Diana was not only regarded as a goddess of the wilderness & the hunt, but was often worshiped as a patroness of families.
1765 Francis Cotes (English Painter, 1726-1770) The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana, and Her Companion.  Diana has a hunting spear & a crescent moon in her hair.
"... people regard Diana & the moon as one & the same. ...her name Diana derives from the fact that she turns darkness into daylight. She is invoked at childbirth because children are born occasionally after seven, or usually after nine, lunar revolutions ..." -- Quintus Lucilius Balbus as recorded by Marcus Tullius Cicero & translated by P.G. Walsh. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Book II, Part ii, Section c.

1700s Unknown French artist, Portrait of a Lady as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt.  She wears a crescent moon in her hair and has an animal-skin wrap, a dog, a quiver & a bow.

1773 after François-Hubert Drouais (French artist, 1727-1775) Marie-Joséphine-Louise de Savoie (1753–1810), comtesse de Provence, as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.   She has a bow, & an animal-skin wrap.

1700-10 Nicolas de Largillière (French artist, 1656-1746)  Portrait of Lady as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has a bow & quiver nearby.

1771 Robert Hunter (Irish artist, fl. 1748–1780) Lady Margaret Butler Lowry-Corry (1748–1775), as Diana.  She has a dog & carries a hunting spear.

1688 Francois de Troy Lady Mary Herbert (1659–1744-1745), Viscountess Montagu, Previously the Honourable Lady Richard Molyneux, and Later Lady Maxwell, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a dog, & an animal-skin component to her costume.

1680s Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696)  Elizabeth Cornwallis (d.1708), Mrs Edward Allen, as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a hunting spear, & an animal skin decoration, & feathers in her hair.

1670s-90s Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio) (Italian artist, 1639-1709) Diana the Huntress with her hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.  Her bow & quiver lay on the ground.

1674 Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696) Portrait of a Lady as Diana.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting spear, & feathers in her hair.

Style of Peter Lely Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Ann Fanshawe (b.1654), Daughter of Sir Richard Fanshawe as Diana with a dog or a deer.

1670s Copy of  Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Mary II (1662–1694), when Princess Mary of York, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & arrow & only the head of her dog companion is visible.

1666 Giovanni Maria Morandi (Italian painter, 1622-1717)  Claudia Felicitas of Austria as Diana.

1650 Jan van Mijtens (1613-1670) Lady as Diana. She has a tiny lap dog/hunting dog & carries a quiver on her back.

1650 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692) Portrait of a lady as Diana. She has a dog & a bow.

1640-50s Attributed to Giovanni Domenico Cerrini (Italian artist, 1609-1681) Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana. Here she has her dog & a hunting spear. The crescent moon hangs in the sky above them.

1640 Willem van Honthorst (Dutch artist, 1594-1666) Henriette von Nassau as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.   She has a bow & quiver with feathers in her hair.

1630 Claude Deruet (French artist, 1588–1660) Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse as Diana the Huntress.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.

Jan Mytens (Dutch artist, 1614-1670) Lady as Diana

1667 Claude Lefèbvre (French painter, 1633–1675) Louise de La Vallière as Diana. She has a quiver & bow as well as her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.