Monday, July 21, 2014

New York painter James Henry Cafferty (1819–1869)



  James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Preparing to Fish

James Cafferty, one of the 7 children of an Albany tailor, was in New York by 1839, working as a sign painter. In 1841, he began 2 years of study in New York's National Academy school's antique class. His work was shown in a National Academy annual exhibition in 1843. That same year he was elected vice-president of the newly founded New-York Sketch Club.  During the 1840s and 1850s, Cafferty worked as a portrait, landscape, & genre painter. He also did book illustrations. For a period during these years he supplemented his income by selling artists' supplies. The American Art-Union purchased many of his landscapes for its annual lotteries, & he was a consistent exhibitor in Academy annuals, showing portraits & an occasional landscape through the 1850s. During the last decade of his life, still lifes - especially fish & game subjects - dominated his work.



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) A Young Girl



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Midday Rest



James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) The Sidewalks of New York



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) News of the Day 1860



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Newsboy selling the New York Herald 1857



James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Portrait of Robert Fulton, 1852


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Letter from 17 year old Jennie McCleary, a witness to the Battle of Gettysburg





Letter published in Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, July 02, 1938.  Reportedly Jennie was 17 years old at the time of the battle.  She is writing to her sister Julia, who lives back home in Kittanning (Armstrong County) with the rest of Jennie's family.

July, 22, 1863

My Dear Julia: 


Agnes wrote day before yesterday and I suppose has told you nearly everything concerning the battle. Perhaps I can tell you some things she may have forgotten or did not hear of. But indeed I scarcely know how to begin, so many things have happened and in so short a time that I have gotten things confused. It seems like more of a dream than reality. I wonder sometimes how we passed through it all with as little fear as we felt and so small an amount of damage done to our home, which was indeed nothing to speak of, only the tearing down of our fences. That was done by the rebels on the second day of the battle. They made a road all the way through town so that, as they said, it would be a way of retreat if the enemy conquered. 


But I had better begin with the first day of the battle and tell you all I can of it. On Tuesday, which was the day before the battle, we were all down at Huber's corner looking at some of our men who were passing through town on their way the mountain to attack the rebels there. There were 5,000 of Beauforts Cavalry with 20,000 infantry following. They, however, did not get there that day. The cavalry were ordered back to town before they got to the Mountain, as it was supposed the rebel force there was to great for them to attack. They encamped there that night. 


The next day we heard the rebels were just out of town. we did not know how many there were, nor how many of our own men were here either. About 9 o'clock every person was ordered to leave the street as it was supposed there would be a fight out at the ridge. We never expected a battle, thought it would only be an artillery duel or something of that kind. kate and I went on the roof of the house watching it. We could not see the rebels and only part of our men. We saw shells fly in the air and then burst. We did not stay on the roof long; found the contest was going to be of a more serious nature than we at first supposed. 


We had been downstairs but a few minutes later when we saw an officer dash up the street and order ambulances to carry the wounded from the fields. Next came a soldier wounded in the arm and then an officer on horseback. He wore no hat, his head was tied up blood streaming down his neck. I then went over to Weaver's to help them roll bandages. We had not rolled many before we saw the street filled with wounded men. Men wounded in arms, limbs, head and breast. Oh, it was sickening to see them and hear their groans. Weaver's house was soon filled. I never thought I could do anything about a wounded man but I find I have a little more nerve than I thought I had. I could look at the wounds, bathe them, bind them up without feeling least bit shock of nervous. The tears came only once and that was when the first soldier came in the house. He had walked from the field and was almost exhausted. He threw himself in the chair and said, "Oh girls, I have as good a home as you. If I were only there!" He fainted directly afterward. That was the only time I cried. 


At first we thought our men would be victorious, as they had brought quite a number of rebel prisoners into town, but it was not long after we found out different. General Reynolds who had the plan of attack, was killed shortly after the battle commenced. He attacked them rather recklessly, too, I think. his command was but a small one and they were worn out with hard marching and then he was not aware that the rebel force was so large. After he was killed, General Doubleday took command but things went wrong with our soldier all day. It was about 12 o'clock when we were told to go to the cellar, the rebels were entering the town. If ever I wished myself at home I did then. There I was, the only one of our family shut down in a damp, dark hole with crying children and a poor young soldier who had received three wounds and had not yet been attended to and though he seemed to try his best could not keep from groaning. I cannot tell what my feelings were then. To be in that place, to know the rebels were in town, to hear shells bursting and expecting every minute they would fall on the house, was indeed horrible. If I had been with the rest I would not know were or what was happening to them. We were down in the cellar about two hours. 


While there a good many of our soldiers were killed in our street. I saw two dead ones lying in McCurdy's alley when I crossed the street to go home. Four of our men were carrying a wounded soldier down the street when a ball came along and took the legs off the two front men. There were some rebels killed too. kate and i were down at the end of our street the Sunday after the battle, when we saw the dead rebels that had been lying there since Wednesday. 


When I went home I found two wounded men at our house. Col Leonard shot in the arm and Dr parker slightly in the head. They are both from Massachusetts. Dr parker was wounded whilst coming down the college church steps. One of the rebel sharpshooters fired on him from Boyer's corner, the same ball that struck him killed the chaplin that regiment. All that day our house was full of soldiers, all wanting something to eat. That day we gave then everything we had and what do you think we had to eat the rest of the week? Nothing but bread and molasses and coffee without milk. I must say we felt rather poverty stricken. If we had been by ourselves it would have been nothing but to seat from 12 to 15 men to a table like that , with bread and molasses breakfast, molasses and bread for dinner and the same for supper was anything but agreeable, but they were very well satisfied to get even that. 


The next day of the battle, which was Thursday, we heard nothing but a continual roar of cannons and musketry. The firing began about 4 in the morning and lasted until dark. Our forces were on the cemetery hill and Round Top. We did not mind the shells so much, we were getting used to them. The greatest danger was from the sharpshooters. Early that morning some of the men we had overnight , I think that the chaplin, a couple of surgeons and the colonel were standing on the porch when a ball came and struck just above their heads. Indeed i had to laugh to see them jump, although it was not a laughing matter, for if it had been a little lower it would have struck one of them.They did not appear to mind it at all, laughed at themselves for jumping. A good many shells were thrown into town that day and came from our own men. The rebels had possession of the town and as there were a great many collected in the diamond they fired on them. We were not in much danger that day, all we had to do was keep in the house and run to the cellar when the shells became thickest. We retired about 11 o'clock. 


All were in bed but myself when there was a rap at the door. Papa got up and went to the door. There were two rebels there. They said that General Trimble and three of his aids wanted supper and lodging. Well, all we could do was get what we had for supper and made a place for them to sleep, although our house was full already. After we had fixed everything his aides came to say the General had concluded to stay where he was. They however took supper and went away. After they were gone Kate and I were standing in the kitchen when there was a knock at the door. kate went and there were two of our soldiers wanting bread. They had not gone when someone knocked at the other door. I opened it and three rebels asked for bread and permission to sleep in the kitchen. I gave then bread but of course did not let them stay all night. 


That night the rebels tried to break in the house but Captain Palmer, the one who is still here, called to them and told them it was a hospital and they went away. I must tell you about General Trimble. He was wounded in Friday's battle, had his leg amputated and was at the college hospital and very anxious to be brought to tow.. mcCurdy had him brought to their house. He had been there nearly two weeks when yesterday he was ordered taken to the hospital . He was very angry about it.When the surgeon went into his room he said: "General I have orders to take you to Seminary Hospital" Well the General refused to go and said it was certain death to go there. "Well, but General, my orders are to take you there" "Well", said the General, "give ne a week to stay yet" "General , I am ordered to take you now." "Well give me four days" "General you have been in the army long enough to kow orders must be obeyed". "Well give me until tomorrow then" "General the ambulance is at the door and you must go now" "Well is General Paul to be moved?" " General Paul is very comfortable where he is." The General was terribly angry and said it would not always be this way and they would retaliate. 


The third day of the battle was comparatively quiet, until about three in the afternoon and the cannonading began and such cannonading no one ever heard. Nothing can be compared to it. No one who has heard it can form any idea of how terrible it is. All felt that the day must decide who should conquer. The firing was kept up until sometime after dark, it never for a moment ceased. During the night we knew we were victorious, we saw the rebel train moving off. In the morning not a rebel was to be seen. How happy everyone felt. None but smiling faces were to be seen then. It was indeed a joyous fourth for us. " I wish you could be here now, "tis not the same quiet old place it was when you were here. The streets are always full of strangers, soldiers , ambulances and government wagons. 

Frank was here a week before last from Thursday until Monday. Richard is here now, is the leader of a band that belongs to one of the regiments here. We got Mr Earnest's note late evening. papa had gone to bed, was not all that well. I opened the letter, just expected what was in it. I knew he was drafted, that his congregation thought too much of him to let him go. Will he be here now? Oh I have so much to tell you but my sheet is full and I am so tired writing. I know you will excuse bad writing, have been writing so long my hand trembles. You ought to see Uncle Samuels house. It is just riddled with shot.

Give my love to every person. kiss dear little alice and paul for me. Write soon, Your sister, Jennie. - 


From In the Swan's Shadow


Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th Postcard




Crowds mobbed Grover Cleveland & his very young bride Frances Folsom on July 4, 1886


The Marine Band performed weekend summer concerts on the south grounds of the White House from June to September for many years. In 1886, Grover Cleveland and his new bride Frances Folsom made an appearance on the South Portico at a Fourth of July concert. The crowd rushed to get a view of the new, very young first lady. As the president saw the huge crowd approaching, he waved to them with his straw hat and hurried Mrs. Cleveland indoors. The crowd then flocked back to the concert.

The early Cleveland White House had been a bachelor’s household; the president worked long hours and rarely entertained. Rose Cleveland, the president’s sister, acted as first lady, managed the affairs of the residence, and spent much of her time studying.



No sooner did the public become accustomed to the image of a lonely White House, than did the picture change. President Cleveland had been secretly courting Frances “Frank” Folsom, the daughter of Oscar Folsom, his late law partner. When Folsom was killed in a carriage accident, Cleveland became the administrator of his estate and the ward of then 12-year old Frances, devoting himself to the welfare of the girl and her mother.

Intimates of the Clevelands and Folsoms knew that the attachment between the president and Frank was more than friendship. A year before he went to the White House, he obtained permission from Mrs. Folsom to correspond with her daughter.



A graduate of Wells College at Aurora, New York, Frances was bright, had an animated wit, unaffected nature, and natural beauty that left the president smitten. Their courtship was conducted largely by mail and the president included his proposal of marriage in a letter.

On May 28, 1886, after Frances and her mother returned from a nine-month tour of Europe, the formal announcement of the engagement was made; five days later, the 49-year old bachelor married 21-year old Frances Folsom in a small White House ceremony. The public was captivated.

On Wednesday, June 2, 1886, at 6:30 in the evening, cabinet members and their wives, selected government officials and close family friends were ushered into the Blue Room. The state floor was decorated with a profusion of palms, ferns, and flowers from the White House greenhouses. At the east end of the grand Cross Hall, the Marine Band, led by John Philip Sousa, played the Wedding March.




Cleveland and his bride, with no attendants, descended the stairs, crossed the hall and stood beneath the flower-laden chandelier in the Blue Room. Presbyterian minister, Reverend Byron Sunderlund performed a specially written rite of marriage. The couple then led their guests through the Green Room into the East Room, where they promenaded in the shimmering light of the gas chandeliers.



The new Mrs. Cleveland wore an elegant wedding gown of heavy corded satin draped in frail, pearl white, India silk, edged in real orange blossoms. A pair of silk scarves criss-crossed the front of the dress covering the low Parisian neckline. Her long silk veil was held in place with orange blossoms and seed pearls; attached to the bodice was a 15-foot silk train.

After about a half an hour had passed in promenade, the doors of the Cross Hall were opened and the bride and groom led the guests to the State Dining Room for a seated, candlelit dinner. A three-masted ship made of flowers and christened the Hymen dominated the table.



After dinner the bride and groom disappeared to change into street clothes for traveling and left the White House by way of the Blue Room where a coach awaited at the foot of the South Portico stairs. Canvas screens blocked the public’s view.

Escorted by mounted police, coachman Albert Hawkins drove the carriage through a cheering crowd down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Clevelands traveled by private railroad car to Deer Park Resort in the mountains of western Maryland for their honeymoon.

See The White House Historical Association's website for more information.


President Abraham Lincoln's July 4th celebration of African American groups & his relationship with the Jews


On July 4, 1864, Abraham Lincoln attended a fundraiser for African American schools & religious groups in the District of Columbia. He allowed the group to hold a festival on the south grounds of the White House. A great crowd attended, & Lincoln accompanied by members of his cabinet appeared at the event hoping to set an example for the country. On June 28, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, had signed the charter for the YMCA of the City of Washington.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 1861-1865

"Abraham Lincoln – America’s “Great Emancipator” – never liberated any Jewish people. But in death, America’s Jews compared him reverentially to Moses. Like the prophet and lawgiver from Exodus, Lincoln had led people from bondage, yet did not live to see the Promised Land. As Rabbi M. R. Deleeuw put it in his eulogy at Congregation B’nai Israel in New York on April 19, 1865, Lincoln “had brought this nation within reach of the great boon he sought to attain,” but “was not destined to taste the sweets of the peace he had so zealously labored to establish.” The analogy was not lost on the nation’s small but vocal Jewish community. On a more practical level, Lincoln had not only befriended Jewish people throughout his life but made several major presidential decisions that benefited American Jewry. 

"This is not to suggest that American Jews had an easy time during the Civil War era.  They were a tiny and often oppressed minority of the population: 150,000 out of about 32 million – just half of one percent – although the country did boast vibrant centers of Jewish life in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Some 6,000 Jews served in the American military, a number that included twelve generals, many surgeons, and six Medal of Honor winners. 


"But it was not a monolithic group:  Northern Jews remained loyal to the Union, Southern Jews mainly to the Confederacy and to slavery. In fact, Southern society may have in some ways been more hospitable to Jews than that of the North. In an era in which Jews filled no major roles in the Lincoln administration, Judah P. Benjamin became Secretary of State of the Confederacy. Yet Benjamin’s elevation did not eliminate bigotry there. According to one Southern diarist in 1861: The Jews are at work.  Having no nationality, all wars are harvests for them.  It has been so from the day of their dispersion.  Now they are scouring the country in all directions, buying all the goods they can find in distant cities, and even from the country stores.  These they will keep, until the prices of consumption shall raise a greedy demand for all descriptions of merchandise.


"Perhaps it should come as no surprise that in this atmosphere, one county in Georgia was actually consumed by an uprising aimed at driving out Jews.  Things could be just as dangerous, however, in the supposedly enlightened North. In New York, the same city where the “Jews’ Hospital” changed its longtime admissions policy so it could treat wounded soldiers of all faiths (today the once-modest institution is known as Mount Sinai Medical Center), draft rioters attacked and pillaged Jewish stores just a few days after the Battle of Gettysburg. When the Union Treasury began issuing paper money, one Confederate newspaper taunted, “Why are Lincoln’s green-backs like the Jews? Because they come from Abraham and have no redeemer.” Against that backdrop of discrimination stood a modern Abraham: Abraham Lincoln.


"A New York rabbi named Morris Raphall came to the White House early in the war to ask Lincoln to promote his son to the rank of lieutenant in the Union Army. Lincoln had declared that day a national prayer and fast day, and after he listened to the rabbi’s plea, he asked, “As God’s minister, is it not your duty to be home today to pray with your people for the success of our armies, as is being done in every loyal church throughout the North?”


"Taken aback, the rabbi managed to explain that his assistant was doing so in his place.  “Ah,” Lincoln replied, “That is different.” Then he wrote out the promotion, handed it to Raphall, and said, “Now, doctor, you can go home and do your own praying.”


"Raphall was not the first Jew Lincoln ever encountered, but it is fair to say that Lincoln probably never saw one until he was about 30 years old, when he first met a fellow Illinois lawyer named Abraham Jonas. Jonas became an enthusiastic political supporter, whom Lincoln would call one of his “most valued friends.” He later appointed Jonas a postmaster, a position he held until his death, when Lincoln quietly transferred the plum job to his widow (at a time when he was reluctant to name his own female relatives to such coveted patronage posts). Lincoln even paroled Jonas’s son, a captured Rebel, to visit his father on his deathbed. The sins of the son were not visited on the loyal father.


"Lincoln counted other Jews among his friends and allies:  Julius Hammerslough, one of his hometown Springfield merchants, who attended his inauguration and later helped raise funds to build his tomb; and Henry Rice, a clothing retailer who sold Lincoln “duds,” as his famous customer referred to them, on the Illinois prairie. Photographer Samuel Alschuler lent Lincoln a velvet-trimmed coat to wear in a photograph taken in Urbana, Illinois, in 1858. Two years later, and now relocated to Chicago, Alschuler took another portrait of Lincoln, now President-elect. It turned out to be the first ever made of him with a beard.


"Bavarian-born Chicago merchant Abraham Kohn, president of Congregation Anshe Maariv (Men of the West), was another staunch Republican supporter. Just before Lincoln left Illinois for the White House, Kohn sent the president-elect a flag emblazoned with Hebrew writing from Deuteronomy 31: “Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”


"A few days later, as Lincoln left his Springfield home for Washington, he gave a farewell speech to his neighbors offering words clearly inspired by Kohn. That day, Lincoln declared his trust in a God who can “go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good.” Here was an Old Testament inspiration, direct from a Jewish friend. Later witnesses remembered seeing Kohn’s flag on display at the White House.


"But the most fascinating – and influential – of Lincoln’s Jewish acquaintances was undoubtedly his Jewish chiropodist, Isachar Zacharie. A New York newspaper described him as having “a splendid Roman nose, fashionable whiskers, an eloquent tongue, a dazzling diamond breastpin,” and, most important of all for treating a patient with chronically aching feet, “great skill in his profession.”  In 1862, Lincoln heard that Zacharie could boast in his résumé of having had feet of Clay – Henry Clay, that is, Lincoln’s personal and political hero. So the President sent for him to see if the chiropodist could alleviate his aching corns. One newspaper joked, “It would seem . . . that all of our past troubles have originated not so much with the head [of the nation] but with the feet of the nation. Dr. Zacharie has shown us precisely where the shoe pinches.”


"Jokes aside, Zacharie worked wonders with Lincoln.  As the President put it, in an endorsement of his skill, “Dr. Zacharie has operated on my feet with great success and considerable addition to my comfort.” Not everyone who met the chiropodist was able to overcome prejudice. One general assessed Zacharie “the lowest and vulgarest form of Jew Peddlars,” adding, “It is enough to condemn Mr. Lincoln that he can make a friend of such an odious creature.”  Lincoln was not swayed by such prejudice. He not only retained Zacharie as his physician, bit he also found other ways for him to serve the Union as an unofficial envoy to Jewish communities in the South with an eye toward rebuilding their ties to the Union. The doctor turned up in New Orleans, for example, supposedly to arrange financial aid for that city to ease it back under federal authority. Later, Lincoln twice sent him to Richmond on mysterious missions. In return, Zacharie peppered Lincoln with boastful letters and gifts like fresh pineapples, bananas, and hominy grits.


"Zacharie worked hard for Lincoln’s re-election in 1864, writing to assure the President during the campaign: The Isrelites [sic] with but few exceptions they will vote for you.  I understand them well.... I have secured good and trustworthy men to attend to them on Election day. My men have been all the week seeing that their masses are proparly [sic] registered—so that all will be right. Zacharie’s efforts predictably aroused a stir among – who else? – his fellow Jews, some of whom took issue with Zacharie’s claim that he could “deliver” the Jewish vote as a bloc.  “There is no ‘Jewish vote,’” the editor of the Jewish Messenger, Meyer Isaacs, wrote angrily to Lincoln, “and if there were it could not be bought.” The fracas threatened to erupt into a political crisis until Lincoln ordered an aide to write a letter assuring Jewish leaders that no one had ever pledged the Jewish vote to the President, and he in turn had offered no inducements to secure it.


"The fact that Lincoln utilized a character like Zacharie remains surprising. The doctor was rather full of himself. In 1863 he talked about “the great responsibility resting upon me,” words Lincoln had more appropriately employed to describe the burdens on him! A week before Election Day 1864, Zacharie bragged that he had accomplished “one of the Largest things that has been done in the campaign.” Then he complained to the exhausted President that he was tired.  “I wish to God all was over,” he wrote, “for I am used up, but 3 years ago, I promised I would elect you, and if you are not it shall not be my fault.” Notwithstanding such boasting, Lincoln saw something in his doctor that historians have never quite understood.  Lincoln was an excellent judge of character, so it’s difficult not to conclude that somehow, Zacharie did serve him beneficially – and not just medically.


"Critics point to an odd memorandum Lincoln wrote during the war that began, “About Jews,” and went on to offer instructions on seemingly unrelated matters: issuing to “Dr. Zacharie a pass to go to Savannah,” and providing some kind of hearing to a Mr. “Blumberg, at Baltimore.”  In a way, the memo suggests that Lincoln tended to think of Jews as a nation within the nation, perhaps not as truly assimilated as American Jews thought themselves to be. On the other hand, the memo also sent a signal to the bureaucracy that the President believed that Jews, at least these particular Jews, should be treated decently by the government.


"There were two real tests of Lincoln’s tolerance during the Civil War.  A year into the war, there was still not one Jewish chaplain in the armed services.  Federal law required that all chaplains be “regularly ordained ministers of some Christian denomination.”  

Jews wanted their own.  They had a champion in Ohio Congressman Clement L. Valandigham, who took to the House floor to demand equal chaplaincy rights for Jews. Unfortunately, they could not have recruited a more counterproductive ally. Valandigham was a so-called “Copperhead,” an anti-war Democrat. “Valiant Val” later would be arrested for treason and expelled from the Union. His support guaranteed defeat for expanding chaplaincy rights.

"The issue might have died there had it not been for the so-called “Allen incident.”  Michael Allen was a rabbinical student elected chaplain of a largely Jewish regiment headed by a Colonel Max Freedman. When the army found out about him, they pressured him into quitting, arguing that he was not yet fully ordained. Colonel Freedman promptly named a fully ordained New York rabbi named Arnold Fischel to take his place. But the U. S. Sanitary Commission, the charity that attended to the soldiers’ medical and moral needs, turned him down, too, citing the law that required all chaplains to be Christians.  Frustrated, Jewish leaders went public. They wrote editorials for Jewish periodicals, got liberal newspapers to support them, and finally sent a delegation to the White House. There, Dr. Fischel begged Lincoln to recognize “the principle of religious liberty . . . the constitutional rights of the Jewish community, and the welfare of Jewish volunteers” who were dying in battle without access to spiritual support.


"Lincoln swiftly pledged, “I shall try to have a new law broad enough to cover what is desired by you in behalf of the Israelites.” The following summer, the law was duly amended to include all “regularly ordained ministers of some denomination.” The word “Christian” was expunged. That September, Lincoln named Rabbi Jacob Frankel of Philadelphia the first Jewish chaplain in American military history. The Jews, under Lincoln, had reversed four score years of institutionalized discrimination within the army.


"Another crisis followed, a result of an action by one of the war’s greatest heroes, Ulysses S. Grant. After his triumph at the Battle of Shiloh, the general inexplicably began imagining Jews infiltrating his encampments en masse, speculating, profiteering, and conducting other wicked business unchecked. Grant was determined to root them out. In July 1862, he ordered his commanders to inspect all visitors’ baggage and confiscate contraband, noting, “Jews should receive special attention.” That November he advised another officer, “Refuse all permits ... the Isrealites [sic] especially should be kept out.” A day later he repeated, “No Jews are to be permitted to travel on the Rail Road southward from any point. They are such an intolerable nuisance, that the department must be purged of them.” Weeks afterward, he was still railing about “the total disregard and evasion of orders by the Jews,” admitting, “my policy is to exclude them as far as practicable.” A camp newspaper not surprisingly echoed the popular general:  The Jews were “sharks, feeding upon the soldiers.”  Then, Grant’s own father turned up in camp, hand-in-hand with some Jewish cotton brokers eager for profit, though no greedier for money than the elder Mr. Grant. Perhaps believing his father had been duped, the general let his hostility run wild. On December 17, 1862, he issued his infamous General Orders Number 11, declaring in part:  The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade ... are hereby expelled from the department within 24 hours. ... Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be ... required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement.


"Reaction was swift. A Jewish captain named Philip Trounstine promptly resigned his commission, complaining of “taunts and malice.” Respected Northern rabbis unleashed a firestorm of criticism from the pulpit and in the press. Even Grant’s greatest Washington champion, Illinois Congressman Elihu Washburne, admitted, “Your order touching the Jews has kicked up quite a dust among the Israelites. They came here in crowds. ...”  Some of the crowds went directly to the President, who might easily have ignored the outcry for fear of humiliating one of his most valuable military assets. To Lincoln’s credit, he did not excuse or cover up. He came to the rescue. When a delegation led by Cesar Kaskel visited him to lodge a formal protest, the President supposedly said, “So the children of Israel were forced out of the happy land of Canaan?”


"A clever delegate shot back, “Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham’s bosom asking protection.” Replied Lincoln, “That protection you shall have.” Another group headed by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise soon followed, and Lincoln told them, “I don't like to see a class or nationality condemned on account of a few sinners.” Wise remembered, “The President fully convinced us that he knew of no distinction between Jews and Gentiles and that he feels none against any nationality and especially against Israelites.”


"In one of the rare occasions in which he ever overruled his prize general, Abraham Lincoln made sure that General Orders Number 11 was rescinded a few weeks after its publication. He did not mind expelling peddlers, Lincoln explained privately. But, as he put it, Grant had “proscribed a whole class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks.” This was unacceptable. Another threat to the legal standing of Jewish citizens had been recognized and corrected. Whether it inspired Jews to vote as a bloc for Lincoln’s re-election the following fall remains impossible to know, but the positive impact on Lincoln’s reputation was incontestable.


"History books note the irony of the fact that like Jesus, Lincoln was slain on Good Friday. It is seldom observed that the 1865 calamity also occurred during Passover weekend.  Seders that season were dedicated in part to Lincoln’s memory.  Synagogues across the North draped themselves in black and devoted Sabbath and holiday sermons, as one Jewish newspaper reported, “to the grief that sorrowed the hearts of the people.” Jews took an active part in the Lincoln funeral in Washington. At the public ceremonies in New York, a rabbi was even asked to recite a prayer. One young local Jewish shopkeeper named Abraham Abraham was so moved that he bought a bust of Lincoln, draped it in black, and displayed it in his window. The shop later became the department store of Abraham & Strauss. In Chicago, a special canopy was provided by the city’s Jews, inscribed with the Hebrew lament:  “The beauty of Israel is slain upon the high places.”


"Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, who had earlier called Lincoln a “primitive,” now praised “the spirit and principles of the man.” At Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan the mourners’ Kaddish was recited for the first time in memory of a non-Jew, inspiring a protest from some outraged Orthodox Jews but praise from most congregants. If Lincoln could break precedent by opening up the army to Jewish chaplaincy, then synagogues could say Kaddish for their gentile champion. Even in the South, Jewish leaders acknowledged a special bond between Lincoln and the Jews and a special sorrow at his loss. It was attributable mainly to Lincoln’s acts of compassion and justice, but perhaps, also, to the fact that his religious beliefs seemed so universal.


"Lincoln had once summed up his faith:  “When I do good I feel good, and when I do bad I feel bad, and that’s my religion.” Perhaps it is no accident that the sentiment is remarkably close to what Hillel urged in his teachings:  “To forbear doing unto others what would displease us.”  That deceptively simple but poignant philosophy made Lincoln seem to Jews of his day like God’s child and America’s father at one and the same time. When Lincoln died, many Jews really did feel “the beauty of Israel was slain upon the high places.” But as Rabbi Samuel Adler put it at Temple Emanu-el in New York City on April 19, 1865: “Abraham Lincoln has not fallen. He is lost to us but he is as Light ... and remains with us in memory and adoration and will so remain for ever.” Rabbi Adler called him “Father Abraham” that day, a rare tribute from the pulpit echoed at synagogues throughout the nation during that Passover of mourning. “Fear not, Abraham,” Rabbi Samuel Meyer Isaacs declared, quoting the Bible, from the pulpit of the Broadway synagogue, “I am thy shield; thy reward shall be exceedingly great.”



A version of this article appeared in Lincoln and the Jews: The Last Best Hope of Earth (Chicago: The Skirball Cultural Center, 2002) written by Harold Holzer. 


President Zachary Taylor's 4th of July fatal tragedy


A Fatal Fourth -

After participating in July 4 ceremonies at the Washington Monument in 1850, Zachary Taylor fell ill. He drank freely of ice water during the event and after reaching the White House gorged on cherries with iced milk. Within five days he was dead. It was believed he contracted cholera. Waterborne diseases, including cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery, were not uncommon in Washington, D.C. before the advent of modern plumbing and sewerage and water chlorination.


Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)    1849-1850


President John Tyler & Turtle Soup on the 4th of July


Turtle Soup -

William Henry Harrison died only a month after his inauguration in 1841, and John Tyler, who succeeded him, held a Fourth of July dinner that year that included turtle soup. A giant 300 pound turtle from Key West had been given to the president as a gift and ended up on the dinner table. After dinner, Tyler and his guests walked out onto Lafayette Square to enjoy a fireworks display.


John Tyler (1790-1862) 1841-1845


Turtle Soup was popular at Fourth of July celebrations prior to the Civil War. Turtle soup was a favorite of Philadelphians, Charlestonians, New Yorkers, and Washingtonians. In New York, in 1828, for example, "Flushing Bay Clam and Turtle soup . . . [was] served up in the usual style, at the Flushing Hotel," while "green turtle soup" was available at the Washington Hall dinner (New-York Enquirer, 4 July 1828, 2-3). In Washington turtle soup was served at two different places: at Lepreux & Kervand's "near the 7 buildings," from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and at Burckhart & Koemig, at the Columbia Garden, near the Centre Market at 12 noon. Both vendors provided carry out service (National Intelligencer, 3 July 1820, 3 and 4 July 1820, 3, respectively).



A menu for an 1825 Fourth of July dinner in the collections of The New-York Historical Society lists 51 main dishes—spread over two courses—along with 12 desserts and an additional 15 fruits and ices. After green turtle and lobster soups, the guests moved on to fish (blackfish, sheepheads, trout); haunches of beef, lamb, and venison; a range of poultry from duck to capon to turkey, lobster patties, as well as sweetbreads, eel, and pigeon pies. The cooks combed the market for delicacies—ragoûts and stews of "Gallipagos [sic]," green, and snapping turtles; woodcock, partridges, and wild pigeons; lamb, veal and pigs feet; galantines and smoked tongue. For dessert, they tucked into puddings, fruit tarts, cheesecakes, trifles and syllabubs, and an array of fresh fruits, ices, and ice creams.



A Turtle Soup recipe from Virginian Mary Randolph's (1762-1828) book, The Virginia Housewife: or, Methodical Cook.

"TO DRESS TURTLE. 
KILL it at night in winter, and in the morning in summer. Hang it up by the hind fins, cut off the head and let it bleed well. Separate the bottom shell from the top, with great care, lest the gall bladder be broken, which must be cautiously taken out and thrown away. Put the liver in a bowl of water. Empty the guts and lay them in water; if there be eggs, put them also in water. It is proper to have a separate bowl of water for each article. Cut all the flesh from the bottom shell, and lay it in water; then break the shell in two, put it in a pot after having washed it clean; pour on as much water as will cover it entirely, add one pound of middling, or flitch of bacon, with four onions chopped, and set it on the fire to boil. Open the guts, cleanse them perfectly; take off the inside skin, and put them in the pot with the shell; let them boil steadily for three hours, and if the water boils away too much, add more. Wash the top shell nicely after taking out the flesh, cover it, and set it by. Parboil the fins, clean them nicely- taking off all the black skin, and put them in water; cut the flesh taken from the bottom and top shell, in small pieces; cut the fins in two, lay them with the flesh in a dish; sprinkle some salt over, and cover them up. When the shell, &c. is done, take out the bacon, scrape the shell clean, and strain the liquor; about one quart of which must be put back in the pot; reserve the rest for soup; pick out the guts, and cut them in small pieces; take all the nice bits that were strained out, put them with the guts into the gravy; lay in the fins cut in pieces with them, and as much of the flesh as will be sufficient to fill the upper shell; add to it (if a large turtle,) one bottle of white wine;cayenne pepper, and salt, to your taste, one gill of mushroom catsup, one gill of lemon pickle,mace,nutmegs and cloves, pounded, to season it high. Mix two large spoonsful of flour in one pound and a quarter of butter; put it in with thyme, parsley, marjoram and savory, tied in bunches; stew all these together, till the flesh and fins are tender; wash out the top shell, put a puff paste around the brim; sprinkle over the shell pepper and salt, then take the herbs out of the stew; if the gravy is not thick enough, add a little more flour, and fill the shell; should there be no eggs in the turtle, boil six new laid ones for ten minutes, put them in cold water a short time, peel them, cut them in two, and place them on the turtle; make a rich forcemeat, (see receipt for forcemeat,) fry the balls nicely, and put them also in the shell; set it in a dripping pan, with something under the sides to keep it steady; have the oven heated as for bread, and let it remain in it till nicely browned. Fry the liver and send it in hot.

"FOR THE SOUP. 
AT an early hour in the morning, put on eight pounds of coarse beef, some bacon,onions,sweet herbs,pepper and salt. Make a rich soup, strain it and thicken with a bit of butter, and brown flour; add to it the water left from boiling the bottom shell; season it very high with wine,catsup,spice and cayenne; put in the flesh you reserved, and if that is not enough, add the nicest parts of a well boiled calf's head; but do not use the eyes or tongue; let it boil till tender, and serve it up with fried forcemeat balls in it. If you have curry powder, (see receipt for it,) it will give a higher flavour to both soup and turtle, than spice. Should you not want soup, the remaining flesh may be fried, and served with a rich gravy."



And an earlier recipe from American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. By Amelia Simmons.  Hartford: Printed for Simeon Butler, Northampton, (1798)

"To Dress a Turtle. 
Fill a boiler or kettle, with a quantity of water sufficient to scald the callapach and Callapee, the fins, &c. and about 9 o'clock hang up your Turtle by the hind fins, cut off the head and save the blood, take a sharp pointed knife and seperate the callapach from the callapee, or the back from the belly part, down to the shoulders, so as to come to the entrails which take out, and clean them, as you would those of any other animal, and throw them into a tub of clean water, taking great care not to break the gall, but to cut it off from the liver and throw it away, then seperate each distinctly and put the guts in another vessel, open them with a small pen-knife end to end, wash them clean, and draw them through a woolen cloth, in warm water, to clear away the slime and then put them in clean cold water till they are used with the other parts of the entrails, which must be cut up small to be mixed in the baking dishes with the meat; this done, separate the back and belly pieces, entirely cutting away the fore fins by the upper joint, which scald; peal off the loose skin and cut them into small pieces, laying them by themselves, either in another vessel, or on the table, ready to be seasoned; then cut off the meat from the belly part, and clean the back from the lungs, kidneys, &c. and that meat cut into pieces as small as a walnut, laying it likewise by itself; after this you are to scald the back and belly pieces, pulling off the shell from the back, and the yellow skin from the belly, when all will be white and clean, and with the kitchen cleaver cut those up likewise into pieces about the bigness or breadth of a card; put those pieces into clean cold water, wash them and place them in a heap on the table, so that each part may lay by itself; the meat being thus prepared and laid seperate for seasoning; mix two thirds part of salt or rather more, and one third part of cayenne pepper, black pepper, and a nutmeg, and mace pounded fine, and mixt altogether; the quantity to be proportioned to the size of the Turtle, so that in each dish there may be about three spoonfuls of seasoning to evey twelve pound of meat; your meat being thus seasoned, get some sweet herbs, such as thyme, savory, &c. let them be dryed and rub'd fine, and having provived some deep dishes to bake it in, which should be of the common brown ware, put in the coarsest part of the meat, put a quarter pound of butter at the bottom of each dish, and then put some of each of the several parcels of meat, so that the dishes may be all alike and have equal portions of the different parts of the Turtle, and between each laying of meat strew a little of the mixture of sweet herbs, fill your dishes within an inch an half, or two inches of the top; boil the blood of the Turtle, and put into it, then lay on forcemeat balls made of veal, highly seasoned with the same seasoning as the Turtle; put in each dish a gill of Madeira Wine, and as much water as it will conveniently hold, then break over it five or six eggs to keep the meat from scorching at the top, and over that shake a handful of shread parsley, to make it look green, when done put your dishes into an oven made hot enough to bake bread, and in an hour and half, or two hours (according to the size of the dishes) it will be sufficiently done."


President Thomas Jefferson began holding White House Receptions for the general pubic each July 4th


White House Receptions -

Thomas Jefferson began the tradition of receiving citizens at the White House, which was called The President's House before 1812, to celebrate the Fourth of July in 1801. The mansion was opened to all people. Tables pushed against the walls of the State Dining Room were filled with bowls of punch and plates of sweets. Presidents held these receptions until just after the Civil War.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 1801-1809

President Thomas Jefferson held an open house for his 2nd inaugural in 1805, & many of the people at his swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol followed him home, where he greeted them in the Blue Room. Those open houses sometimes became rowdy: in 1829, President Andrew Jackson had to leave for a hotel, when roughly 20,000 citizens celebrated his inauguration inside the White House. His aides ultimately had to lure the mob outside with washtubs filled with a potent cocktail of orange juice & whiskey. Even so, the practice continued until 1885, when newly elected Grover Cleveland arranged for a presidential review of the troops from a grandstand in front of the White House instead of the traditional open house. 

Jefferson also permitted public tours of the President's House, which have continued ever since, except during wartime, & began the tradition of annual receptions on New Year's Day & on the Fourth of July. Those receptions ended in the early 1930s, although President Bill Clinton would briefly revive the New Year's Day open house in his 1st term.


4th of July - 1st Celebration at the White House


The First Fourth of July Celebration at the President’s House

Thomas Jefferson by Charles Peale Polk

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.

Women Giving 4th of July Orations & Presentations in Early 19C America


For the first 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Indpendence on the 4th of July, American women would present their appreciation of the nation's hard-won liberty as handiwork in the form of banners, flags, or standards to groups of soldiers of the United States military. The presentation ceremony would allow the women to speak about what the new nation & its defenders meant to them, even though they would not be allowed to vote until 1920.


Their speeches usually were not specifically about the signing of the document or about the founding fathers, the more immediate goal was to praise & inspire the local defenders of freedom who were alive and present at the moment.



 John Lewis Krimmel (German-born American artist, 1786-1821) Members of the City Troup and other Philadelphia Soldiery

1805 Eunice Quinby of Kennebunk, Maine


Standand presented to the Stoudwater Light-Infantry Company, Kennebunk, Maine, July 4, 1805. After a parade by the Stoudwater Light-Infantry Company, they were joined by the Falmouth Cavalry, Capt. William Brackett, and all marched to Capt. John Quinby’s “where were assembled the ladies of the village and its vicinity, who displayed their patriotism by presenting the Light-Infantry with an elegant standard," accompanied by the following address by Miss Eunice Quinby:  The martial ardor which actuates the Stroudwater Light Infantry, affords a pleasing satisfaction, while the celerity, with which, from a state of ignorance, it has obtained an extensive knowledge of military discipline, is matter of surprise to every beholder. You have begun the career of glory; and we trust that that honor which is the Soldiers sole reward, will amply compensate you, in whose breasts are implanted the love of liberty, of virtue and of your country, for all the toil, anxiety, and danger, to which you are liable. Ours is the land of Liberty, and of happiness; we peculiarly enjoy the blessings of peace and prosperity; but these advantages are to be preserved only by the smiles of an over ruling Providence, and the virtue and watchfulness of our citizens. On those of the military capacity we depend for protection from foreign invasion and domestic usurpation; to effect which, unremitted vigilance, patience of discipline and scorn of danger, are absolutely necessary. Being sensible that you are deeply impressed with the truth of this observation, I have the honor, in the name of the Ladies of Falmouth, to offer this standard to your protection; let it ever by the signal of Liberty; May that which is now intrusted to your heroism and magnanimity, never be deserted; may the motto which is inscribed thereon, be indelibly imprinted on all your hearts; and may that spark of ambition, which at first warmed your breasts, and which is now kindled into a flame, never, never, by extinguished. “Party at Maj. Webster’s,” Kennebunk Gazette, 17 July 1805, 2.


1807 Miss Archer of Salem, Massachusetts


On July 4, 1807, in Salem, Massachusetts, "The Mechanic Light Infantry, a new Company commanded by Capt. Perley Putnam, made their first appearance in uniform on this day, and received an elegant Standard in the morning from Col. Archer, which was delivered by the Colonel's daughter, of eleven years of age, with the following pertinent Address: To the Mechanic Light Infantry"  Gentlemen, I am directed by my father, who has the honour of commanding the Salem regiment, to request the Mechanic Light Infantry Company to accept this Standard, with his most sincere wishes, for their prosperity and honour. It will be easily conceive[d], with what pleasure I obey the command, when the respectable and martial appearance of the corps is a satisfactory pledge that it will not dishonour the gift. My parent views with pleasure the ardour and emulation which inspire the citizen soldiers who compose this regiment, and feels the greatest confidence they will never forfeit that proud title by the violation of the laws of honour, of humanity, of their country, and their God. The elegant and valuable corps which is now united to this regiment, affords a lively satisfaction and well grounded hope, that the spirit, harmony, discipline, and love of order, by which it has hitherto distinquished itself, will still continue to assign it a high rank in the militia of this Commonwealth. The Mechanic Light Infantry may rest assured, that the alacrity, with which they have organized and equipped themselves, and the perseverance by which they have attained to the honourable state of proficiency which we now view, has not passed unnoticed by the commander of the regiment, nor by their fellow citizens in general. It is a maxim of our father Washington (heaven be praised that his memory, is still dear to us!) that to preserve peace, we must be prepared for war. Peace is our aim, and preparation is our security. This glorious anniversary can testify, that a nation of freemen, possessing the hearts, can never want the means, of defending their country. The American Eagle shall never wing his way to spoil the peace of other nations; but, hovering over our heads, he will animate us to victory, in defence of our wives, our children, and our firesides. Gentlemen of the Mechanic Light Infantry Company! I need not remind you of the protection which my sex, and tender years like mine, claim from the soldier. Accept this Standard, with our entire confidence in your worthyness, your patriotism, your valour and conduct; and in the name of Washington, and our common country, accept our warmest wishes for your happiness and glory. Salem Register, 9 July 1807, 3.



1839 The Cleveland Ohio Grays in the Public Square by Joseph Parker

1814 Francis Warren Fraser, of New York


In New York, to New York Independent Veteran Corps of Artillery, under command of Capt. Chapman. "At the quarters of their Captain,” Mrs. Fraser gave the following address:  Gentlemen, I congratulate you on the 38th Anniversary of American Independence—a blessing which cost you the privation, toils, and perils of a seven years arduous contest. With heartfelt pleasure do I view the warworn Veteran, claiming no exemption for age or infirmity, again draw his sword in his country’s cause. As a feeble testimony of my respect, permit me to present your honourable corps a Standard, consisting of Thirteen Stripes, the number of our Revolutionary States; Blue, predominating, is emblematic of the fidelity of our immortal Washington, and his brave comrades of the revolution; Red, indicative of that precious blood shed in obtaining our Independence; and White, studded with golden flowers, representing the blessing which accompany an honourable peace; the Pointed Cannon, in a field of white, surmounted with your appropriate motto (Pro Deo Et Patria) will forcibly remind you of the purposes and obligations of your association. Veterans! Accept this Standard! May you always display it in your country’s cause and furl it with honour!  National Advocate, 7 July 1814, 2.


1815 Mrs. Ingalls of Bridgton, Maine


In Bridgton, Maine, “a numerous and respectable collection of the Ladies of Bridgeton assembled and presented to the Bridgeton Light Infantry, a most elegant stand of new colors accompanied by the following address by Mrs. Ingalls, who was deputed by the Ladies for that purpose”  Sir--The Ladies of Bridgeton, have deputed me to present to you on their behalf these colors in token of their high regard for the institutions of the militia in general, and for the Bridgeton Light Infantry, in particular. National liberty and independence are the design and end of the militia establishment of our highly favored republic. War is a casual duty, but should not be suffered to become a distinct profession in a free state. the protection of your wives, your children, your mothers and sisters, and the sacrifice of life in the defence of the rights & independence of your beloved country are duties (we doubt not) considered by the members of the Bridgeton Light Infantry company much too sacred to be intrusted to mercenary hands. Under these banners, the consecrated emblems of our national liberty and independence, we have the highest confidence that the Bridgton Light Infantry will ever in the hour of danger be found doing their duty. Permit me gr [sic], through you, to tender to each individual of your associates as well as yourself, the salutations of the high respect and consideration of the Ladies of Bridgeton.

“American Independence. Bridgeton Celebration,” Eastern Argus, 19 July 1815, 1.

1815 Nancy Prescott, of New Sharon, Maine


On Tuesday, 4th inst. the republicans of New Sharon and a large number from the neighboring towns, met to celebrate the anniversary of independence. About 70 ladies dressed in white uniform, presented a beautiful set of colors to the Light Infantry company commanded by Capt. Baker; the Company, ladies and a large assemblage of spectators forming a hollow square, the following address on presenting the colors was made by Miss Nancy Prescott.

"Accept, Sir, this Standard from the Ladies of New Sharon as an indication of their high respect for the New Sharon Light Infantry. Feeling at the same time the strongest assurance that this Emblem of National Honor will never be tarnished in the hands of Gentlemen who have shown such an uniform attachment to virtue and sound principles; and what is of equal consequence, to the constituted authorities of their country. I therefore congratulate you upon the peace you now possess; may you ever be mindful of the privileges you enjoy. Should an offensive war be waged against your peace and tranquility, and you called to render a more active service to your country, may the God of Israel direct you; may he lead you valiantly to the fight, illuminate your path, conduct you through all difficulties which may be found in your way, until you shall have fully and honorably redressed your country's wrongs." "Celebration at New Sharon," American Advocate and Kennebec Advertiser, 15 July 1815, 3.


James Goodwyn Clonney (American genre artist, 1812–1867) Militia Training 1841

1819 Jane Wade of Belleville, New Jersey


On July 5, 1819, a Fourth of July celebration in Belleville, New Jersey, citizens assembled in front of Capt. Ezekiel Wade's establishment. A group of young ladies were there dressed in white, to present a flag to Capt. Dow's Company of Belleville Washington Volunteers. Miss Jane Wade, escorted by two other ladies, unfurled the banner and presented it to Capt. Dow. Wade spoke on the occasion:  Sir--In behalf of the young ladies of Belleville, I have the honor to present to you for the use of your Company of Belleville Washington Volunteers, a Standard of Colours. These you will please to accept as an expression of their high satisfaction in noticing the expeditious manner in which this corps have been organized, and the martial appearance which they exhibit; and they cannot but indulge the hope that in the defence and support of this Standard, the Belleville Washington Volunteers will be influenced by the same spirit of magnanimity and heroism which so highly distinguished the illustrious Chief, whose name they have assumed.  "Anniversary Celebration," Centinel of Freedom,20 July 1819, 2.


1821 Jane E. Holmes of New York


An elegant Standard, painted by that celebrated artist, Childs, of New York, was, on 4th of July, presented by Miss Jane E. Holmes, to the Federalist Artillery Company of this city. The execution of the flag, was equal to the beauty and symmetry of the design; both contributing to display, in the most striking and forceable manner, the objects for which it was intended. Miss Holmes, on presenting the Standard, delivered a very tasteful and appropriate address to the company, which was responded to by Lieut. Foster Burnet, the officer who received the colours, in terms of feeling and patriotism, peculiarly adapted to the occasion. The following is the address and response:  Gentlemen of the Federalist artillery, I present you with this banner--I am sure it will never be disgraced in your hands. Should the fate of war wrest it from you, it will not be until your cannon will have ceased to roar, and your lifeless forms have slept on the bosom of your parent earth. The Star-Spangled Flag of America, has been the pillow in death, of Pike and Lawrence; but such untoward events of battle, will, I trust and hope, never be able to sever from your hands, the Standard which I have now the honor of presenting you.  City Gazette and Daily Advertiser [Charleston, SC], 6 July 1821, 2.


1821 Eletia Hubball of Alexandria, Virginia


On July 4, 1821, in Alexandria, Virginia, Eletia Hubball, "a young lady who had been elected by her associates to present the standard, made her appearance, accompanied by six of her female friends, and bearing the most beautiful flag we have seen for many days." The women presented the flag to the Company of Light Infantry, commanded by Capt. Nicholas Blasdell, at a "place appointed for the ceremony," probably near the market square. Miss Hubball "was received with 'presented arms,' and an enlivening air from the band." She then responded with the following:  Citizen Soldiers, You have associated in celebrating the birth day of your independence. In compliance with a request of my female associates, I am about to present you a standard in manifestation of our confidence, & as a tribute of respect to the company of Independent Volunteers. Though the order of society, our daily habits and physical powers, restrict us to less active duties and forbid us a participation in your social, and convivial pleasures, and manly exercises of the day; yet we feel with you a glow of satisfaction. To us as to you, it recalls to our mental view events which inspire us with veneration for the memories of our Fathers of the Revolution, & excite in us, a lively interest for the honor of our common country. May this day be ever dear to the descendants of free men: Our fathers dared to will to be free, and were free: may their sons ever will it. Our motives in addressing you on this occasion are not to excite in you a sense of noble daring, or a just appreciation of your rights as freemen. The songs of freemen want no incentives to action: Liberty and honor are inate principles, fostered by paternal care. They have nobly will'd and bravely dared. The historic page records the noble achievements, and gallant actions in their country's cause; on the ocean and on the land their prowess stands pre-eminent; the haughty foe has struck his proud flag to our brave and hardy tars, and bent his proud crest to the strong arm of your brothers in arms. From pole to pole, the goddess of liberty has proclaimed the merited applause of her sons.The sons of freedom assuming the manly and dignified attitude of Citizen Soldiers, and emulating each other in the acquirements of military discipline, to enable them in the hour of danger to defend their country, maintain their liberty and protect us from licentious and daring invaders, must ever possess in our hearts an influence superior to the ordinary impressions created by social intercourse. Receive then your flag, and defend it worthy of yourselves and fathers, and we fervently trust that in your pursuit of discipline and military glory, it will never by tarnished with vice or immorality prove to the world that morality and virtue are the concomitants of the Citizen Soldier. Should the tocsin of war be again sounded, and our happy country be invaded by the enemies of liberty, while you bravely march to chide them for their presumption we will offer up to the god of battles our prayers for your protection, relying, that you will ever hold in dear remembrance, your motto, "Columbia, Fortitude and Freedom."  (Alexandria Gazette, 7 July 1821, 2)



Thompkins H Matteson (American painter, 1813-1884) Making Ammunition 1855

1821 Miss Sheppard of Baltimore, Maryland


The forty-fifth anniversary of our national jubilee was celebrated by this corps Fell's Point Columbian Blues of Baltimore, Maryland, in a manner peculiarly grateful and flattering to its members. Early in the morning, they were presented with an elegant standard by the elder daughers of Col. Thos. Sheppard, who "with great complaissance and at the sacrifice of much time had worked the flag--the embroidery displays a correctness of design, and neatness of execution, highly honorable to the ladies."  The volunteers having paraded at the quarters of the captain, were marched with an excellent band of music to the dwelling of Col. Sheppard, where were assembled Brig. Gen M'Donald, and his aids Messrs. Davis and Van Wyck, with several officers and soldiers of our revolutionary stuggle. Miss Sheppard in offering the flag, addressed Capt. Brays in nearly the following words:  Sir--We feel much pleasure in presenting this ensign to a corps so ancient and respectable as the Fell's Point Columbian Blues. In the discharge of this task, we will not betray a doubt of the patriotism and valour of the company under your command, by recommending the standard to their martial care. The volunteers of this land are the natural guardians of their natal soil. Standing armies are regarded with a jealous eye by the genius of our republic, and in their absence the country must rely for protection and support upon her free-born citizen soldiers. A well organized body of this description, honest in its views, undaunted in its conduct, and actuated by the sacred fire of liberty, will forever oppose an impregnable barrier to the invading foe. 

Allow us to express a hope, that the God of Battles may protect you in the hour of danger; that the recollections of your wives and chldren may nerve your arms in the day of trail; and that returning with your laurels to the sympathies of home, you may evince to the world, that like Cincinnatus of old, or the departed Father of our American union, you can blend the intrepidity of heroes with the civic virtues of private men.  Baltimore Patriot,7 July 1821, 2.

1822 Sylvia Borden of Fall River Massachusetts


At Fall River, Mass. On July 4, 1822, Miss Sylvia Borden presented an “elegant standard” purchased by the “ladies of the village” to Ensign Thomas D. Chaloner, on behalf of the Fall River Light Infantry. The event took place on the grounds in front of Col. Durfee’s Hotel.  Gentlemen of the Fall River Infantry, On the day an altar was erected to liberty in this Western Hemisphere; and the blessings of Heaven hallowed the offering. May the same principles, which, in your fathers, produced our Independence, long exist in you, to defend it.” “Ensign Chaloner, The ladies of this village have the honor to present, through you, this Standard to the Fall-River Light Infantry. Accept it, sir, as a pledge of their esteem, both for your virtues and your valor—Happy, if they can furnish one motive to the brave, or contribute one ray to the glow of patriotic ardor which this day enkindles. Should our country again be invaded, and you called upon to unfurl this banner in defence of its liberties, we are confident you will preserve it untarnished and pure. You will yield to none but the hand of time, to whose alone, it can be gracefully surrendered. The temples of your God, the tombs of your fathers, and the firesides of your families, your virtues as citizens, and your courage as soldiers, will gallantly defend. But may the courage on which we so confidently rely, glow only in your bosoms—may the sound of war and the clash of arms never call it into action; and the peace and liberty of our country, like the smooth surface of the ocean, appear still more sublime, when we know her greatness in the tempest.  Rhode-Island Republican, 17 July 1822, 2.


1826 Mary Felt of New Ipswich, New Hampshire


At New Ipswich, New Hampshire, July 4, 1826, "a large and brilliant procession of ladies, who had procured a very superb standard" which was presented to the company of Grenadiers by Miss Mary Felt on the grounds of the meeting house, accompanied with the following address, In a world where it is our lot to be surrounded with dangers, and perpetually exposed to the rude attacks of the lawless and abandoned of our own species, to guard ourselves against the possible evils that may assail us, is the plain dictate of reason and prudence. To us, who are by nature weak and defenceless, belong not the daring spirit, the manly courage, and the heroic valor, to which we must be forever indebted, for the security of those inestimable rights and privileges, which, under a free government, we so abundantly enjoy. These distinguishing qualities are the peculiar attributes of those, to whom alone we can look for support and protection. But if we are dependent upon others for these invaluable blessings, we would not be unmindful of our own duty. Although, Sir, the labor, the difficulty and the danger devolve upon your sex; it is for us in the peaceful retirement of domestic life to practise those virtues and cherish those principles, which will dignify and adorn our own characters, and at the same time have a salutary and permanent influence upon the life and conduct of the guardians and protectors of our dearest rights. Desirous of offering a small tribute of gratitude, for the mentorious exertions you have made to prepare yourselves for the arduous duties of citizens and soldiers, the Ladies of New-Ipswich have procured this Standard, and in their behalf I would present it, earnestly requesting that you would accept it, with their warmest wishes for your success. Should it, in the happy times of peace, have a tendency to stimulat you to acquire a more correct and perfect discipline, and, in times of peril, should it animate you to more vigorous exertion in defence of your country, our highest anticipations will be realized. Should the gloomy shade of war, ever again in portentous darkness, hang over our peaceful horizon, may this Standard, on which are displayed the arms of our country, forever be an incentive to noble deeds and generous achievements.  "Fourth of July," Farmers' Cabinet, 22 July 1826, 3.


1827 Jane Hobbs of Pelham, New Hampshire


Jane Hobbs and a group of ladies presented a flag to the assembled Rifle Company of Pelham, New Hampshire, commanded by Capt. Enoch Marsh, on July 4, 1827. Miss Hobbs addressed the members of the Rifle Company:  Permit me, gentlemen officers of the Rifle company, in behalf of a number of respectable ladies of this place, to address you, and the brave soldiers under your command. More than half a century has passed away since this memorable fourth of July became an epoch in the history of these United States. Ill would it become me on any other occasion than the present, to call your attention by an allusion of mine, to the inestimable privileges we enjoy, which cost nothing less than the blood of the hero and the patriot. Our nation is the wonder and astonishment of the civilized world; it is the freest, the happiest and most prosperous nation under the sun; its civil and religious institutions are based on the broad principles of the rights of men. None is molested or made affraid [sic], but all may rest under his own vine; everything of a temporal nature is ours; even the tiger is led as it were to flowery bands by a child. This Canaan of happiness was won by our fathers. Yes, the patriotic and gallant sons of Columbia, led on by the beloved Washington, made the purchase, endured privations, hardships, toils and fatigues, unknown to us, and for little or no reward but the gratitude of a grateful country. Most of them have passed away as the current of time passes, and have mingled their dust with its kindred dust; and we indulge the fond hope that their immortal spirits have ascended on high and entered that kingdom where their peace and joy shall be lasting as an eternity. When our political fathers fearlessly sounded the trumpet of freedom, every patriotic heart thrilled with hope and fear. The day was momentous. The threatening vengance [sic] of a tyrannic foe, like some dark terriffic [sic] cloud obscured its bright effulgence which hope painted in vivid colours. The storm of war lowers--it passes away, the scene ended and we realize every thing anticipated. These United States are looked upon as a pattern of political consistency by the civilized world; nor is their philanthropy and patriotism less regarded, nor should it be, since their brave sons so courageously presented their breasts to the shafts of battle in defence of their rights; and sprinkled the alter of their independence with their blood. And since patriots and heroes bled for this rich inheritance of ours, hold it sacred and inviolate; and as a pledge you will do so, be pleased to receive this standard from this association of ladies in this town, impressed with a simile of the freedom of our country. Be assured that we entertan the high opinion of a true patriot and soldier, which they justly merit, and shall at all times cheerfully lend our aid in any thing that may add to their happiness, or mitigate their sorrows and toils. This standard, a symbol of our dear bought rights, suffer not to be dishonoured or invaded by any. Tarnish not the achieved glory of an American soldier. and we sincerely hope that the time will soon come when the standard of the cross will supersede a standard like this, and render it useless. When the habiliments of war and the instruments of death shall be no more used in this our fallen world. When our brothers shall learn war no more. When no more garments shall be rolled in blood. When the nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation. This will be the happy case when all nations shall gather around the standard of the cross, and the gospel shall have its effect upon the hearts of men; for wars and fightings come from the depravity of man. Trust not in sword and spear, nor in a coat of mail, but in Him who holds the destinies of the nations in his hands, and then should the enemy come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against them.  "Communication. Fourth of July, at Pelham," Farmers' Cabinet, 21 July 1827, 2.


1830 Anstiss W. Bradford of New Boston, New Hampshire


A flag presentation at New Boston, New Hampshire, on July 4, 1830, included "about 90 young ladies under the direction of Pearly Dodge and Waterman Burr." At the town square, "a new and elegant Standard (a present from the ladies of New-Boston to the Company of Artillery)" was presented in a ceremony. Miss Anstiss W. Bradford "in behalf of the company of ladies made the following address,  Sir,--While the sons of our great and happy Republic are reminded by the return of another, anniversary of her Independence, of the unequalled blessings which Divine Priovidence has bestowed on their country, her daughters are not insensible to those distinguished favors. Nor are they ignorant of the great importance of an intelligent, virtuous and patriotic Militia, as a mean of preserving the privileges instrumentally obtained by the wisdom of our progenitors in council, and their valor in the field of battle. Actuated by these sentiments, the Ladies in New-Boston, wish on this occasion, to give a substantial token of their attachment to the interests of their country. They have accordingly directed me to request you, Sir, as the representative of the Company of Matross, here assembled, to accept this Standard. Permit me to express their confident expectation, that should the threatened liberties of our Republic call you to their defence, you will promptly rally around this banner, and display that courage, magnanimity and perseverance that will do honor to your flag. (Farmers' Cabinet, 10 July 1830, 3; "American Independence," New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette, 19 July 1830, 2.)


1832 Cecilia F. Poor of Methuen, Massachusetts


Another flag presentation occurred in Methuen, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1832, when a group of females presented a standard to the Methuen Light Infantry. Miss Cecilia F. Poor was chosen among the 65 women present to give the address to the soldiers assembled for the celebration:  Citizen soldiers: We are assembled together on this day to commemorate the birth of our national independence--a day of jubilee--to celebrate with joy the emanicipation of our country from the yoke of bondage and oppression. Dear to the recollection of every son and daughter of America, is that period when the master spirits of our revolution proclaimed to the nations of the earth, that we "were and of right ought to be free and independent.

We hail with pleasure the return of this our natal day sacred to the birth of American liberty; we raise our eyes to heaven with gratitude that we are this day permitted to enjoy the high privileges for which our fathers fought and bled. And it is to you, citizen soldiers, sons of sires so noble--that our hopes are now directed to protect those rights, and that liberty purchased at a price so dear.
Reposing implicit confidence in your patriotism and integrity, permit me in behalf of the ladies of Methuen to present to you this standard--may its folds never be unfurled but in the glorious cause of liberty and freedom. Should hostile foes invade our shores, should the clarion of war echo over these now peaceful hills, may the recollection of this event inspire your hearts with patriotism, and nerve your arm to protect your homes and your fire sides. Around this banner, should your country call you to the field, make you rally, and when once the glittering steel has left its scabbard, drawn in defence of trampled rights, let it never return again to rest till success shall crown your arms with victory and the olive branch of peace return again to our peaceful vallies.
Essex Gazette, 14 July 1832, 3.

1839 Mrs. Elijah Boyden of Marlborough, New Hampshire


The ladies of Marlborough having procured a military standard for the Marlborough Cadet Company, deemed the 4th instant [1839] an appropriate day for the presentment. For this purpose the company paraded on that day, under the command of Capt. N. Converse, and proceeded to the grounds of the house of Charles Holman, Jr., where the ladies were assembled. At 11 o'clock, A.M. the standard was presented to the company by Mrs. Elijah Boyden, with the following address:  Cadets,-- The ladies of Marlborough have procured this standard, which they have directed me to present to your company. One motive we have in making you a present of this military ensign, is to testify our respect for the company, and our approbation of the gentlemanly and soldierlike conduct of the members since its organization. But we are prompted to this act by another, a higher, and as we think, a nobler motive. As women, we appreciate the high privileges we enjoy in this happy, this blessed country. When we contrast our own condition with that of our sex in some other parts of the world at the present day; when we reflect that by the institutions and laws of this country, our rights and privileges are duly protected, and that woman rises to her proper elevation in society, --we cannot but feel gratitude to God, and the soldiers of freedom, for the high privileges conferred upon us. Upon you, Cadets, devolves the duty, in part, of defending the country from foreign aggession, and its institutions and laws from the perils of domestic insurrection. Accept this standard, and let it at all times incite you to the conduct of good citizens and good soldiers.  "Proceedings at Marlborough on the Fourth," New Hampshire Sentinel, 17 July 1839, 1.


1853 Catharine Sinclair of California


Another flag presentation by a woman occurred in California on July 4, 1853, when Mrs. Catharine Sinclair presented a banner, accompanied by a speech, to the First California Battalion. Mrs. Sinclair said to the militia assembled in the outdoor heat:  I tender you this flag. It tolls of the energy and sublime courage of the men who established your independence. . . .Take it from the hands of a woman. Be true to it and to the principles it represents, and all women will bless you. Take it, not only of the flag of California, but as the flag of the Union --as the flag of Mankind! Daily Alta California, 6 July 1853, 2.


For much, much more on July 4th celebrations, see
The Fourth of July Encyclopedia by James R. Heintze (2007)
Music of the Fourth of July: A Year-by-year Chronicle of Performances and Works Composed for the Occasion, by James R. Heintze (2009)