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https://glenmazza.net/blog/date/20110704 Monday July 04, 2011

Detroit's 1826 Independence Day celebration

From the Detroit Gazette, July 11, 1826, page 2:

The manner in which the 50th anniversary of the Nation's Independence was celebrated in this city reflects the highest honor upon the patriotism of its citizens.

The dawn of the Jubilee was welcomed by the national salute of 24 guns. At about ten o'clock the citizens repaired to the Protestant Church, where proper religious exercises were perfomed and a sermon, replete with excellent and appropriate sentiments, was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Wells, from the 17th Psalm--"Praise ye the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord."

After the exercises at the Church were terminated, the citizens repaired to the Council House, were a procession was formed, agreeably to the order of the day heretofore published. Many of the officers of the militia were in handsome uniforms--Capt. Cook's company of dragoons were also in their appropriate dress; and added much to the appearance of the procession. Among those who took their place in the procession, were the Hon. JOHN TRUMBULL, known throught the Union for his learning, and for his patriotic writings during our revolutionary struggle--and the Hon. JAMES WITHERELL, Maj. THOMPSON MAXWELL, and Col. STEPHEN MACK, all veteran "continentals." The appearance of the Detroit Mechanic Society, each member of which wore an appropriate badge upon his left breast, was creditable to the association.

The procession having been formed, it proceeded, accompanied with martial music, down Randolph Street to Woodbridge Street and down the latter to Woodward Avenue--it then proceeded to the Presbyterian Church, which was soon filled to overflowing. The exercises in the Church were conformable to the arrangements published last week. The Throne of Grace was first addressed by the Rev. Mr. Wells, who, though fatigued with the exertions of the morning, and in ill health, effectually directed the thoughts of his audience to that Great Source, from whence flows all our blessings and privileges as a nation. The Declaration of Independence was read by Col. H.J. Hunt, who introduced it by some brief and truly appropriate and patriotic remarks. It was not read for the purpose of exciting hatred, or keeping alive animosities, which were created by the most overbearing and despotic measures of a powerful government, against a weak yet brave people, who had endured almost every suffering in the catalogue of human misery, to obtain a comparative liberty--but it was annually referred to, as the best compendium of those wrongs which authorized and urged our fathers to hold the people of Great Britain as they held the rest of the world, "enemies in war, in peace friends."

The Oration was read by A.G. Whitney, Esq. It was from the pen of the venerable author of "M'Fingal", and was such as might be expected from a writer, who in "the times that tried men's souls," was held in as great dread by the Tories and enemies of our independence, as were Morgan's rifle-men, or the Virginia dragoons.

After the reading of the oration, the Rev. William Simmons addressed the Throne of Grace, and the exercises closed with an Anthem. Appropriate Psalms had been selected for the occasion, and they were sung, by the choir, under the direction of Mr. E. P. Hastings, with correctness and taste.

The committee of arrangements deserve praise for the elegant manner in which the church was decorated.

After leaving the church the procession was again formed, and proceeded to the Hotel of Capt. Woodworth, who had prepared a bountiful dinner, in the large new store-house of Mr. A. Berthelet. At three o'clock, those citizens who wished to partake of the dinner, together with the Mechanics' Society, the whole amounting to nearly two hundred, moved in procession to the store house and took their seats at the table--John P. Sheldon presiding, assisted by Col. H.J. Hunt, as vice-president.

Posted by Glen Mazza in Other at 07:00AM Jul 04, 2011 | Comments[0]

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