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44 Independence Day Orations from Early National Massachusetts 1801-1820

This collection of pamphlets includes patriotic orations delivered on July 4th between 1801 and 1820 in various Massachusetts cities and towns. Many of the speakers were attorneys, and many held political office or would do so later in their careers. Other speakers were ministers, physicians, or merchants.

The Fourth of July oration was a key part of nineteenth-century American life. Delivered by one of the most respected members of the community on the most important national holiday, the Fourth of July oration “clarified and maintained American national values.” Edward Everett, a master of nineteenth-century oratory, declared in an 1833 Fourth of July speech that the purpose of the day and especially of the oration was “to lead the minds of those, whom I have had the honor to address, to those common topics of grateful recollection, which unite the patriotic feelings of every American.”

Orations often dwelt on the virtues of George Washington, the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and America’s manifest destiny. Many also discussed current issues and called hearers to emulate the virtues evident in America’s revolutionary generation.

INDEPENDENCE DAY, Archive of 44 Orations, 1801-1820, most 1803-1814. Most have general toning; some have foxing, edge tears, and residue from previous binding. There are five duplicates.

Contents:

• Abraham Holmes, An Oration, Pronounced at the Meeting House in the First Precinct in Rochester; on the Fourth Day of July, 1801. New Bedford, MA: Abraham Shearman Jr., 1801. 16 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.75ʺ.

• Isaac Story, An Oration on the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America, Pronounced at Worcester, July 4, 1801. Worcester, MA: Isaiah Thomas Jr., 1801. 32 pp., 6ʺ x 9.5ʺ.
Isaac Story (1749-1816) was minister of the Second Congregational Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts, from 1771 to 1802.

• Nathanael Emmons, A Discourse Delivered, July 5, 1802. In Commemoration of American Independence. Wrentham, MA: Nathaniel Heaton Jr., 1802. 24 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.25ʺ.
Nathanael Emmons (1745-1840) was an American Congregational minister, graduate of Yale, and influential theologian of the New Divinity school. He was minister of the Second Church in Franklin, Massachusetts, from 1773 to 1827.

• Jonathan Grout, An Oration, Delivered in Heath, on the Anniversary of American Independence, July the 4th, 1803. Greenfield, MA: John Denio, 1803. 18 pp., 5ʺ x 8.125ʺ.
Jonathan Grout (1737-1807) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts from 1789 to 1791, and he built the first optical telegraph in the United States, connecting Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.

• William Sullivan, An Oration, Pronounced July 4th, 1803, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: Gilbert and Dean, 1803. 24 pp. + covers, 5.75ʺ x 9.25ʺ.

• Benjamin Whitman, An Oration, Pronounced at Hanover, Massachusetts, on the Anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1803. Boston: David Carlisle, 1803. 24 pp., 5ʺ x 8.25ʺ. (2 copies)

• Thomas Danforth, An Oration, Pronounced July 4, 1804, at the Request of the Selectmen of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence, 2d ed. Boston: Russell and Cutler, 1804. 24 pp. + covers, 5.75ʺ x 9.25ʺ.

• Ebenezer Belknap Morse, An Oration, Pronounced at Westborough, (Mass.) On July 4th, 1804. In Commemoration of American Independence. Worcester: Sewall Goodridge, 1804. 12 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.5ʺ.
Ebenezer Belknap Morse (1783-1824) graduated from Dartmouth and read law in Worcester, Massachusetts. He became a tragedian on the stage and then served as a chaplain with the Navy in the War of 1812. After the war, he was a professor at a college in North Carolina and a clergyman.

• Hector Orr, An Oration, Pronounced at Bridgewater, July 4, 1804, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: Gilbert & Dean, 1804. 20 pp., 5ʺ x 7.75ʺ.
Hector Orr (1770-1855) graduated from Harvard in 1792, studied medicine, and practiced as a physician for nearly sixty years.

• Samuel Taggart, An Oration Delivered at Conway, July 4, 1804, Being the Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. Northampton, MA: William Butler, 1804. 32 pp., 5ʺ x 8.125ʺ.
Samuel Taggart (1754-1825) was a graduate of Dartmouth College, a Presbyterian minister, and a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1803 to 1817.

• Isaac C. Bates, An Oration Pronounced at Northampton, July 4, 1805. The Twenty Ninth Anniversary of American Independence: At the Request of the Committee of Arrangement. Northampton: Thomas M. Pomroy, 1805. 30 pp., 5ʺ x 8ʺ.
Isaac C. Bates (1779-1845) graduated from Yale College in 1802, practiced law, and served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1808-1809), the U.S. House of Representatives (1827-1835), and the U.S. Senate (1841-1845).

• Warren Dutton, An Oration, Pronounced July 4, 1805, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of American Independence. Boston: A. Newell, 1805. 16 pp. + covers, 6ʺ x 9.25ʺ.

• Ichabod Nichols, An Oration Delivered on the Fourth of July, 1805, at the North Meeting House in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem, MA: Joshua Cushing, 1805. 24 pp., 5.125ʺ x 8.5ʺ. (2 copies)
Ichabod Nichols (1784-1859) graduated from Harvard College in 1802, and served as pastor of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Maine, from 1814 to 1855.

• Elijah Paris, An Oration, Delivered, at the Request of the Officers, before the First Regiment in the Second Brigade of the Second Division of Militia in the Commonwealth, at Byfield, July 4th, 1805. Salem, MA: Joshua Cushing, 1805. 24 pp., 5ʺ x 8ʺ.
Elijah Parish (1762-1825) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1785 and served as minister in Byfield parish in Massachusetts from 1787 to 1825.

• Aaron Hall Putnam, An Oration, Pronounced July 4, 1805, at the Request of the Federal Republicans of the Town of Charlestown, at the Anniversary Commemoration of American Independence. Charlestown, MA: Samuel Etheridge, 1805. 20 pp., 5.5ʺ x 8.75ʺ.

• Zabdiel Sampson, American Independence. An Oration, Pronounced at New-Bedford, July 4, 1806. Boston: Chronicle Office, 1806. 16 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.5ʺ.
Zabdiel Sampson (1781-1828) graduated from Brown University in 1803, gained admission to the bar in 1806, practiced law in Massachusetts, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1817 to 1820. He was a close friend of Daniel Webster.

• Samuel Swett, An Address Delivered at Salem, July 4, 1806, on a Military Celebration of the Day by the Brigade & Regimental Officers, Late Commissioned Officers, & Three Independent Companies. At the Request of the Officers. Boston: Oliver & Munroe, 1806. 20 pp., 5.5ʺ x 8.25ʺ.
Samuel Swett (1774-1853) was a merchant in Boston and Dedham, and helped to develop the merchant marine in Boston.

• John M. Williams, An Oration, Pronounced at New Bedford, July 4th, 1806. Boston: Emerald Office, 1806. 16 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.5ʺ.

• Samuel Dana, An Oration, Pronounced at Groton, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the Fourth of July, A.D. 1807, in Commemoration of the Independence of the United States of America, before the Republican Citizens of the Town of Groton, and the Vicinity; but Principally the Inhabitants of the Towns of Chelmsford, Dunstable, Littleton, Lunenburg, Westford, Harvard, Townsend, Shirley, Pepperell, Ashby and Boxborough. Amherst, NH: Joseph Cushing, 1807. 20 pp., 5.75ʺ x 8.75ʺ.
Samuel Dana (1767-1835) was admitted to the bar in 1789 and served in both houses of the Massachusetts General Court at various times between 1803 and 1827, including twice as president of the Massachusetts Senate. He also served for six months in Congress from 1814 to 1815.

• Reuben D. Mussey, An Oration, Together with an Address to the Ipswich Light Infantry, Pronounced in the Second Parish at Ipswich, (Mass.) on the Anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1807. Salem, MA: Joshua Cushing, 1807. 24 pp., 5.5ʺ x 9.125ʺ.
Reuben D. Mussey (1780-1866) studied at Dartmouth College and received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1809. He was a professor at several medical schools in New England and Ohio. He was also an early advocate of vegetarianism and abstained from alcohol and tobacco.

• James Richardson, An Oration, on the Principles of Liberty and Independence. Pronounced July 4—1808. At the Request of a Number of the Inhabitants of the Town of Dedham and Its Vicinity. In Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Dedham: Herman Mann, 1808. 16 pp., 5.5ʺ x 8.875ʺ.

• William Charles White, An Oration, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence Delivered in Boston July 4th, 1809, at the Request of the Bunker-Hill Association. Boston: J. Belcher, 1809. 20 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.5ʺ.
William Charles White (1777-1818) was an early dramatic actor and attorney, who delivered several Fourth of July orations in Rutland, Vermont, and other towns, including Boston in 1809.

• William Tudor Jr., An Oration July 4, 1809, at the Request of the Selectmen of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: Joshua Belcher, 1809. 24 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.25ʺ.
William Tudor Jr. (1779-1830) graduated from Harvard in 1796, served in the Massachusetts state legislature, and served as the first editor of the North American Review (1815-1817). He later served as a diplomat in Peru and Brazil.

• Selleck Osborn, An Oration, Commemorative of American Independence, Delivered to a Republican Audience at New Bedford Mass. July Fourth, 1810. New Bedford, MA: Lemuel Child Jr., 1810. 24 pp., 5.125ʺ x 8.25ʺ.
Selleck Osborn (1783-1826) was a printer and newspaper editor in Connecticut, Vermont, and Delaware.

• Reuben Puffer, A Discourse, Delivered at Berlin, July 4, 1810, on the Anniversary of American Independence. Leominster, MA: Salmon Wilder, 1810. 16 pp., 5.75ʺ x 10ʺ.
Reuben Puffer (1756-1829) was a minister in Berlin, Massachusetts, from 1781 to 1829.

• Joseph E. Sprague, An Oration Delivered at Salem, on the Fourth of July, 1810. Salem, MA: Pool and Palfray, 1810. 24 pp., 5.125ʺ x 8.5ʺ.
Joseph E. Sprague (1782-1852) was a U.S. Marshal, postmaster in Salem, state senator and representative, high sheriff of Essex County, and governor’s councilor.

• Jonathan Strong, An Oration, Pronounced July 4, 1810, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the Town of Randolph, In Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Dedham, MA: Herman Mann, 1810. 26 pp., 5.25ʺ x 9ʺ.

• Alexander Townsend, Oration, Delivered July the Fourth, 1810, at the Request of the Selectmen of Boston, on the Feelings, Manners, and Principles, that Produced American Independence. Boston: John Eliot Jr., 1810. 28 pp., 5ʺ x 8ʺ.

• James Savage, An Oration Delivered July 4, 1811, at the Request of the Selectmen of Boston, in Commemoration of American Independence. Boston: John Eliot Jr., 1811. 22 pp., 5ʺ x 8.5ʺ. (2 copies)
James Savage (1784-1873) graduated from Harvard in 1803, became a banker, and wrote a Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England in 4 volumes (1860-1864). He was one of the founders of the Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston, established in 1816 as the first chartered savings bank in the United States. He also helped his son-in-law, William Barton Rogers, establish the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

• Francis Blake, An Oration, Pronounced at Worcester, (Mass.) on the Thirty-sixth Anniversary of American Independence, July 4, 1812. Worcester, MA: Isaac Sturtevant, 1812. 36 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.5ʺ.
Francis Blake (1774-1817) graduated from Harvard College in 1789 and became a prominent attorney in Worcester, Massachusetts.

• John Pitman Jr., An Oration, Pronounced July 4th, 1812, at the Request of the Republicans of the Town of Salem, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Salem, MA: Warwick Palfray Jr., 1812. 24 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.5ʺ.
John Pitman Jr. (1785-1863) was U.S. District Judge in Providence, Rhode Island, from 1824 until his death.

• Timothy Fuller, An Oration Pronounced at Lexington, Massachusetts, on the Fourth of July, A.D. 1814, by Request of the Republican Citizens of Middlesex County, Being the Thirty-eighth Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: Rowe & Hooper, 1814. 24 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9ʺ.
Timothy Fuller (1778-1835) graduated from Harvard in 1801, began a law practice, and served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the Massachusetts Senate (1813-1816), and the U.S. House of Representatives (1817-1825). He was the father of early feminist Margaret Fuller and Unitarian minister Arthur Buckminster Fuller, whose grandson was futurist Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983).

• Benjamin Whitwell, An Oration Pronounced July 4, 1814, at the Request of the Selectmen of the Town of Boston, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: Charles Callender, 1814. 20 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.5ʺ.

• Daniel Dana, A Discourse Delivered at Newburyport, July 4, 1814, in Commemoration of American Independence, and of the Deliverance of Europe. Newburyport: William B. Allen & Co., 1814. 20 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9ʺ. (2 copies)
Daniel Dana (1771-1859) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1788, was a minister in Newburyport, Massachusetts (1794-1820, 1826-1845), and served as president of Dartmouth in 1820-1821.

• James T. Austin, An Oration, Pronounced at Lexington, Mass. In Commemoration of the Independence of the United States of America, and the Restoration of Peace. 4th July 1815. Boston: Rowe and Hooper, 1815. 24 pp., 6ʺ x 9.25ʺ. (2 copies)
James T. Austin (1784-1870) was an attorney in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, and served as the Massachusetts Attorney General from 1832 to 1843.

• John Davis, An Oration, Pronounced at Worcester, (Mass.) on the Fortieth Anniversary of American Independence. Worcester: William Manning, 1816. 24 pp., 5.5ʺ x 9.25ʺ.
John Davis (1787-1854) was an attorney, businessman, and politician, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1825-1834), the U.S. Senate (1835-1841, 1845-1853), and as Governor of Massachusetts (1834-1835, 1841-1843).

• Daniel Knight, An Oration, Pronounced at Charlton, (Mass.) on the Forty-third Anniversary of American Independence. Worcester, MA: William Manning, 1819. 20 pp., 5.75ʺ x 9.25ʺ.

• Thomas P. Beal, An Oration, Delivered July 4, 1820, at the Request of the Inhabitants of the North Parish of Scituate, in Commemoration of the Anniversary of American Independence. Boston: True and Weston, 1820. 16 pp., 5.125ʺ x 8.5ʺ.

• Theodore Lyman Jr., An Oration Delivered at the Request of the Selectmen of the Town of Boston, on the Anniversary of American Independence, in the Year 1820. Boston: J. T. Buckingham, 1820. 20 pp., 5.25ʺ x 8.375ʺ.
Theodore Lyman Jr. (1792-1849) was a newspaper publisher in Boston. In 1828, Daniel Webster famously had Lyman indicted for libel for declaring that Webster had attempted to break up the Union in 1808. The jury failed to agree, and the state dropped the case. Lyman went on to serve as mayor of Boston in 1834-1835.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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