July The Fourth Celebrations

The American Farmers---

May they enjoy the rewards of their labor in abundant harvests, flowing vintage, full granaries, crowded barns, large dairies, teeming fields, lusty bullocks, glutted stalls, stout horses, fine fleeces, fat hogs, great potatoes, huge pumpkins, a good market, fair prices, no cheating---no visits by the worm, the fly, the grasshopper, the mildew, by early frosts, by direct taxes, by needless subscriptions, by sheriffs or constables---and beware of being over reached by merchants, wheedled by lawyers, cajoled by butchers, swindled by gamblers, beset by pick-pockets, dunned by tavern keepers, coaxed by jilts, or deceived by one another!

Stephen Greenleaf's July 4, 1821 Independence Day toast.

Alden Spooner copied this toast into his Journal on July 23, 1821.





Colonel Paul Chase

Proprietor, Chase's Stage House

The following incident is an illustration of the drinking habits of many, formerly, at fourth of July celebrations, and which took place some time ago, when Col. C____ kept what is now the Brattleboro House in this village. A rather prominent resident of the place, on the occasion referred to, had, with many others, imbibed rather too freely, and had become so "obfuscated" that he did not find readily his own home, and at last called on the Colonel, and requested lodgings for the night. "No," said the Colonel peremptorily, "you are too drunk to stay here to-night." "Where shall I or where can I go," stammered the other, desparingly. "Sleep out of doors for what I care," said the Colonel, pettishly. "Look here, Col. C____(still stammering) I must stay here, or no where, for the gutters are all full." Suffice it to say the fact was conclusive, and the beneficent Colonel gave him a good bed.

Vermont Record, March 13, 1866.

This notice is signed "Cor." for "Correspondent".


Independence Day 1845.

Was a proud day for Brattleboro, as well as for Windham County. The day previous had been exceedingly rainy, and fears were entertained that the Fourth would prove a failure. But a kind Providence prepared the way for one of the most glorious anniversaries of our Independence it was ever our fortune to attend. The weather cleared off the previous evening, and when the thunders of the morning gun awoke us from our slumbers, we leaped into the open air, and rejoiced in the fresh and balmy morning, which we felt assured would be succeeded by just such a day as the most devout worshiper at his country's shrine could have wished.

During the early part of the day our streets were enlivened by the constant arrival of the people who poured in from the country, from every quarter. At about 10 1-2, A.M., the procession formed under the escort of the Putney Light Infantry and Capt. Lord's Brattleboro Infantry, and having marched through our principal streets to the delightful music of the Shelburne Falls Brass Band, proceeded to Col. Goodhue's grove, where something like four thousand listened to an excellent Oration from Charles Devens, Esq. of Greenfield, Mass. After listening to the reading of the Declaration of Independence by C. I. Walker, Esq., a few national airs by the Brattleboro Glee Club, some three or four hundred of citizens repaired to "Wantastiquet Hall," to partake of a sumptuous dinner prepared by Capt. Lord, of the Vermont House. Here we enjoyed one of the most interesting scenes of our whole life. Among the guests were thirteen Revolutionary Soldiers, who seemed to enter into the spirit of the occasion with all the ardor and buoyancy of youth. As J. D. Bradley, Esq., in his remarks called for by the toast to the survivors of the Revolution, recited the names of the venerable thirteen, they seemed carried back in imagination to the scenes of the Revolution, and exclaimed "here," as if they were in the midst of the roll-call. But this interesting part of the ceremony will be found more in detail among the regular toasts. The enjoyment at the dinner tables was much enhanced by the excellent music of the Shelburne Band and Brattleboro Glee Club. Taking all into consideration, the general good order and quiet, the oration, and other well performed ceremonies---the fine music--the absence of any serious accident---the loveliness of the day---the concert jointly given in the evening by the Band and Glee Club, and the general prevalence of the cool, sparkling water,---all conspired to render it one of the happiest days we ever enjoyed. May the time be very far distant when such celebrations of our national Independence shall be done away with. Although such scenes are more or less liable to accidents, still, much good may, and ought to be derived from them. What youthful bosom would not be warmed with patriotism to see the venerable soldiers of the Revolution bathed in tears at the recital of Revolutionary deeds. The toasts, regular and voluntary, we give in the following order, being that in which they were given at the tables:---

Regular Toasts.

1st. The day we celebrate.

2d. Washington---Time takes no greenness from his laurels---no lustre from the virtues---no greatness from his character.

3d. The departed Heroes of the Revolution---Their heroic achievements and manly virtues are recorded on the brightest, proudest pages of the world's history. May we emulate their deeds and imitate their virtues.

4th. The President of the United States.

5th. The Governor of the State of Vermont.

6th. The Ex-Presidents---They present an array of names whose memories will be fondly cherished amongst the great heroes and statesmen of the age.

7th. The surviving Heroes of the Revolution---Long may they live partakers of the blessings they themselves have secured, and recipients of nation's gratitude.

On the reading of this sentiment in honor of the survivors of the Revolution, Mr Bradley remarked on the rapid approach of the day when no such survivors would be present among us, and when such a toast would be no longer uttered. He said the time was coming, and was at hand, when the places where they lived, the fields where they fought, and the graves where the last of them were buried, would be visited as sacred ground by a new generation of men who have never taken them by the hand as we are permitted to do to-day: that our children will visit the obelisk at Bunker's Hill, and trace in the turf at its base the vestiges of that sacred redoubt, without ever seeing, as we are allowed to see, the venerable remnant of its occupants. Thirteen of the soldiers of that war are now sitting at our board. There is hardly a hope, certainly there is not a probability, that we shall ever again sit down with so large a platoon of that honored old army. The main body have marched, and have disappeared one by one from our sight as they passed the dark and mysterious boundary. It is only the rear-guard that lingers with us. Allow me, Mr President, to name first the one of their number who was first in the field, Thomas Akley, fresh from Lexington! (here Mr. Akley instinctively responded "Here!) he is 90 years of age---and 70 years ago this spring he answered as promptly to the Lexington roll call as he has done here to-day.

Ephraim Rice, of Wardsboro. ("Here.") He comes as the delegate from Saratoga. He was also at the siege of Boston. He says that while some works were in progress at Lechmere Point, Gen. Washington rode near where he was on duty and requested a soldier to place a few neglected sods in their proper place. "Sir, I am an officer," was the reply. "I beg your pardon," said the General, "what is your office?" "I am a corporal."---Washington dismounted, adjusted the turf with his own hands, and rode along the line.

Mr President, here is Boomer Jenks, of Marlboro. (Here.) He passed the night of his 16th birth day in standing sentinel under Gen. Sullivan in Rhode Island. He is now 84 years of age.

Benjamin Metcalf of Guilford. (Here.) He was at Cambridge, and at the retreat from Long Island, and two campaigns at West Point.

Benijah Dudley, of Brattleboro. (Here.) He comes as the representative of White Plains. He is 83 years of age.

Elijah Brown, of Dummerston. (Here.) He comes from Cambridge and Saratoga. He has numbered 86 winters.

Amos Thomas, of Chesterfield, who bears his eighty years in so hale and hearty a manner, protests that he has no right to sit among the other 12, that he was not in actual service--but he says he ferried Gen. Stark with his men across the Connecticut on their way to Bennington.

John Holden says he was not in active service, but was enlisted as a minute man during the latter part of the war.

John Harris, of Halifax, served at New London. He is in his eightieth summer.

Ellis Guffin of Dummerston, and Archelaus Deaf, both served under Gen. Sullivan on Rhode Island. The one is 85 and the other 83 years of age.

Stephen Greenleaf has been for half a century the recorder of deeds in Brattleboro, and for some previous years was the doer of deeds at Saratoga.

Calvin Munn, of Dummerston, last not least, is finishing up his 85th year. He was one of Lafayette's infantry. He was at Brandywine, at Monmouth, at Trenton, and at several other fields, but I especially name him last because he was at the closing scene at York Town.

8th. The Army and Navy---While the spirit of their early heroes governs them. The star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

9th. The Orator of the day.

10th. The Union---The glorious result of our fathers' patriotic sacrifices. May their children's recklessness never endanger its dear-bought blessings.

11th. The Clergy---In the hour of our country's danger their patriotism, elevated and purified by a humble, practical piety, shone brightly forth and greatly aided in the achievement of our country's Independence.

12th. Common Schools---The conservatories of popular liberty. The thorough moral and intellectual education of the people---the whole people---is the surest guaranty of the perpetuity of our free institutions.

13th. The cause of Universal Freedom---May its progress be rapidly onward, until the principles asserted by our Declaration of Independence shall be every where adopted, and the blessings of free institutions be extended to all nations.

Volunteer Toasts.

By the Orator of the day. The State of Vermont---Twice has she vindicated her Independence by the sword. Should need be, a third war will find her ready.

By Dr. W. H. Rockwell. The surviving Soldiers of the Revolution---May the evening of their days be as serene and tranquil, as the meridian was heroic, bright, and glorious.

By Elihu Field, Esq. Texas---May she wisely accede to proposals made her by Mexico, and thereby secure her national existence and independence, preferring the rat's nose to the lion's tail.

By John Harris, a Revolutionary Soldier.---May the sons of the Revolutionary soldiers preserve inviolate those liberties and immunities which their fathers suffered so many hardships and dangers to obtain. May they be united, temperate, and industrious, And each of them have a good wife, And enjoy all the comforts of life.

By W. S. George, Lowell, Mass. Green Mountain Boys---Although called "green-ies by white-livered cits, who could beat them at drubbing the red-coats black and blue.

Rev. J. H. Morrison being called upon for a sentiment, said: Having for a few weeks past enjoyed the free hospitalities of the place, I would propose as a sentiment---The Green Mountain homes; of which it cannot be said that the stranger is not allowed to intermeddle with their joys.

By Hon. Samuel Clark. Our country---our whole countryWhether Polk, or Clay, or Webster or Calhoun be its chief,---still, our country, our whole country.

By _____Mason, Esq. of Templeton, Mass. The Soldiers of the Revolution, both the deceased and the survivors---May they long live in our hearts and affections, who in war and in peace, in every walk of duty, have always whenever their names were called, answered "Here."

By Arthur Devens, Esq. of Northfield, Mass.---The Green Mountain Boys---A title acquired by the bravery of their ancestry. May their descendants in the performance of their duty to the country, the constitution, and their own consciences, preserve its renown.

By Maj. Stephen Greenleaf. Our whole country, without addition or subtraction---May it never be severed by sedition, or lawless scrambles for power and plunder; never rent by schisms of Church or State, or oppressed by civil or religious landlords; never betrayed by Traitors, a Judas or an Arnold, nor duped by Papal influence at the Polls, or Jesuitical intrigue at the Ballot Box.

By Calvin Munn, a Revolutionary Soldier. The Whigs of the American Revolution---They emancipated the nation from the Government of Great Britain, and we trust that the Whigs of the present generation will rescue this country from foreign and domestic foes.

By Watson Crosby. On this fine and pleasant weather, The Whigs and Locos meet together, As no one has a right to boast, We'll all unite and give a toast.

By P. R. Chandler, of Putney. The Young Men of our common country---May they at all times be deeply imbued with the spirit of '76.

By Thomas Hale, Esq. The Green Mountain Pioneers---Bennington, Saratoga, Plattsburg, and Champlain have drunk their blood. May this return of our national birth-day fire with new patriotism the breasts of their descendants.

By Dr. Brown. The Ladies of Brattleboro, married and single---Worthy and fair security for hospitality and beauty.

By J. Greenleaf, Esq. Let this be our motto, my countrymen all, "United we stand, but divided we fall," And let not political rancor, or hate, The love of our country to cool or abate; But as just alike we cannot all see, In amity, therefore, let us disagree.

By the Orator of the day. The County of Windham---Worthy to bear the name of the most accomplished gentleman, and most honorable statesman of his time.

Col. Russell Hyde, of Bellows Falls, gave a toast complimentary to Brattleboro and its hospitality.

In response, Dr. F. J. Higginson said that gentlemen were greatly indebted to Capt. Lord for the reception with which they had met, and gave, Our Host, Capt. Lord---We only want his example at the head of the table to make us eat and grow fat.

There was also several toasts that have not been handed in to us, some complimentary to the Glee Club, the Bands, the Militia, &c.

Vermont Phoenix, July 11, 1845.


Our Revolutionary Pensioners.

Daniel Read, Asa Wheelock, Eph'm. Rice, Gideon Brimhall, Nath'l Chamberlain, Daniel Harris, Thomas Bogle, Edward Walker, Samuel Kenney.

An interesting reminiscence of an event which occurred while that portion of the army under the command of Gen. Washington was encamped in the State of New Jersey, in 1778, from the mouth of two of the above witnesses, and communicated verbally to the writer, was as follows:

An order had been given to build a breast-work within the lines, and a squad of men detailed to perform that service under the charge of a corporal who felt the grave responsibility of the position which had been assigned him, but who knew not Gen. Washington personally. As the work was nearing completion, the General attended by his staff officers came to inspect it, and perceiving the need of some more pieces of turf to round off the breast-work, spoke to the corporal to lay it, to which he indignantly replied that he was a corporal and did not lay turf. Without uttering a word in reply the General removed his gloves and laid on the turf and passed along the line. Many of the soldiers of the party knew the General and before he was out of their sight three rousing cheers and "a tiger" were given for the general, and the corporal was from that time, made the scorn and derision of the army, as he deserved to be.

Dr. John P. Warren,

His manuscript.

Ephraim Rice was born in Petersham, Massachusetts on April 10, 1758, the son of Amos and Martha. About 1782 he moved to Dummerston for three years. Ephraim then moved to Brattleboro, where his brother Jonas and his sister Marcy wife of Asa French lived. Ephraim Rice died in Wardsboro on August 21, 1848, aged ninety. His wife was Betsey Maynard, who lived to see Ephraim Rice honored in 1845.


Independence Day Parade.

Saturday was observed in this village as a holiday. On account of sickness among some of the citizens living on Main street our village fathers thought best to issue notices restraining the youthful fire of our Young America, and hence the day was more quiet than usual in so large a place as this. For some years there has been no celebration in town, and on Tuesday evening a few of the members of the Estey Guard and Fuller battery got together and decided to honor the day in a manner peculiar to the methods of the Antiques and Horribles. Although the time was very short, a procession was arranged which for variety, the number of persons engaged, ability displayed in arranging the various burlesques, and costumes, is rarely equalled in our large cities, and so far as our knowledge goes, never surpassed in any country town. The procession was formed on Frost's meadow and after various maneuverings was put en route about 8 o'clock passing up Main, Walnut, Terrace, Chase, Oak, High, Green, Elliott, Birge, Canal and Flat streets, and back to the meadows where, after a dress (or undress) parade, it was dismissed. Col. F. was Boss Showman, and spread around quite freely for a Chief Marshall. Maj. P. rode a ponderous horse decorated with immense tin spectacles, on one end and a bundle of hay at the other. To say that as a Drum Major he was a decided success would be to convey a faint idea of his attractive appearance. The band was of the Calthumpian order and fully up in modern music. Our young C. had quite an elephant on his hands in his cow bell organ. The Police force were mounted on fiery chargers and to prevent doing any harm rode single file. Lieut. H. certainly had great success in commanding the Mulligan guards. This corps was so extensive that we cannot give a full description, suffice it to say that every organization that ever run and refused to fight was well represented and the costumes were of the highest order of merit. Lieut. B. brought out the ancient and modern artillery with terrible effect. Lieut. P. had as good Cavalry as Falstaff ever had the honor to command,---as for horse flesh there were a great many sharp points exhibited that would have brought tears to Bergh's eyes. Lieut. S. had the Horse Marines all to himself. The Yale Glee Club was the attractive feature to many of our young ladies, the singing was splendid, especially the bray of the donkey. After the procession was over they were invited to ride through the grounds of the asylum and "while dull care away" to the inmates of that retreat. The International Rifle club was commanded by Sergt. M., whose best shot was a whisky jug painted on their banner. Of course the Brooklyn people were well represented. U. as Mrs. T. was very enticing in looks and manners. Our mutual friend was backed up by a whisky barrel and cared very little whether the jury in a crockery crate agreed or not. The good results of Bunker Hill were well represented, for the white and black dwelt together in harmony. The 1846 beginning of Estey organs and pumps was a unique affair---the Early days were very suggestive in old hand-organs, accordions, elbow melodeons and the like---while the 1875 reality was well in contrast by the young gentleman with four in hand. Our American Modocs were out in full force and we think if the Indian commission desire to impress congress, they had better send to our friend M., for a delegation. Time and space do not permit full justice to the fire department, locomotive under full steam, our merchants who were so desirous of securing a loan of 50 cents, the sovereigns, grangers, printers, horsejockies, and a hundred other representations of the first water. The procession was our biggest effort and created a great deal of disappointment in that it could not be longer enjoyed.

Vermont Record And Farmer, July 9, 1875.


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