Anniversary of American Independence

Independent Gazetteer

Philadelphia, PA

July 08, 1795

The birth day of American liberty was celebrated in this City with a funeral solemnity. It appeared more like the internment of freedom than the anniversary of its birth. The countenances of the citizens generally appeared dejected, and the joy and festivity, which usually characterized the day seemed to superseded by sadness. It appeared more like a day of mourning than that of rejoicing. The day was closed by the exhibition of a transparent painting with the figure of John Jay upon it. The figure was in full stature, dressed in a robe, holding in his right hand a pair of scales, containing in one scale “American liberty and independence,” kicking the beam, in the other, “British gold” in extreme preponderance; in his left hand a Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation which he extended to a group of senators, who were grinning with pleasure and grasping at the Treaty. From the mouth of the figure issued these words contained in a label “Come up to my price and I will sell you my Country.” The procession began in Kensington and moved with great solemnity down Front Street to Callowhill Street, and down Second to Market Street from thence to Front Street and back again to Kensington. A great concourse of people attended the procession, and scarcely a whisper was heard until its return, when the shouts of repeated huzzas interrupted the solemnity of the scene. The figure was burned at Kensignton amid the acclamation of hundreds of citizens. Never was a procession more peaceably conducted, no noise, no riot. The citizens seemed to vie with each other in decorous behaviour. Thus ended the procession, and thus terminated the anniversary of American independence.

Philadelphia, July 6 1795.

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