Published on the 7th of July in 1854 in the Delaware State Reporter out of Dover, DE
Fourth of July Celebrations
THE FOURTH IN DOVER was duly observed, but in a very quiet manner. Nearly all the stores and other places of business were closed, while the younger, and some few of the older portion of our citizens escaped the intense heat and dust of the day by leaving town, and seeking pleasure at the two famous watering places, MCILAVINE’S and BECKETT’S Beaches, or in going in other directions, where they pleasantly whiled away the few leisure hours the occasion afforded them. Though little patriotism was evinced, yet the observance of fatal accidents, and we are saved the pain of such a record.
In Smyrna, the celebration of the day was ushered in by loud peals of the bell from the church at sunrise. Stores and workshops closed. A precession of citizens on horse and foot, accompanied by a band of music from Philadelphia, paraded through the principal streets, and at length halted in School-House yard, District No. 3, where the creators of the day were presented, and the exercises commenced and continued for several hours in a truly patriotic spirit. Among the speakers were Dr. Wm. CUMMINS, of Smyrna, JAS. BOOM, Esq., of New Castle, Mr. THOS. M. MARTIN, of Newark, Mr. BENJ. T. BIGGS, of Summit’s Bridge, and Rev. S.T. CARPENTER, of the P.E. Church, Smyrna. The Declaration of Independence was read by Mr. THOMAS L. POULSON. The day is said to have passed off with much eclai and joy.
In Wilmington, a large and enthusiastic meeting of the people assembled at the City Hall; and celebrated the day in an appropriate manner. Mayer HEYWARD presided. The Declaration was read, several speeches and prayers were made, interspersed with an occasional song, and a series of resolutions passed, No. 4 of which reads follows:
Resolved, 4th – That the greatest enemies of our country are those who, by sectional action, and sectional legislation, in defiance of the letter and spirt of the original compact, appear willing to destroy the unity and harmony of action, upon which the progress and glory of our country, and even its very existence as a nation, depends.
The proceedings closed with three cheers for the spirit of ’76, and the meeting quietly dispersed.
The Sussex News says there was a very small degree of patriotism manifested in Georgetown, on the Fourth. There were no speeches, celebrations, processions, nor pig-chases during the day, nor the usual display of fire-works at night.