Monday, May 3, 2010

1856 4th July at Georgetowm, from the Delaware State Reporter, newspaper of Dover.

Our National Anniversary was celebrated with more than usual spirit by the citizens of Georgetown and the surrounding county side last Friday. The great feature of the day was a Grand Procession of the I.O.O.P. gotten up by Union Lodge Number 3 and participated in by representations from the Atlantic Lodge of Lewes, Hebron Lodge of Seaford and other Lodges of Sussex. A Brass Band from Philadelphia discoursed sweet and spirit stirring music and contributed greatly to the enjoyment of the day.
As near as could be ascertained, about one hundred members, dressed in the brilliant regalia of the Order, lined up according to its different grades and degrees, marched off at 2 in the afternoon, and after making the town circuit to the Public Square, assembled under the shade of the trees surrounding the Court House, where a stand had been erected with ample accommodations to seat the assembled mulitides.
The Marshall of the Day, John Stokely, Esq., and his aid, P. Norman, Esq., acquitted themselves with tact and skill.
D. Rodney, Esq., the Acting N.G. presided with grace and dignity. The opening prayer by the Chaplin Rev. A. Wallace, was eloquent and impressive. The Declaration of Independence was read by Dr. Charles Richards , followed by an address by the Rev. Mr. Wallace on the early history of our country in its struggle against oppression and tyranny, leading to the glorious Declaration and the scene that day, eighty years ago, when the 'Old Bell of Independence Hall' proclaimed liberty throughout the land and the inhabitants thereof. His address gave great satisfaction to all.
Next followed the 'Orator of the Day', George P. Fisher Esq., who entertained the vast audience with one of the most eloquent outpourings of patriotic sentiment ever heard in Sussex after which the procession again formed , the band played and the audience waited for the display of fireworks.
Never have the citizens of Georgetown enjoyed a more magnificent spectacle than was presented in the Town Square. Rockets rose high among the stares and pailed them by the brilliance of their corrugations. Burning balls of various hues illuminated the darkness and without disorder or accident of any kind, the people disappeared, having enjoyed one of the happiest days.

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