04 July 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Remarks by Eletia Hubball at the presentation of a flag to the Company of Light Infantry commanded by Captain Nicholas Blasdell, July 1821.

Citizen Soldiers,

You have associated in celebrating the birth day of your independence. In compliance with a request of my female associates, I am about to present you a standard in manifestation of our confidence, & as a tribute of respect to the company of Independent Volunteers. Though the order of society, our daily habits and physical powers, restrict us to less active duties and forbid us a participation in your social, and convivial pleasures, and manly exercises of the day; yet we feel with you a glow of satisfaction. To us as to you, it recalls to our mental view events which inspire us with veneration for the memories of our Fathers of the Revolution, & excite in us, a lively interest for the honor of our common country. May this day be ever dear to the descendants of free men: Our fathers dared to will to be free, and were free: may their sons ever will it. Our motives in addressing you on this occasion are not to excite in you a sense of noble daring, or a just appreciation of your rights as freemen. The songs of freemen want no incentives to action: Liberty and honor are inate principles, fostered by paternal care. They have nobly will'd and bravely dared. The historic page records the noble achievements, and gallant actions in their country's cause; on the ocean and on the land their prowess stands pre-eminent; the haughty foe has struck his proud flag to our brave and hardy tars, and bent his proud crest to the strong arm of your brothers in arms. From pole to pole, the goddess of liberty has proclaimed the merited applause of her sons.

The sons of freedom assuming the manly and dignified attitude of Citizen Soldiers, and emulating each other in the acquirements of military discipline, to enable them in the hour of danger to defend their country, maintain their liberty and protect us from licentious and daring invaders, must ever possess in our hearts an influence superior to the ordinary impressions created by social intercourse. Receive then your flag, and defend it worthy of yourselves and fathers, and we fervently trust that in your pursuit of discipline and military glory, it will never by tarnished with vice or immorality prove to the world that morality and virtue are the concomitants of the Citizen Soldier. Should the tocsin of war be again sounded, and our happy country be invaded by the enemies of liberty, while you bravely march to chide them for their presumption we will offer up to the god of battles our prayers for your protection, relying, that you will ever hold in dear remembrance, your motto, "Columbia, Fortitude and Freedom." (Alexandria Gazette, 7 July 1821, 2.)

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