899. Berkshire Chronicle, 10 July 17881

On Friday last, the Fourth of July, was celebrated in this town, by a number of gentlemen from various parts of this county, the Twelfth anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America; and likewise the pleasing and happy event of Nine States having accepted and ratified the new Federal Constitution.—At twelve o’clock the company assembled at the house of Capt. John Strong; at half after twelve, a procession was formed, and moved from thence to the meeting-house, where a prayer was made by the Rev. Mr. Allen, extremely well adapted to the occasion; the company were then entertained with vocal musick; after which Mr. Palmer favoured the audience with an oration, the sentiment, style and delivery of which, did him great honour as a man of genius, and as an orator; and the exercises closed by prayer.

The procession then returned to Capt. Strong’s, where an elegant dinner was provided, and set under a beautiful bowry procured for the purpose. The gentlemen then sat down to dinner, and mirth and festivity went round the board, and joy brightened every countenance. After dinner was over, the following among other toasts were drank, followed by the discharge of a cannon at each toast.

2. General Washington, and the members of the late Federal Convention.

6. May those who have favoured, and those who have opposed the adoption of the national Constitution, shew their love to their country, by burying past differences, and uniting in supporting the federal pillars.

8. The Federal Edifice: May it ever afford protection to all the sons and daughters of America.

10. The candour, moderation and good temper of the minorities of the several State Conventions which have adopted the Constitution.

It was highly pleasing, on this occasion, to see men (and indeed the leaders) of all parties uniting in the festivity of this glorious anniversary.—And we are happy to add, that during the whole of the day, no extraordinary accident happened.

1. The only extant copy of the Berkshire Chronicle for 10 July lacks pages 3 and 4, where this item probably appeared. It has been transcribed from the Massachusetts Centinel, 23 July, which reprinted the item under a Pittsfield, 10 July, dateline. The Boston Gazette, 21 July, also reprinted the item, indicating that 13 toasts were drunk. The Gazette did not print any of the toasts but included this final paragraph: “In the afternoon, the troop of light dragoons, under command of Maj. Danforth, were reviewed by the Maj. and Brigadier Generals of this division, and made a most martial appearance; a detachment of the militia of this town, commanded by Maj. Ashley, and a volunteer corps of artillery, under the orders of Maj. Brown, passed also in review, and acquired great honor, by their soldiery appearance and conduct. The manœuvres and evolutions were performed before a numerous croud of spectators, who testified their applause by repeated acclamations. It was highly pleasing on this occasion, to see men (and indeed the leaders) of all parties uniting in the festivity of this glorious anniversary.—And we are happy to add, that during the whole of the day, no EXTRAORDINARY accident happened.”