Manchester's First July 4th

By dhowell - Posted on 28 December 2007

This community celebrated its first "fourth" of July Celebration on July 4th, 1839. Willis L. Watkins found an old poster printed on a sheet of handmade paper which probably at one time was white. Manchester has had some notable celebrations in years past, and no wonder, when the example was set by such elaborate preparations in 1839.

This poster read: "At a meeting of the Committee of Arrangements at the home of Albert Howe, for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements for celebrating the approaching Anniversary, adopted the following order of the day:

"At half past 10 o'clock A.M. the procession will form under the direction of the Marshal, in front of Albert Howe's (Manchester) Hotel, in the following order:

  1. Marshal of the day.
  2. Martial Music.
  3. Citizens and Strangers.
  4. Revolutionary Patriots and Soldiers.
  5. The Clergy.
  6. Orator and Reader of the Declaration.
  7. Committee of Arrangements.
  8. Ladies.
  9. Choir of Singers.

"The procession will march down Exchange Street to Washington Street, up Washington to Boyne, up Boyne to Macomb Street, down Macomb Street to Exchange Street, up Exchange to the Hotel. On arrival at the Hotel, the ladies and the choir of singers will be received in their appropriate places in the procession.

"The procession will then proceed to the place prepared for the exercises; on arriving at the place the procession will open to the right and left, and face inward, and march to the seats in inverted order.

"At the close of the exercises, the procession will form in the order specified in the bills of the day, and march to the Hotel, where dinner will beserved by Mr. Albert Howe.

"The committee invited the few remaining veterans of that band of heroes, who achieved our independence, residing in the vicinity, to unite with our citizens in celebrating the period of their trials and sufferings and their victories. They also solicit the citizens of this and adjoining towns, to unite with them in commemoration of this birthday of our Independence.

Caleb Clark
Emanuel Case
George Roberts
C. Howell
John D. Kief
J. H. Fountain
J. D. Corey
J. R. Sloat
Oliver Kellogg
Wm. S. Driggs
N. Morse
Lewis Allen
J. S. Clark
James Soule
B. Case
Benj. French
Theron Brees
William S. Carr
U. M. Carter

"Committee on Arrangements, Manchester, June 15, 1839"