Fourth of July Celebration.
July 8, 1863
Fourth of July Celebration.
The people of Littleton and Burton Stations, Wetzel county, West Virginia, having determined on a picnic celebration of the 88th anniversary of our birth as a nation, met at the proper time and made the necessary arrangement therefore. The spot selected was on the flat by Eaton’s Tunnel, on the premises of Adams & Co., about a mile east of Littleton, where a beautiful bower, forty by one hundred and ten feet, had been erected and most tastefully ornamented by wreaths of pine, interwoven with flowers by the ladies of the neighborhood. The morning of the 4th was most unpropitious, the rain pouring down in torrents, drenching the ground and the hopes of the people; continuing almost uninterruptedly to fall until about ll o’clock A. M. , when old Sol burst forth, and by his effulgent beams soon made all nature smile – and the lassies too. Soon the Cameron excursion train, bearing a considerable crowd of the beauty and patriotism of Cameron and intermediate points, came steaming up, and in an incredibly short space of time the grounds were covered with people; the surrounding hills and valleys being fully represented, each and all bringing their quota of good things in boxes and baskets; and a table some eighty feet long soon groaned beneath a load of plenty and variety. Never was a more luxurious repast offered to hungry votaries.
It had been the intention to postpone the repast until after the ceremonies of the day, but the rain having caused the dinner hour to arrive too soon after operations commenced, hunger trampled over forms, and the people set to and did full justice to the occasion and the good fare before them.
On motion of J. P. Ferrell, Esq., J. E. Boyers, of Wheeling, (Secretary of State of West Virginia), was called to the Chair, when, after brief thanks, John Bell, Esq., of Belton, was elected Vice President and A. B. Gordon of Littleton as Secretary.
Rev. J. G. West offered up a most fervent prayer for our distracted country, and the Declaration was read by James W. Hays.
Rev. Mr. West being called on, made a few brief remarks, and was followed by Fountain Smith, Esq., of Marion county, the appointed orator of the day, who made a most eloquent and patriotic address. The concluding remarks were by Hon. Mr. Crane, of Wheeling, (Auditor of the State.) Suffice it to say that the remarks of the various speakers, though differing in the mode of hastening and insuring success, all agreed that our country must stand “one and inseparable,” under “one flag and one destiny.”
On motion of J. P. Ferrell, Esq., of Littleton, three rousing cheers were given for “the Union.”
It must not be neglected to mention that “Stoy’s Concert Band,” from Waynesburg, Pa., was present, and not only by their delicious music but by their gentlemanly deportment added much to the pleasure and hilarity of the occasion.
On motion, resolutions of thanks were tendered to the musicians, to the speakers and officers, as also that the proceedings of the day be published in the Waynesburg, Pa., and West Virginia papers.
It is proper to say that though the inclemency of the forenoon prevented many from attending, there was a large and harmonious celebration; not a single act having occurred to mar the pleasures of the day, at a late hour the people quietly dispersed, each hoping, no doubt, as was expressed by the Chairman, Mr. Boyers, that we might all live to enjoy many another such celebration.
In the evening a large party of the young people assembled at the hospitable mansion of J. P. Ferrell, Esq., and until a late hour music and the dance were the order of the night, until tire nature prevailed, and all retired – “to sleep, perchance to dream!”
A. B. Gordon, Secretary.
Sabbath School, Celebration.
July 14, 1863
Sabbath School, Celebration.
Cherry Camp, July 7, 1863.
According to previous notice the Cherry Camp and Point Pleasant Sabbath Schools, together with the people from all directions grading from the hory head of age, to the flaxen locks of tender youth, were seen collecting in a grove near Cherry Camp Station on Ten Mile creek, in Harrison county, for the purpose of celebrating the 87th anniversary of American Independence. At about 10 ½ o’clock a long table was spread, and furnished with the luxuries of the surrounding country, which had been abundantly prepared and brought in for the national feast. After which S. Good called the assembled community to order, which was immediately had. Whereupon Rev. G. W. Daken was called to the Chair, and A. Gobbert, Esq., appointed Vice President, and M. W. Davis Secretary.
Prayer was then offered by Rev. Daken, after which the Declaration of Independence was read by A. Rogers, Esq., which gave place for an appropriate air from the band. By this time nearly every person had found a comfortable seat in front of the stand.
Judge Thos. W. Harrison, of Clarksburg, was then introduced to the assembly, and delivered a very fine and appropriate speech upon the occasion of the returning birth-day of the greatest government and nation ever marked upon the record of time. During the Judge’s remarks he reminded the people of the rise and progress of our once happy nation, the bloody sacrifice by which our independence had been achieved, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the Father of his country, and the glorious star spangled banner, which floated on the breeze from the stand; all of which called upon them, in the name of liberty, country, patriotism and the world, to be faithful to the trust confided to their care. The disrespect and insult offered by a large part of our nation to the institutions and government of our fathers, the threatened destruction of republican liberty, together with their hankering after monarchy and despotism is to be deplored and resisted by the loyal and patriotic citizens of the nation, and that this could be done by sustaining and upholding the Government.
During the whole of the Judge’s remarks there was the most profound attention, and every countenance seemed deeply impressed with national homage.
After the speech, the repast was partaken of in order and appropriate friendship and merriment. After about an hour thus spent in refreshing the body, order was again resumed, and the 4th of July song was sung by the soldiers from the stand, after which Rev. Pinchens was called to the stand to address the Sabbath Schools, who introduced himself as being of foreign birth, but according to scientific principals, which supposed the body to pass through a change and become of new material every seven years, he claimed his exterior or body to the Virginian, and if they would admit his own evidence he claimed his interior also to be Virginian; and therefore, he was a Virginian, but a West Virginian. His speech was appropriate and well received.
The reading of some toasts with a few salutes by the soldiers concluded the exercises of the day, and three cheers for the Union signaled the dispersion of the crowd, and our citizens returned home, we have no doubt, to appreciate their country and liberties more than ever before.
By order of the Board
G. W. Daker, Ch’n.
M. W. Davis, Jr., Sec’y
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1863