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Pinckney Street 1859

Pinckney Street with American House hotel on right (1859 ca)

Wisconsin Historical Society Imade ID: WHi-11701

Old Fashioned Fourth 1843

Madison held a traditional Fourth of July celebration in 1843. A cannon from Ft. Winnebago was fired at sunrise. A procession formed in front of American House hotel at 10:30, traveled down Pinckney Street to Doty, up Wisconsin Avenue, and into the Capitol Square by the south entrance. Revolutionary War soldiers marched in the parade.

At the Capitol, Colonel A. P. Field delivered an oration, J. G. Knapp read the Declaration of Independence, Julius T. Clark read an ode he had composed for the occasion, and Reverend Mr. Keys, the chaplain, offered a prayer. The officers of the day were Ebenezer Brigham, president; Gideon Low, W. C. Wells, R. Brown, E. Campbell, John Catlin, Jonathan Larkin, Abel Dunning, I. H. Palmer, and William B. Slaughter, vice presidents; Augustus A. Bird, marshal; and Steptoe Catlin and G. P. Delaplaine, assistant marshals. The picnic dinner featured barbecue and 13 “regular” toasts, including toasts to the day, our country, the Constitution, Washington “the star of the West,” the heroes of the Revolution, the soldiers of the War of 1812, and the matrons and daughters of Wisconsin.

There were also numerous “volunteer toasts” – Alex Botkin offered “the day we celebrate;” Simeon Mills, “Wisconsin;” Major P. W. Matts, “the Star Spangled Banner;” David Brigham, “invited guests;” Alex Botkin, “the sons of the Emerald Isle;” John T. Wilson, “the 4th of July;” Nathaniel W. Dean, “the ladies;” B. Shackelford, “the Territory of Wisconsin;” James Morrison, “the fair;” George Vroman, “the Declaration of Independence;” Nathaniel W. Dean, “Wisconsin, the garden of the West, and Madison, the fairest flower in the garden;” Horace Potter, “the American eagle perched on the dome of the Capitol;” and James Morrison, “the teachers of our select schools.”

Mark Gajewski