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Independence celebrated in Charleston, S. C.

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

July 7. –Friday last being the first anniversary of the glorious formation of the American empire, when thirteen colonies, driven by necessity, threw off the yoke and rejected the tyranny of Great Britain by declaring themselves free, independent, and sovereign States, the same was commemorated by every demonstration of joy. Ringing of bells ushered in the day. At sunrise, American colors were displayed from all the forts and batteries, and vessels in the harbor. The Charleston regiment of militia, commanded by the Honorable Colonel Charles Pinckney, and the Charleston artillery company, commanded by Captain Thomas Grimball, were assembled upon the parade, and reviewed by his Excellency the President, who was attended upon this occasion by his honor the Vice-President and the honorable members of the privy council. At one o’clock the several forts, beginning with Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island, discharged seventy-six pieces of cannon, alluding to the glorious year 1776, and the militia and artillery fired three general volleys. His Excellency the President then gave a most elegant entertainment in the council chamber, at which were present all the members of the Legislature then in town, all the public officers, civil and military, the clergy, and many strangers of note, to the amount of more than double the number that ever observed the birthday of the present misguided and unfortunate King of Great Britain. After dinner the following toasts were drank, viz.: “1. The free, independent, and sovereign States of America. 2. The great council of America–may wisdom preside in all its deliberations. 3. General Washington. 4. The American army and navy–may they be victorious and invincible. 5. The nations in friendship or alliance with America. 6. The American ambassadors at foreign courts. 7. The fourth of July, 1776. 8. The memory of the officers and soldiers who have bravely fallen in defence of America. 9. South Carolina. 10. May only those Americans enjoy freedom who are ready to die for its defence. 11. Liberty triumphant. 12. Confusion, shame, and disgrace to our enemies–may the foes to America (slaves to tyranny) humble and fall before her. 13. May the rising States of America reach the summit of human power and grandeur, and enjoy every blessing.” Each toast was succeeded by a salute of thirteen guns, which were fired by Captain Grimball’s company from their two field-pieces, with admirable regularity. The day having been spent in festivity, and the most conspicuous joy and harmony, the evening was concluded with illuminations, &c., far exceeding any that had ever been exhibited before.1


1 Pennsylvania Journal, July 30.

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