New York: Thomas Greenleaf, 1791. 39pp, disbound, with the half title. Scattered foxing, light rubberstamp at top of half title. Good+.
Pages 37-39 are An Ode Composed for the Occasion, by Dr. William Pitt Smith. Linn was the first chaplain of the House of Representatives in 1789. One of 600 copies printed and one of the best July 4 orations, this is a significant contemporary account-- soon after the Constitution's adoption-- of the virtues of America. It presents themes which would resonate through American history: the natural bounty of the land; the blessings of geography. "Separated, by Providence, from the continual jealousies, and bloody dissensions of the old world," America is free "to enjoy in peace, the blessings which Heaven hath bestowed, and to extend them to all within our reach." This is a far greater destiny than to "seek to build our advancement on the degradation of others." Moreover, the "constitution of our civil government" is much to be praised.
Linn is profoundly grateful for "the peaceable and unanimous manner in which a change, in our national government, has been effected;" in particular, that we enjoy complete religious freedom. Hence, "we stand single among all the nations of the earth." The "natural equality of men" is respected here. Gratitude is particularly appropriate when we recall the tyranny of British rule.
FIRST EDITION. Evans 23504. Item #28273