July 4th, 1840
The birth of American liberty was celebrated in a becoming manner, in the town of Dayton, La Salle county, Illinois. The day was ushered in by a national salute from Capt. Ira Allen, who deserves credit for the manner in which he discharged the duties assigned him. Never perhaps has the day been celebrated with greater patriotic pride than on this occasion. The unity and harmony manifested, is a sure guarantee of the immortality of the day. The Declaration of Independence, prefaced by a few appropriate remarks from C. G. Miller, was then read, after which an oration was delivered on the occasion by Hon. Wm. Stadden, which, notwithstanding the short time allotted to him to prepare the address, was characterized by its forcible and strong appeals to the human heart to perpetuate the liberties purchased by the blood of our fathers; after which we partook of a dinner prepared by Wm. L. Dunavan, who spared no pains to accommodate his guests in a manner so as to render general satisfaction. After which the following toasts were drunk:
[the following lists only the name of the toast and omits the rather long text]
The day we celebrate
The Heroes of the Revolution
The signers of the Declaration
The American citizens
Our happy Republic
The state of Illinois
By Charles Hayward. The Independence we now celebrate – It must and shall be defended, supported and sustained, by the blood and sinew which has and will descend from those noble patriots who fought and bled for what freemen now enjoy.
By Lucien Delano. Political and Religious Freedom – While American blood and Freemen’s arms sustains the one, let the Age of Reason and Common Sense protect the other.
By William Hickling – The “Striped Bunting” – wherever unfolded to the breeze it commands respect.
By David Green. The Ladies – the fairest work of the Creator. We admire their charms and appreciate their virtues and intelligence, and will ever be ready to throw our arms of protection around them.
By Wm. Hickling. The day we celebrate – The 64th Anniversary of American Independence is this day recorded, and the fact is shown to the world, that a democratic government thus far has been successful.
By Sam’l. Hayward. Liberty – It can only be maintained by watching Priests, with equal care, that you would a King.
By J. B. Johnson. The Ladies – The binders of our affections, the folders, the gatherers and collectors of our enjoyments.
By a Guest. – The Heroes of the Revolution – There are but five who now survive, but may the innumerable blessings which they obtained, through a long and perilous war, be handed down from posterity to posterity.
By Brice V. Huston. Thomas Jefferson – The Author of the Declaration of Independence. The great Champion of civil and religious freedom.
By Ira Allen. The Abolitionists – May they be lathered with Aqua Fortis and shaved with Lightning.
From the Illinois Free Trader, July 24, 1840, p. 2, cols. 4-5