1850 July 4th, Thursday At home all day -- dullest 4th of July I have passed in America. Thus I wish to be this time next year will observe the day in a more fashionable way.
However, for the next two years, the Diary reflectes that he would spend yet another quiet, uneventful 4th of July at home and then visiting his neighbors, the Andersons. It wasn't until 1853 that James P. McPherson fulfilled his promise of that first July 4th in Springdale. His diary for that Independence day in 1853 reads as follows:
1853 July 4th, Monday At Celebration of Independence at Mount Vernon -- made short speech.
Later, J.P. became quite well known for his political speeches, complete with his sons playing patriotic songs from the back of the wagon, Eldest Billy played the trumpet; my great grandfather James, the flute; young Jabez, on the drums. All the while J.P. waved the American flag and made speeches --- wearing his Scotch hat with black ribbons down the back and a thistle emblem on the front. He knew from whence he came, and the new land he now called home. Reportedly, and appropriate for this day, James Peter McPherson ended his speeches with these words:
Hip Hip Hoo Ray for the USA!!
*Naturalization papers for James P. McPherson signed and issued on 23 October 1849 in NY City. Witnessed by Alexander Gordon.
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© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications