The Fourth of July Orations Collection contains published pamphlets of addresses made on Independence Day from 1791-1925. The speeches explore topics central to the developing United States in the first 150 years of its existence and include themes such as honoring the generation that fought in the Revolutionary War, westward expansion, national politics, the Civil War, civic duty, religion and other concerns current throughout the nineteenth century. Several pamphlets focus specifically on the fiftieth and one-hundredth anniversaries of the Declaration of Independence in 1826 and 1876 and contain reports on the progress of the nation since the Revolutionary War.
The majority of the pamphlets were published in New England, with Massachusetts being the most heavily represented state. However, the collection also includes pamphlets from other states, such as Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. Foreign countries such as Canada, France, and Italy are also represented, and the collection also includes a speech in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1854, over one hundred years before its statehood. Of interest to scholars of American social and political history, the collection provides a sweeping demonstration of the ways in which the concept of America has changed through several formative events in the nation’s history.
Holdings: 458 pamphlets
The materials in this collection have been fully catalogued and are available in MERLIN under the heading Fourth of July Orations Collection (University of Missouri–Columbia. Libraries). The original pamphlets are available to researchers in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular service hours. The collection does not circulate.
The collection is partially digitized. Selected pamphlets are available online at the HathiTrust.