Anniversary of Independence

Back of Independence Hall
Back of the State House
William Birch

Independence National Historical Park

Anniversary of Independence

"The Twelfth (counting 1776 as the first) Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America was celebrated here… The officers of militia, with the corps in uniform, then the State Society of the Cincinnati, who met at the state-house, marched in procession, with accompaniments of music from martial instruments and ringing of bells…"
-Pennsylvania Herald, July 7, 1787

The Convention was in recess so the delegates could observe the anniversary of Independence. The observance must have had particular meaning for many of them. Seven had signed the Declaration, including two members (Franklin and Sherman) of the committee which wrote it. One had commanded the army which won it. Many of the others had served in the military or on one or more of the committees, conventions, congresses and state legislatures which had directed the war effort.

President of the Convention George Washington noted in his diary "went to hear an Oration on the anniversary of Independence delivered by a Mr. Mitchell [actually, Mr. Campbell] a student of law - After which I dined with the State Society of the Cincinnati at Epple's Tavern..."

That group of Revolutionary war officers had much to share in the way of collective memories of the war effort, and many absent colleagues to toast.


Last updated: February 26, 2015

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