Wilson C. Swann Organizes July 4th Celebration
May 25, 1863

As a member of the Union League of Philadelphia, Wilson Cary Swann helped organize an Independence Day celebration in 1863 to reaffirm the power and permanence of the Union.

TO THE UNION AND LOYAL LEAGUES AND Associations, and Loyal Citizens of the United States.—Philadelphia, May 25, 1863.

Fellow Citizens:--By direction of the Union League of Philadelphia, the undersigned have the honor to invite your attention to the following resolutions, to wit:--

Resolved, 1. That the League will celebrate the approaching anniversary of American Independence by appropriate ceremonies at the Hall of Independence.

2. That all the Union Leagues and Associations in the United States be invited to participate in the celebration, and that they be requested to send deputations from their respective bodies for that purpose.

3. That it be recommended that the deputies be authorized to represent their respective constituents in any action that may be deemed necessary and expedient to perfect the organization of the friends of the American Union and Government throughout the United States.

4. That the Committee of Correspondence be authorized to prepare a circular letter, communicating these resolutions to the Union Leagues and loyal citizens of the respective States, and to adopt such measures as may be necessary to carry them into effect.

For the first time in the history of our country, the masses of the American people are now invited to commemorate the birth of the Union, at the place where it was born.

To reassert the great principles of the Declaration, that “All men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

To acknowledge our obligations to mankind to maintain those principles as our fathers did, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”

To declare the indivisibility of the American Union.

To declare the inflexible purpose of the American people, as God shall give them strength, to subdue the enemies of the Union, and re-establish and perpetuate the National Authority, wherever it has been overthrown by treason or Rebellion.

To declare to foreign nations that while we desire peace with them, we shall hold them responsible for any encouragement they may give to the Rebellion against the Government of the United States.

To give to history an appropriate expression of our gratitude to the patriot armies and Navy of the Republic; and

To declare our determination to sustain the constituted authorities of the Government now and hereafter, in all measures adopted and prosecuted by them for the suppression of the Rebellion, without compromise with traitors, as the only means of securing an honorable and lasting peace.

The Committee are gratified to announce that the President of the United States has accepted an invitation to participate in the proceedings.

Fellow citizens of the United States, we call upon you to co-operate with us in this first National Celebration, and to adopt such measures as you may deem proper, to make it worthy of a great people who have inherited and now possess and appreciate the blessings of liberty:

[Signed by Wilson C. Swann, M.D.]


The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 June 1863