The first Independence Day was celebrated on July 4, 1777, just one year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with an official dinner for the Continental Congress, featuring thirteen-gun salutes, fireworks, music, speeches, and toasts. In fact, it was common for Independence Day parties to begin with thirteen toasts, honoring the thirteen colonies, for over a century.
Unfortunately, over the years the art of toast making has died out and the tradition has disappeared from contemporary July 4 celebrations. But we here at the RSVLTS would like to see patriotic toasts make a comeback, so this year, when you’re partying in your Butcher or Teddy shirt, try out one or all thirteen of these old-timey patriotic toasts from The Perfect Gentleman, originally published in 1860.
- To the memory of George Washington, the childless father of 300 million.
- May he who would uproot the tree of liberty, be crushed by its fall.
- Our American Boys – Who have arms for their girls or for their country’s foes.
- A hempen neckcloth for all traitors.
- May the adjective glorious ever be joined by the substantive America.
- Uncle Sam – May the venerable old gentleman soon sweep our legislative halls clean of pugilists, duelists, and thieves.
- May foreign fashions never corrupt American manners.
- Confusion to those fanatics who conspire against the union of the States.
- Our Native Land – May it ever continue the abode of freedom, and the birthplace of heroes.
- The Tree of Liberty – May every American ever have a belly full of its fruit.
- The land we live in – Let him who don’t like it, leave it.
- May American fortitude and courage ever mock at trial and danger.
- The glorious memory of our ancestors, who shed their life’s-blood to establish our liberty.