Samuel Francis Smith - Autograph Poem Signed 12/18/1893 For SaleSAMUEL F. SMITH
Samuel F. Smith signs an autograph poem of the first and fourth stanzas of his four stanza poem, America.
Autograph Poem signed: "S.F. Smith", 2p, separate pages, 4x6. No place, dated 1893, December 18 in his hand. Headed: "America". In full: "My country 'tis' of thee,/Sweet land of liberty,/Of thee I sing;/Land where my fathers died,/Land of the pilgrims' pride,/From every mountain side/Let freedom ring" and on the second sheet: "Our fathers' God, to thee,/Author of liberty,/To thee we sing;/Long may our land be bright/With freedom's holy light,/Protect us by thy might,/Great God, our King". The first and fourth stanzas of his four stanza poem, America. After a visit to Germany in 1831, 23-year-old theological student Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895), impressed that German children started their school day by singing a hymn, wrote a patriotic hymn using a simple German melody. Coincidentally, the melody was the same as that of the British national anthem, "God Save the King". Smith jotted down the complete hymn on a piece of scrap paper within half an hour, and the result, "America", was first sung at a children's celebration in Boston's Park Street Church on July 4, 1832. George Gershwin used Smith's phrase "Of Thee I Sing" as the title of his 1932 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted the entire first stanza as he concluded his "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Originally 2 conjoined leaves. Tear repair at upper blank margin between the 2 pages (all intact). Nicked inside edges (all intact). Lightly soiled. Overall, fine condition.
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