An Oration, delivered on the Fourth of July, 1798, at St. Paul’s Church, before the Young Men of the City of New-York, Assembled to commemorate Their National Independence.

“WHAT! The free-born sons of AMERICA become the vassals of France!”


“The wounds are scarcely healed which were acquired in the establishment of our liberties ... It shall never be said that the YOUTH OF AMERICA are so far sunk slothful degeneracy…” (pp17 and 19) Stirring Federalist Independence Day oration opposing hostile French actions and diplomacy in the XYZ Affair, written by John Wells, prominent New York City commercial law attorney. Wells “revised for publication the collected papers known as The Federalist, bringing out the fifth edition in 1802. He frequently crossed swords with Hamilton’s opponent, James Cheetham.” (DAB).

An ardent patriot, Wells’ rousing address reminds his fellow citizens that holding to their independence and civil liberties will protect them from becoming vassals of the French whom he refers to as “rapacious monsters.” (p20) The existence of the United States as a nation is imperiled, he writes, his audience aware that U.S. diplomats were then in France trying to prevent war. Wells declares: “The honor of our government, therefore is now at stake…and the country is called upon for its united support that the independence, which has been achieved…may be preserved… WHAT! The free-born sons of AMERICA become the vassals of France!—surrender their sovereignty at the first summons of an insolent foe!” (pp13 and 17)


Description: An Oration, delivered on the Fourth of July, 1798, at St. Paul’s Church, before the Young Men of the City of New-York, Assembled to commemorate Their National Independence.

New-York: Printed by M‘Lean & Lang, 1798. First Edition. 22, [2(blank)]pp. 7¾ x 5 inches. Removed; light foxing; expert tissue mend to spine; Very Good.

[3728992]

Evans 34998. Sabin 10295.


Price: $750.00