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Lot #632
Samuel Francis Smith

SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: Smith pens his immortal lyrics to “America”

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SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY: Smith pens his immortal lyrics to “America”

Boston-born Baptist minister and academic (1808–1895) best known as the lyricist of “America” (“My Country ’Tis of Thee”), written while he was a student at Andover Theological Seminary. Smith’s stirring patriotic song, set to the same melody as the British national anthem (“God Save the Queen”), served as a de facto national anthem for much of the 19th century. AQS on a lightly lined off-white 5 x 8 sheet, signed “S. F. Smith” and dated “Written in Feb. 1832, [this copy] January 24, 1893.” Smith pens the first two stanzas of “America.” In part: “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 mountainside,/Let freedom ring….” In very good to fine condition, with areas of light irregular toning, two very light horizontal folds, and paperclip impression to bottom edge, no faults materially affecting the appearance. The writing is clear, dark, and well contrasted throughout. A very attractive example! Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #334 - Ended June 18, 2008