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Lot #500
Samuel Francis Smith

AMERICAN ANTHEM: Smith pens the first stanza of “America”

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Description

AMERICAN ANTHEM: Smith pens the first stanza of “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 with clipped corners affixed to a larger album page, signed “S. F. Smith” and dated “[written in] 1832/[this copy] 1884.” Smith pens the first stanzas of “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 mountainside,/Let freedom ring.” Two horizontal creases (on to bottom edge of signature) and a few very faint spots, otherwise fine condition. The writing is dark and distinct throughout. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #333 - Ended May 14, 2008