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Samuel Francis Smith My Country 'Tis of Thee Handwritten & Signed Lyrics
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,508.00
In 1831, while translating a German song ("God Bless Our Native Land") into English for a friend, Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895) became enamored with the melody, and decided to write lyrics for it celebrating the United States. The result of that effort was "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)," a classic of patriotism which has become a part of America's national identity, and is revered and sung to this day. Offered is a beautiful manuscript on a single sheet (4.75 x 8 inches) of the first verse of the lyrics to "America," signed and dated, all in Smith's hand. In full, the page reads: "America, 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 , S.F. Smith, 1832-1879." In black fountain pen with flawless penmanship and signature ("10"), this verse was no doubt penned as a special keepsake for an admirer. Shading around the perimeter indicates that this page was displayed for many years in a matted frame. The sheet has a light vertical and horizontal mailing fold and a few pinpoint edge tears, and there is some tape on the perimeter of the reverse related to its framing. Otherwise in Excellent condition. These minor imperfections have little or no impact on the display value of the piece, which has been carefully preserved since 1879 precisely because of its significance. "America" was first performed at a July 4th celebration in Boston in 1831. It is still sung today by school children across the nation and remains one of this country's most enduring hymns. Ideal for framing, this signed verse is a unique tribute to the spirit of America, and a magnificent nineteenth-century offering from an early American patriot. When Samuel Francis Smith died in 1895, "America" was sung at his funeral. LOA from James Spence, Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $1,508.00
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