July 1, 2011 by Amy Elliott Bragg
Fourth of July, 1876
[The flag that has waved one hundred years. Source.]
From an address by Theodore Romeyn in Detroit as part of the nation’s “centennial jubilee,” July 4, 1876. He touches on the origin of Michigan’s state motto, which is mildly enlightening.
Presented with no further comment. It’s just a nice read. Happy Fourth of July!
The revolving earth brought this morning to the first rays the sun the rocks and sands of the Atlantic coast. As it rolls on, the whole breadth of the continent, from the lakes to the gulf and to the boundaries of Mexico, will reflect the day-beams until they glitter on the golden gate of California and are quenched in the Pacific. Everywhere within these boundaries, on this day, the “bloom of banners” is in the air, but no foreign flag waves as a sign of sovereignty. The star spangled banner floats over the wide domain, the emblem of a nationality, which comprises more than forty millions of, thanks to God, united and free people.
… Our own city, one hundred years ago, occupied a space of about three acres on the river, enclosed by pickets and defended by block houses and guns, and traversed by streets or alleys from ten to sixteen feet wide. Its population was less than four hundred. It was, during the war of the revolution, the seat of the British power in the Northwest; and it remained in the possession of Great Britain until it was surrendered to the United States in 1796.
Sir Christopher Wren was the architect of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. He was buried within its walls, and on one of them is the inscription to his memory: “Si quoeris monumentum, circumspice.”
We have borrowed this for our State’s motto and applied it to our pleasant Peninsula.
In contrasting our city with the Detroit of 1776, I will use no words of description but say to each “circumspice”: look around!