from Lockwood Doty's History of Livingston County, 1905
Independence Day was the most important annual community celebration in 19th century Nunda.
The Fourth of July would be a day of socializing, recreation, and arespite from work. More importantly, it was also a day to recount the short but splendid history of the Republic, and to reflect on American ideals and the National spirit.
Nunda's Independence Day of 1838 may have been the grandest ever in the Keshequa Valley. The residents who gathered from miles around not only celebrated another year of independence, but also the great promise of the Genesee Valley Canal.
Nunda had been active in the long fight for the Canal. Finally, after eleven years and hundreds of petitions, the State passed the enabling legislation allowing work to begin. A great celebration, one of the largest in the Valley, had been held in Nunda on May 11, 1836.
By the time this broadside appeared, engineers and construction crews were already digging the man-made river through the Keshequa Valley. As the text below shows, they would be among the honored guests at the ceremonies.
Although it would take almost fifteen more years to finish the Nunda and Portage portion of the Canal, most who attended the Fourth of July festivities in 1838 would see in their life time the both the continued growth of the United States and the realization of the dream of a busy waterway through Nunda.
Here is the text of the poster (some punctuation has been changed or added.)
OFFICERS OF THE DAY. Marshal - Surranus Britton, assised by Utley Spencer. President -- Hon, Charles H. Carroll. Vice Presidents --- Azel Fitch, Hon. Micah Brooks, Eliphalet Tyler, Esq., Hon. Daniel Ashley, Col. Cowner, Jonathan Barron.
Orator - A Clinton Chipman, Esq., Reader - Benedict Bagley, Esq, Chaplain - Rev. Wales Tileston
Committee of the Day - Quartus H. Barrons, Silas Grover, A Clinton Chapman, Roswell G. Bennett, David M. Dake, A. M. Crane, Benedict Bagley, and Walter Whitcomb.
The Engineers upon the Genesee Valley Canal are particularly invited to unite in the festivities of the occasion. Seats will be reserved for the Patriots of the Revolution. Citizens of neighboring towns and counties are invited to attend.
ORDER OF THE DAY
1. A National salute of 26 Guns and the ringing of the bells at Sunrise.
2. At 11 o'clock, at the signal of four guns, the procession will be formed in front of the Nunda House, under the direction of the Marshall and Assistant Marshall of the Day.
ORDER OF THE PROCESSION
I. Music; II. The President and Vice Presidents; III. The Reverend
Clergy; IV. Orator and Reader, V. Ladies, VI. Committee of the
Arrangements and of the Day; VII. Revolutionary Soldiers; VIII
Canal Engineers; IX. Citizens and Strangers; X Lads under 15.
5. Reading of the Declaration of Independence
8. One Gun and Music
10. Those gentlemen wishing to dine, will form a procession and repair to the Eagle Tavern, where the festivities of the day will be continued as follows:
I. Dinner; II. 26 Regular Toasts, with Guns and Music; III. Volunteer Toasts and etc
12. At Sunset 26 Guns and Ringing of the Bells.