SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH - AUTOGRAPH LYRICS SIGNED 02/06/1894 - HFSID 253239
Sale Price $1,530.00
THE LAST STANZA OF "AMERICA"
SAMUEL F. SMITH. Autograph Poem signed: "S.F. Smith.", ¾p, 5x8 lined sheet. The last stanza of his four-stanza poem, America. In full: "Our fathers' God, to Thee,/Author of liberty,/To Thee we sing;/Long may our land be bright/With freedom's holy light,/Protect us by Thy might,/Great God, our King". At lower left margin, Smith has written: "Written in 1832./Feb. 6, 1894." After a visit to Germany in 1831, 23-year-old theological student Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895), impressed that German children started their school day by singing a hymn, wrote a patriotic hymn using a simple German melody. Coincidentally, the melody was the same as that of the British national anthem, "God Save the King". Smith jotted down the complete hymn on a piece of scrap paper within half an hour, and the result, "America", was first sung at a children's celebration in Boston's Park Street Church on July 4, 1832. George Gershwin used Smith's phrase "Of Thee I Sing" as the title of his 1932 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted the entire first stanza as he concluded his "I have a dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Lightly creased and soiled. Pinhead-sized stain at upper blank margin. Overall, fine condition.
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