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SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH - AUTOGRAPH POEM SIGNED 10/15/1885 - HFSID 82823

SAMUEL F. SMITH Samuel F. Smith pens the four complete four stanzas of his most famous hymn, "America", which was also popularly known as "My Country 'Tis of Thee". Autograph Poem signed: "S. F. Smith", 2p, 4¾x7¾ lined sheet.

Sale Price $3,187.50

Reg. $3,750.00

Condition: See item description
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SAMUEL F. SMITH
Samuel F. Smith pens the four complete four stanzas of his most famous hymn, "America", which was also popularly known as "My Country 'Tis of Thee".
Autograph Poem signed: "S. F. Smith", 2p, 4¾x7¾ lined sheet. The four complete four stanzas of Smith's most famous hymn, "America", which was also popularly known as "My Country 'Tis of Thee". At lower left margin of second page, Smith has penned: "Written in 1832./Oct. 15, 1885." Headed: "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 mountain side,/Let freedom ring./My native country, - thee,/Land of the noble free,/Thy name I love;/I love thy rocks and rills,/Thy woods and templed hills,/My heart with rapture thrills,/Like that above./Let music swell the breeze,/And ring from all the trees,/Sweet freedom's song;/Let mortal tongues awake,/Let all that breathe partake,/Let rocks their silence break,/The sound prolong./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." 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. Smith wrote out this copy of his poem in 1885, ten years before his death. Heavily shaded at perimeter from prior framing. Light rectangular shading touches signature and writing (all legible). ¾x½-inch paper loss at lower right corner of verso, upper left and right blank corners chipped away, nicked at lower right blank margin. Light ½-inch diameter water stain at lower right blank margin. 1x¾-inch paper loss at lower blank corner of first page, chipped at lower left blank edge. Stained at lower left blank margin. Overall, fine and interesting.

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