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This Day In Founding Fathers History – 18 July
On this day in 1768, “The Liberty Song” was published in the Boston Gazette. The song was written by John Dickinson, one of the first colonial patriotic songs to be written. It was sung to the tune of “Hearts of Oak,” the anthem of the British Royal Navy. Some assistance was given by Dickinson’s friend, Arthur Lee, with writing one of the stanzas. The song became very popular and was sung throughout the colonies. The most famous line of the song is a phrase well known today, “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” Dickinson wrote his original version of the song, but, upon reflection, he decided, “I think it was rather too bold.” He made changes and asked that they be printed as the original in the newspaper. 1
One notable birthday on this day in 1710, that of John Cruger, Jr. Cruger was a businessman and statesman from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City for a decade starting in 1756. During that same time and after, he served on the General Assembly. In 1765, in response to the Stamp Act and other taxes levied against the colonists by Britain, a Convention of the Colonies was held, with Robert Livingston and John Cruger representing New York. Cruger was the principal author of the Declaration of Rights and Livingston penned the Petition to the King. 2
1 “The Liberty Song,” chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/l/ed_libertysong.html; “The Liberty Song,” www.americanrevolution.org/war%20songs/warsongs6.html; “The Liberty Song,” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Liberty_Song
2 “John Cruger,” The New York Society Library, www.nysoclib.org/collection/ledger/people/cruger_john; “Journal of the first Congress of the American Colonies in opposition to the tyrannical acts of the British Parliament,” Google Books, books.google.com/books?id=_mxwAAAAMAAJ; “Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence,” books.google.com/books?isbn=162358017X