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“Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves”: John Rollin Ridge’s “Official Verse” and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California

“Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves”: John Rollin Ridge’s “Official Verse” and Racial Citizenship... "Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves" John Rollin Ridge's "Official Verse" and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California Alanna Hickey On July 4, 1860, the people of Marysville, California, gathered for a public celebration to commemorate U.S. national independence. Taking pains to demonstrate that the "spirit of '76" was alive and well in the newly established state, a group of local men in the mining town assembled "all of the accessories of that day's proper observance, viz.: an orator, a poet, a preacher, a band, a banquet, a ball, supper, champagne, cigars, whisky, and other fireworks." A correspondent's report the following day was overwhelmed by the population's uninhibited enthusiasm for "our `ger-reat and gel-lorious' anniversary." In his overview of the official ceremony, the reporter declared that Marysville's "wilder set" were "too full of the Fourth of July to be seated, and therefore stood up on the frail benches" that had been arranged for the ceremony's audience. As a consequence, "the poem and oration were enlivened by a running accompaniment of crashes, not of an orchestral nature, but caused by seats giving way, precipitating whole rows of masculine lookers on to the floor." The poem, supposedly spliced through with the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Indian Literatures University of Nebraska Press

“Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves”: John Rollin Ridge’s “Official Verse” and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California

Studies in American Indian Literatures , Volume 27 (4) – Mar 2, 2015

“Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves”: John Rollin Ridge’s “Official Verse” and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California


"Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves" John Rollin Ridge's "Official Verse" and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California Alanna Hickey On July 4, 1860, the people of Marysville, California, gathered for a public celebration to commemorate U.S. national independence. Taking pains to demonstrate that the "spirit of '76" was alive and well in the newly established state, a group of local men in the mining town assembled "all of the accessories of that day's proper observance, viz.: an orator, a poet, a preacher, a band, a banquet, a ball, supper, champagne, cigars, whisky, and other fireworks." A correspondent's report the following day was overwhelmed by the population's uninhibited enthusiasm for "our `ger-reat and gel-lorious' anniversary." In his overview of the official ceremony, the reporter declared that Marysville's "wilder set" were "too full of the Fourth of July to be seated, and therefore stood up on the frail benches" that had been arranged for the ceremony's audience. As a consequence, "the poem and oration were enlivened by a running accompaniment of crashes, not of an orchestral nature, but caused by seats giving way, precipitating whole rows of masculine lookers on to the floor." The poem, supposedly spliced through with the intermittent crashing of chairs and bodies, was recited by local Cherokee editor and writer John Rollin Ridge. And amidst the "wilder set" of the Marysville audience stood the "most conspicuous of the groups of strangers that enlivened the streets on this day": the "Digger squaws" ("Celebration at Marysville" 1). This article places Ridge and his publicly performed poetry at the center of an examination of U.S. citizenship in midcentury California. Poetry written to be recited at public celebrations--a genre nineteenthcentury readers called "official...
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University of Nebraska Press
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Abstract

"Let Paler Nations Vaunt Themselves" John Rollin Ridge's "Official Verse" and Racial Citizenship in Gold Rush California Alanna Hickey On July 4, 1860, the people of Marysville, California, gathered for a public celebration to commemorate U.S. national independence. Taking pains to demonstrate that the "spirit of '76" was alive and well in the newly established state, a group of local men in the mining town assembled "all of the accessories of that day's proper observance, viz.: an orator, a poet, a preacher, a band, a banquet, a ball, supper, champagne, cigars, whisky, and other fireworks." A correspondent's report the following day was overwhelmed by the population's uninhibited enthusiasm for "our `ger-reat and gel-lorious' anniversary." In his overview of the official ceremony, the reporter declared that Marysville's "wilder set" were "too full of the Fourth of July to be seated, and therefore stood up on the frail benches" that had been arranged for the ceremony's audience. As a consequence, "the poem and oration were enlivened by a running accompaniment of crashes, not of an orchestral nature, but caused by seats giving way, precipitating whole rows of masculine lookers on to the floor." The poem, supposedly spliced through with the

Journal

Studies in American Indian LiteraturesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Mar 2, 2015

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