July 4, 1802

 “Sun: Mr. Hop 1st Tim. 6&5 — afternoon I stayed with the babe — Mr. Hop: 2nd Chronicles 15&4. Tuesday Mitty & I at Concert of prayer — Mr. John Smith from Matt. 6&6. Wednesday Mrs. Hop & Mrs. Austin of Worcester here. Mr. Huntington & wife & son arrived in safety by the kindness of heaven. Thursday all at brother Warners. Jest at night my son from Boston & his father came and drank tea with us — my son is come to carry home his wife & son — he got here after we went to brothers — came by Brimfield & brought Mrs. Hitchcock thus we are favoured with all our children & grand children meeting here except Mr. Hitchcock & his son Charles. Lord bless us in the redeemer. Fryday Mr. Partons & wife visit here. Satt: Sister Dickinson & Polly visit here, Susan Cutler, Lucy Barron, Sister Warner & her daughter Dickinson. The two sons at Northampton by Hatfield forenoon.” – Elizabeth Porter Phelps, Diary Entry, July 4 1802

The fourth of July did not become a national holiday until June 28, 1870, when Congress passed a law to decree Independence Day a national holiday. It was first celebrated spontaneously in Philadelphia in 1777, as described by John Adams. However, the fourth was still often celebrated after the War of 1812 to further celebrate important moments in history on the fourth, such as the Erie Canal and emergence of railroad systems.



Diary of Elizabeth Porter Phelps, in Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers [Box 8, folder 1]. On deposit at Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

Phelps, Elizabeth Porter. The Diary of Elizabeth (Porter) Phelps, edited by Thomas Eliot Andrews with an introduction by James Lincoln Huntington in The New England Historical Genealogical Register. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Jan. 1964, p. 6, in Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers [Box 9]. On deposit at Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.