Toasting a New Nation, 1760–1815


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About the Book

Raising a glass to toast someone at a wedding or birthday is a familiar and usually informal occurrence, but at one time it was a carefully orchestrated ritual. They were planned, revised, given at an event, and then printed in newspapers. Americans learned who was or was not toasted for early national celebrations: King George III, George Washington, the Fourth of July, Washington’s birthday, Jefferson’s election, or military victories. During the tumultuous years of partisan fighting, toasts were used to spread or attack certain ideologies. The toasts became glimpses into what Americans honored at specific moments in the years from the beginning of the American Revolution to the end of the War of 1812. This book is a history of the early American republic viewed through its many toasts, which were raised and published throughout the new nation. As one of the earliest forms of social media, they offer a unique lens to view American history and early popular opinion.

About the Author(s)

Timothy Symington is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the American Revolution. He lives in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Timothy Symington
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 273
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9315-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5056-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1. “Ridiculous Formality” 9
2. “May our Mother never oppress her dutiful children,” 1763–1774 23
3. “His Excellency General Washington and the Armies of America,” 1775–1783 32
4. “May the Wisdom of 1775 pervade the Councils of 1787!” 1784–1788 43
5. “The Rights of Man throughout the world,” 1789–1793 53
6. “Hypocritical Federalism and Malignant Toryism,” 1793–1796 64
7. “John Adams … the Rock and Strength of our political Salvation…,” 1797–1798 81
8. The “double curse” of John Adams, 1798–1800 96
9. “Thomas Jefferson, the polar star of republicanism,” 1801–1804 111
10. “The embargo—a deformed bantling of democracy…,” 1805–1808 133
11. “James Madison—‘tho last, not least’…,” 1809–1811 155
12. “…War.—The offspring of an adulterous intercourse…,” 1812–1815 168
13. “The American Fair—May every Mother give a WASHINGTON to her Country,” 1760–1815 188
14. Red Savages and Our National Curse, 1760–1815 202
Conclusion 216
Chapter Notes 219
Bibliography 245
Index 255