Adams Papers

To John Adams from William Stephens Smith, 23 February 1800

Union Brigade Feby. 23d. 1800


I have the Honor to inform you that agreably to your Proclamation, of the 6th. of January, recommending to the People of The United States to assemble on the 22d. day of Feby. in such numbers and manner as might be convenient publickly to testify their grief for the Death of General George Washington, by suitable Eulogies, Orations and discourses, or by public Prayer—<that> the Union Brigade which I have the honor to command discharged the duty enjoined with respect and reverance—I had a prayer composed for the occasion—a military oration written and a few Verses made which were sung solemnly by the troops, all of which embellished, with a reverential address a display of oratorial talents & music seem’d to give satisfaction, to a very numerous collection of People assembled on the occasion, the manœvre and march of the Brigade to the Stage, was correct and performed with military precission, the whole scene, was solemn, impressive, and highly respectful.

We used only martial instruments, recollecting that softer music was banished by Lycurgus, and proscribed by Plato, as unfriendly to Virtue and destructive of Manhood.

I have the Honor to be with the Highest Respect, / Sir / Your most Obedient / and very Humble Servt.

Wm S: Smith

Lt. Colo. of the 12th

MHi: Adams Papers.

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