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“America” Samuel Francis Smith Signed and Dated the First Four Stanzas of American Patriotic Song its Popular Lyrics also Known as “My Country 'Tis of Thee”

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SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH (1808-1895). American clergyman and poet, Author of our Nation hymn "America" (1832), Lyrics otherwise are also known as 'My Country 'Tis of Thee'.

Dated “1832 - (18)83”, Autograph Lyrics Handwritten by and Signed, “S. F. Smith”, 2 pages, measuring 5” x 8”, Crisp Extremely Fine. Noted in small pencil text on the bottom left of the blank back final page it reads: “To MC. June 9, 1883 Newton Center, Mass.” An impressive example written on clean light blue lined wove period stationary paper in his fine handwriting in rich brown ink.

This 1883 Autographed transcription contains the famous First Four Stanzas of the American patriotic song, “My Country 'Tis of Thee”, which served as one of the de facto national anthems of the United States before the official adoption of The Star Spangled Banner in 1931. Beautifully handwritten and Signed by author lyricist Samuel Francis Smith all in his hand, with his sharp signature “S. F. Smith” at lower right.

A lovely example for display with a large song title “America.” at top. The last similar example of these four stanzas, signed and dated, was in our EAHA Auction of January 23, 2021 Lot 49, which sold for $3,900.
The four original verses of "America", especially the first, are known to most American school children. Although Smith habitually noted that the verses had been written in 1832, while he attended Andover Theological Seminary, they were in fact first printed in a rare broadside under the title "Celebration of American Independence," published by the Boston Sabbath School Union on 4 July 1831.

The words (originally five stanzas) and the tune ("God Save the King") first appeared together under the title "America" in 1832.

Smith originally wrote this song in just thirty minutes, after being asked to contribute to a song-book. "America" became the national hymn of the United States in 1832. The first four Stanzas verse:

1

My country, 'tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims' pride,

From ev'ry mountainside

Let freedom ring!

2

My native country, thee,

Land of the noble free,

Thy name I love;

I love thy rocks and rills,

Thy woods and templed hills;

My heart with rapture thrills,

Like that above.

3

Let music swell the breeze,

And ring from all the trees

Sweet freedom's song;

Let mortal tongues awake;

Let all that breathe partake;

Let rocks their silence break,

The sound prolong.

4

Our fathers' God to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright,

With freedom's holy light,

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God our King.

An attractive fair copy of Smith's classic, neatly written out. See James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, pp. 249-251.
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