• "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" Author Samuel Francis Smith Offers Autograph, Photograph

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    SAMUEL FRANCIS SMITH was born in Boston, MA, on October 21, 1808, and died on November 16, 1895.  Smith was an American Baptist minister, journalist and author, and is best known for having written the lyrics to “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” which he entitled “America.”  Smith gave the lyrics to Lowell Mason and the song was first performed in public on July 4, 1831 at a children’s Independence Day celebration at Park Street Church in Boston.


    Smith attended Harvard College, now Harvard University, from 1825-1829, and was a classmate of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. After graduation, he attended Andover Theological Academy.  Smith became editor of the Christian Review and other publications of the Baptist Missionary Union.  He also became pastor of the First Baptist Church.  Smith did not stop writing. In addition to “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee,” Smith wrote over 150 hymns and in 1843 teamed with Baron Stow to compile a Baptist hymnal, The Psalmist.


    One page, ALS, 5 x 8, Newton Centre, [MA], Oct. 25, [18]92, “My dear bro[ther], It was very agreeable to me to receive your letter of the 24th Oct. and its contents were very gratifying to me.  I take pleasure in sending you my autograph, dated on my 84th birthday, and also a photograph by the same mail.  June 1842 seems far in the distance, but both to you and me it has delightful associations.  I rejoice that for the whole half century you have held fast the profession of your faith without wavering.


    “Fraternally yours,


    “S.F. Francis”


    Evening toning, with a couple of edge chips. Otherwise very good condition and wonderful to add this renowned American to any collection. Photographic image in the listing is from the internet.


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