As the United States celebrated its centennial on July 4, 1876, the citizens of Pottsville, Pennsylvania gathered to hear an address by prominent local lawyer George Chambers.
He had been asked to speak about the history of the Schuylkill County seat by a group of local business leaders and politicians. This offer was given in accordance with a request from President Ulysses S. Grant that communities all across America gather on Independence Day and learn more about the history of American towns and cities.
The speech was given at Union Hall in Pottsville before a packed crowd. The presentation was so well received that a petition was passed around in order to have the speech published. The Standard Publishing Company of Pottsville published the speech later in 1876.
Below, you’ll find the speech in full as published and later digitized by the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center.
Featured Image: Pottsville, Pennsylvania, circa 1870 (Getty Museum)