The Celebration of the Fourth.
The Fourth of July was celebrated this year with more spirit and enthusiasm than our city has witnessed for many years, if ever before. The public gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the holiday, and made it one long, uproarious and glorious jubilee, from sunrise until midnight. The quantity of powder burnt was most astonishing, and at night the city was on a blaze from one end to the other with rockets and Roman candles. From the appearance of the streets Saturday morning, we would suppose there had been a heavy shower of red Chinese paper.
The day was made expressly for the occasion. There had been rains during the night, and a little before daybreak a violent wind arose, bringing on a black thunder-cloud, which in a few minutes washed and swept the streets till they fairly shone when the sun rose. The sky was brilliantly clear and fresh, and the trees, the buildings and the flags sparkled and glittered in its light. At an early hour crowds began to pour in from the country, and by ten o'clock the streets were crowded with visitors. Several hundred Canadians arrived on Thursday afternoon, to witness the celebration. Notwithstanding the tens of thousands of our own citizens who took advantage of the day to join in the excursions to the country, their place was more than made up by the influx of visitors from without.
At about half-past four the usual salute was fired from the Battery, by the Veteran Artillery, when somewhat over a thousand persons were present….
The veterans of the war of 1812 assembled in the Park early in the morning, where they attracted a great deal of attention. They were attired in citizen's costume, except the officers, and wore white belts, with short swords…
Several boats were chartered for Sandy Hook, Yonkers, Coney Island, Amboy, Fort Hamilton and elsewhere, and all were fully freighted with citizens of every age, size and sex. Many of the Military, who from the admirable arrangements of their Major-General, were enabled to join their families after 12 o'clock, also went upon excursions, and appeared highly gratified at being afforded the opportunity, which was new to them upon a Fourth of July celebration…
--New-York Daily Tribune, July 7, 1851