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George Washington died on December 14, 1799. February 22, 1800, [Washington's Birthday] was set aside as the official national day of mourning. This book of sacred songs was published in anticipation of the services that would be held in honor of the man who led the nation in the Revolutionary War and who was the first President of the United States. Some of the songs included in this collection had already been used in a memorial service held in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 9, 1800. An advertisement in many Boston area newspapers states that "several of the Dirges are MASONIC, to be performed at their Grand Funeral Procession on the 11th of February." While the book is attributed only to "A Citizen of Massachusetts" it was most likely the work of the Boston area singing master Oliver Holden.


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"Sacred Dirges, Hymns, and Anthems, commemorative of the death of General George Washington, The guardian of his country"

printer   I. Thomas and E. T. Andrews
author   Oliver Holden (1765-1844)
date   Jan 27, 1800
location   Boston, Massachusetts
height   8.0"
width   9.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Communication/Poetry/Ballad/Song
accession #   #L10.007

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See Also...

Excerpt from "A Funeral Oration on the Death of George Washington"

"The Illustrated American Biography; Containing Correct Portraits of The Principal Actors in American History"

Washington Memorial

"The Hero", poem about George Washington

Letter to Dorothy Ashley Williams from her husband William Williams telling her of George Washington's funeral

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