From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.
July 4. –This day, being the Anniversary of American Independence, when the thirteen United States publicly and gloriously threw off the shackles forged by George the Third, the British tyrant, and nobly reassumed those rights which God and nature bestowed on man, the same has been noticed by every mark of joy. In the forenoon, the Reverend Mr. Gordon, of Roxbury, at the desire of the assembly sitting at Boston, preached an excellent discourse from 1 Kings xii. 15. After which the General Court having given previous orders for making every preparation for drinking success to the Thirteen United States, sent an invitation to General Heath, and the officers of the Continental army and navy; Colonel Crafts and the officers of the train; Colonel Hichborn, of the independent company; Colonel Hatch, the officers of the militia, and many other gentlemen. While the Congress, and other toasts were drank, the guns at Fort Hill, Castle Island, Hull, and the vessels of war in the harbor, fired a grand salute. Also a detachment of Colonel Crafts’ regiment of artillery in Congress street, gave thirteen discharges from brass cannon and with powder, both manufactured in the State of Massachusetts. The independent company and the militia, in conjunction with the train of artillery, made a very martial appearance, manoeuvred and performed their firings in view of the General Court, to their full acceptance, and the approbation of the spectators at large.
In the evening Colonel Crafts illuminated his park on the common, threw several shells, and exhibited a number of fireworks. The cheerful appearance of the gentlemen and ladies in the park, and the pleasantness of the eve, closed with universal satisfaction the joys of the day, which so conspicuously appeared in the countenances of every true friend of America.1
1 Pennsylvania Evening Post, July 24.