Excerpt from Commemoration on Board U. S. Mail Steamer Hermann, Lieut. Eward Higgins, U. S. N., Commander, on the Passage From Bremen to New York, July Fourth, 1853
On the eve of the 4th of July, the Hermann being then 11 days out from Southampton, an informal meeting of the passengers was held in the saloon to take into consideration how the day of our national independence might most appropriately be honored. A committee was appointed to confer with Captain Higgins on the subject, who forthwith reported that the Captain had very readily tendered all the capabilities of the ship to assist on the occasion. The meeting then unanimously elected Mr. Richard Sands, whose name is a household word both in the old and new world, as President of the day, and appointed committees of arrangements to draw up programmes of the festivities.
The passage had until that time been unusually boisterous for the season. We had encountered continued gales of head winds and were in very great doubt lest the weather might prove too unfavor able for any demonstration. The evening before the fourth, however, the sun for the first time set with a promise of a fine morrow.
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