Newburgh, NY: Parmenter & Spalding, 1829. A West Point cadet's 4th of July speech delivered to the Corps of Cadets, in which first classman Joseph Ritner emphasizes national pride over sectional feelings, and the aim of the Army to support the nation above all.
Cadet Ritner here eloquently describes this pride, which would be sorely tested by the Civil War, "We are the children of the Union; and whatever tends to promote the interest of the whole, should receive our ardent and unqualified support: all our energies and affections should be merged and concentrated in that one great object-- the glory, honor, and happiness of the country which gave us birth ... And should ever faction raise the fire-brand of sedition, and spread conflagration, turmoil and confusion through our devoted land, then let it also be recorded that from her army, at least, our country received a firm, devoted support." (pp14-15).
In this period leading up to the Civil War, the USMA continued to see itself as a national institution, with the fact that cadets came from every part of the country as a mitigating factor for sectional differences.
Joseph Ritner (1809 - 1834), graduated in 1830 and was promoted in the Army to Second Lieutenant, 4th Infantry, on July 1, 1830. He served at Fort St. Philip, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1833 he was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering at Washington College, Pa.
8vo, 15pp. Original printed paper wrappers, string bound. The title page printed in a variety of elaborate type fonts. Front wrapper slightly marked, slight vertical period crease, a very pleasant copy. OCLC: 20846023 records 9 copies. Item #25874