1814.072: The Cossack Celebration.

Published: 1814

Full Title: [The Cossack celebration, at Shepherd’s Town, Jefferson County, Virginia, July 18th, 1814].

Author: Farmers Repository.

Place Issued: Charlestown

Issuing Press: Richard Williams

Description: Unrecorded


No copy known extant; entry here is conjectural, wholly derived from indirect evidence. In July & August 1814, a long mock-heroic poem – "The Cossack Celebration" – appeared in Charlestown's Farmers' Repository, ridiculing the behavior of local Federalist leaders; they had staged a service celebrating the fall of Napoleon in the union church at Shepherdstown, in mimicry of one staged by Gouverneur Morris in New York, then retired to a barbeque that became a drunken brawl; at the time, the Repository was in the hands of Richard Williams's young foreman, John S. Gallaher, while he served in the Virginia militia at Norfolk; Gallaher evidently drafted the verses that appeared in that paper for five weeks running until he too was called to service in response to the British raid on Washington and Baltimore. When Gallaher returned to Charlestown in September, he apparently published a pamphlet edition of The Cossack Celebration in reaction to widespread anger with Federalists who still opposed the war, despite the invasion. The existence of such a pamphlet (reported as this item) is surmised from a second edition "revised and enlarged, with notes explanatory" that was published in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in October; such "notes explanatory" were not necessary for the Repository's readers, being familiar with Federalist leaders in the Virginia and Maryland counties astride the Potomac near Charlestown; but they would be needed to inform readers in central Pennsylvania. Hence the determination here that a first edition of The Cossack Celebration issued in Charlestown in 1814, and the parties responsible for it.

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