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"Let this auspicious day be ever sacred."

September 28, 2007

(Editor's note: This was the lead editorial on the front page of the first edition of The Hagerstown Mail, published July 4, 1828 (spelling, grammar, italicization and capitalization are as they appeared): For more information click here.

When prospects were issued a few weeks ago, for the establishment of another Newspaper in Hagerstown, so liberal an encouragement as has been shown, was not expected. True it is, that a press which would, at this crisis, advocate the cause of the pride of his country, the master spirit of the age, Andrew Jackson, has been, for more than twelve months, loudly called for by the people of Washington county. This paper is, therefore, emphatically the paper of the People; it has been established by them, and for them, and we trust will always be true to their cause, whoever may be in power; true to their cause long after the temporary disputes of the present day will be forgotten;-for this paper is intended to be permanent, and has higher and nobler objects in view than the mere exaltation of any single man to power. The public good will be, at all times, prefered to the triumph of individuals; and it will only adhere to men so long as they are considered deserving the confidence of their Country.

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It was also unknown to the publisher of this paper, when the proposals were issued, that it would make its first appearance on a day that will always be dear to every freeman;-that the "Hagers-Town Mail" would make its first trip on the day of Independence, on the glorious FOURTH OF JULY. This is a good omen of its future success, and its proposal which we republish in this first number, contain a pledge that "The political principles of this paper will be as purely Republican as those contained in the Declaration of Independence." That Declaration is also published as a state paper which has rendered its author, and all who have subscribed it;-Immortal.

And on this day, and in this state, the only surviving signer of that memorable state paper, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, instead of the pen, with which he inscribed his name, pledging his life and fortune and sacred honour, to the cause of his country's independence, will be seen, with the spade in hand, breaking ground in a great work-the Baltimore and Ohio Rail-Road-a work which, from his letter to a citizen of this county, published in this days paper, he considers as only second in importance to Maryland, to the Declaration of Independence.

And on this day another, and in our estimation a still greater, a still nobler, national work will be commenced-we mean the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal-a work which is destined to bind the East and the West in indissoluble ties;-a work, first patronized by our beloved Washington-a work which through life and until death was with him a favourite public work; and which has at last been rendered certain of completion;-it too commences this day, and an attempt to revoke and annul the Declaration of Independence, would now be as likely to succeed as any efforts to impede the progress of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal-It will go on.

And on such a day as this-the Fourth of July, which will always be remembered for its own sake;-and for the events which its annual celebration so forcibly reveals to mind; on a day when the great cause of Internal Improvement is to be signally triumphant-on such a day "The Hagerstown Mail" makes its first appearance-and when it proves false to the principles established in the Declaration of Independence;-or recreant to the policy of Internal Improvements, we trust it may be broken down, and left a political wreck on the way side.

On such a day, "the Hagerstown Mail" commences its career, and past recollections, present feelings, and future hopes, forbid, at such a time, the indulgence of any thing like political warmth. On such a day we wish to see the American people united;-liberally united, and though firm and zealous in their own opinions, yet perfectly willing to let others enjoy their sentiments also. This is a day of joy, and all selfish desires and wishes ought to give way to liberal views, to enlarged and patriotic feelings.

Fifty two years have passed away since the fathers of the Revolution solemnly resolved and declared, that these United States were, and of right ought to be "free sovereign and independent." Time has tested the wisdom of their measures, and the empire, which they founded, has increased and been enlarged far beyond the most sanguine calculations. Let us then imitate their noble examples-let us always cherish the principles of liberty, always be found zealous in the cause of our country.

One word more-The "Mail" does not wish to interfere with, or wantonly injure other vehicles it may meet or overtake, along the political road. The "Mail" will pursue a straight, open, and direct course-it will "keep to the right as the law directs," whilst maintaining its rights, and will rather aid than injure any broken down adversary it may fall in with. Our carriage, our materials, of every kind, are all new, and we shall endeavour to please our patrons as we go along.

We are promised, and shall be pleased to receive, Communications from our friends;-we do not wish even to see personal disputes introduced here-there are places they can be better settled. Readers take your seats. The "Mail" is ready-the "Mail" is off-and success to it.

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