An Ohio Barbecue

An Ohio Barbecue, 1833

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By Robert and Mary Steele

The second election of General Jackson to the Presidency was celebrated in Dayton on the 8th of January, 1833, by a barbecue on the common west of the basin, now Cooper Park. National salutes were fired during the day. Immediately on the arrival at noon of a canal-boat with from fifty to one hundred citizens of Miamisburg, “a hickory tree bearing the American flag, still larger and more majestic than that which on a previous occasion left a stump” (an evident allusion to the cutting down of the Jackson pole in 1832), was erected. A large number of people from this and adjacent counties were present on this occasion. After the erection of the pole a procession was formed, in front of which walked four Revolutionary soldiers bearing liberty-caps and two members of the Dayton Hickory Club carrying an appropriate banner, who were followed by another soldier bearing the American flag. After moving through the principal streets, the procession passed into the Court-house, where an address was made and resolutions were adopted; from the Courthouse they proceeded to the common, where an ox was roasted whole, of which and other refreshments all were indiscriminately Invited to partake. The barbecue was followed by some “spirited sentiments,” after which the procession reformed and marched to the center of town, where it dispersed. A barbecue was usually an uninviting feast. The outer part of the ox was smoked and scorched, and the remainder uncooked, though the animal was always roasted for many hours. After the feast the almost untouched carcass was hauled off by horses, surrounded by a crowd of boys and dogs, to be disposed of by hogs and hounds.

From: Early Dayton: with important facts and incidents from the founding of the city of Dayton, Ohio, to the hundredth anniversary, 1796-1896, by Robert W. Steele and Mary Davies Steele.
Dayton, OH: W.J. Shuey, 1896.

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