Hannah Pierce on July 4 observance, 1834
Hannah Pierce of Baldwin wrote to her sister-in-law, Anne Longfellow Pierce of Portland, beginning her letter, "Will perhaps like to know what the Old Maid is doing here alone?" She then went on to give a rather tongue-in-cheek account of her observance of Independence Day. She said she substituted reading the letters of Major Jack Downing for the Declaration of Independence. Downing was the satirical creation of writer and newspaper editor Seba Smith, a friend of several of Hannah's brothers. The character of Jack Downing criticized the political excesses of President Andrew Jackson and other politicians.