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Posts Tagged ‘Abraham Lincoln’

Thanksgiving Proclamations by Presidents Washington and Lincoln

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 27, 2014

This came by messenger 215 years ago…

President George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation[New York, October 3, 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go: Washington

This came over the telegraph 151 years ago…

Last Page of President Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation[Washington, October 3, 1863]

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans. mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 3d day of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on November 28, 2013

In honor of today being Thanksgiving, I am posting a press release that has been sitting around for quite a while:

Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America’s  national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration,  President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on  November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for  a local day of thanksgiving.

 Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln  on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving  made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed  that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in  our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States;  it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become  permanently, an American custom and institution.”

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different  times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln  responded to Mrs. Hale’s request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who  ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that  she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the  editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. George Washington was the first president  to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789,  exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November “as a day  of Thanksgiving and Praise.” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from  John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document  was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original  was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member  Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on  his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

 The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with  the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these  bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to  forget the source from which they come, others have been added,  which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to  penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible  to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of  a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has  sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their  aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has  been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and  harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military  conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the  advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of  wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to  the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle  or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements,  and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals,  have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has  steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made  in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country,  rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor,  is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase  of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal  hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts  of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for  our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to  me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and  gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the  whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens  in every part of the United States, and also those who are at  sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart  and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of  Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth  in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up  the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances  and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national  perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those  who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the  lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and  fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal  the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be  consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace,  harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the  Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in  the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three,  and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, Secretary of State

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