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The First American Thanksgiving Proclamation Text

Posted on: Thursday 23 November 2006

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


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 favour; and Whereas both Hou∫es of Congress have, by their joint committee, reque∫ted me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to e∫tabli∫h a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and a∫∫ign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of the∫e States to the ∫ervice 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 ∫incere and humble thanksfor His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the ∫ignal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpo∫itions of His providence in the cour∫e and conclu∫ion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have ∫ince enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to e∫tablish Con∫titutions of government for our ∫afety and happine∫s, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are ble∫∫ed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffu∫ing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been plea∫ed to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in mo∫t humbly offering our prayers and ∫upplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and be∫eech Him to pardon our national and other tran∫gre∫∫ions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private ∫tations, to perform our ∫everal and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a ble∫∫ing to all the people by con∫tantly being a Government of wi∫e, ju∫t, and con∫titutional laws, di∫creetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all ∫overeigns and nations (especially ∫uch as have shewn kindne∫s unto us); and to ble∫s them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increa∫e of con∫cience among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind ∫uch a degree of temporal pro∫perity as he alone knows to be be∫t.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand ∫even hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington


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