Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Proclamations I: Good Governments, Peace, and Concord

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 and 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 favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, 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 has 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 trangressions; 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 shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase 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 3d day of October,

A. D. 1789. G.ø WASHINGTON.

From here.

1 comment:

  1. Chris_Huff7:59 PM

    I think you may have accidentally gotten your link wrong. Maybe you meant the following?

    Just from a little background reading, it looks like your link was for Washington's second Proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving. By the way, it seems blasphemous that they could hold it in February, and I'm not sure how they would ever expect to make that work with NFL scheduling - where's the forward vision from our founding fathers?

    On a more serious note, I appreciate you posting this. I realize that George Washington wasn't apparently the most orthodox of Christians and was heavily influenced by the Deism that was popular amongst the educated class at the time, but I find it interesting to look at a proclamation from a poltical leader two centuries ago and see how much it's dripping with religious rhetoric. Stands in a little bit of contrast to today.


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