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Thanksgiving Day Proclamation – 1789

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is the text of George Washington’s October 3, 1789 national Thanksgiving Proclamation; as printed in The Providence Gazette and Country Journal, on October 17, 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 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 favorable interpositions of His providence 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 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 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 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 third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

G. Washington
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A little late to comment but I'm getting caught up on blogs as quickly as I can - Love the proclamation so thanks for posting it and hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!
    1961 days ago
    emoticon m emoticon Yes its all about Thanks , and me i am so thankful. It has turned cold here it was 65 today and the temp has dropped and will go to 23 tonight. I was lying on the sofa watching PBS and i had a quilt that was my Mom's over me and i started thing how thankful i was to have a roof over my head and a warm home and a nice quilt to wrap up in.

    C emoticon
    1975 days ago
    Thank you so much for reproducing this here. I had never read it before. I sometimes feel we get so caught up in the "partying" aspect of the event that we lose sight of the historical details.

    I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving Day!
    1976 days ago
    Thanks for the actual declaration. I'm not sure if I ever read it before. Happy THanksgiving!
    1976 days ago
    Go, George! emoticon
    1977 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/22/2012 3:53:09 AM
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    1977 days ago
    1977 days ago
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