Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Posted by Mark on November 25, 2004

Can’t imagine a way of saying it any better.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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 enable 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 show 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 dy of October, A.D. 1789.

(signed) G. Washington

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