George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving 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 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 onto 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

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