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Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Wednesday, Nov 27, 2019

* Worth remembering

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Glenn Beck get a copy yet?


  2. - don the legend - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    Second best holiday message. The BEST one is yet to come from the GREATEST president EVER. /s


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    === Glenn Beck get a copy yet?===

    Get a head start on Thanksgiving, you win.

    Hilarious


  4. - thunderspirit - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    I actually came in to say “you know who could use that? Glenn Beck”, but DuPage Saint beat me to the punch line. Kudos.


  5. - Unpopular - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:44 am:

    “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God”

    Amen.


  6. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    Compare this to our current president who wonders why the centennial of women’s suffrage hasn’t been commemorated before now.


  7. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    === Done at the City of Washington ===

    Even though Washington is a city within the District of Columbia, you don’t hear it referred like that anymore. Interesting.


  8. - Earnest - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    Beautiful prose and as far from empty sentiment as one can get.


  9. - JoanP - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    What an extraordinary message, such masterful prose (and without a room full of speechwriters, either).

    He gives thanks for the good, but, at the same time, without sugarcoating, acknowledging the trauma the country was going through.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 27, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Lincoln wrote like you’d hope you’d think about writing.

    Always poetic, thoughtful, all the while pointed.

    So beautiful


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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