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Thread: Proclamation of Thanksgiving

  1. #1

    Default Proclamation of Thanksgiving

    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/...hes/thanks.htm

    This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.
    Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

    Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. George Washington was the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, issuing his request on October 3, 1789, exactly 74 years before Lincoln's.

    The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

    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

    Truth is a social construct.



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  3. #2

    Default The origin & history of Thanksgiving

    https://web.archive.org/web/20040411...nghis_redw.htm

    Thanksgiving. The day America sets aside for family, for remembrance. It’s a day of Pilgrims, Native Americans, turkey and pumpkin pie but if it wasn’t for a persistent female magazine editor, we may not have the day to celebrate today. It was Sarah Josepha Hale who really pushed hard for a permanent national Thanksgiving celebration. But her involvement was far down the road from the first Thanksgiving.

    The first Thanksgiving celebration held in America occurred in 1619. On December fourth of that year, thirty-eight English settlers arrived at the Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. Part of their original charter stated that they would set aside that day every year and observe it as a day of Thanksgiving. Due to the hardships of those early times and various other factors, the celebration turned out to be a short-lived occurrence.

    The next recorded celebration is also the most famous. Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1621. The first winter the Pilgrims had in the ‘New World’ was a brutal one (nearly half of those who came over on the Mayflower died). Times did eventually grow easier on them though, the following harvest season was so bountiful in fact that the Pilgrims decided to hold a feast for celebration and thanksgiving. This ‘festival’, which lasted three days, included the participation of nearly one hundred Native Americans. Governor William Bradford had invited the natives to show them appreciation, for helping his colony survive through the harsh weather conditions.

    The next ‘thanksgiving’ celebration did not occur until 1623. This year the Pilgrims were again hit with a great natural hardship, a draught. In the hope of bringing much needed rain, they gathered together in a prayer service. The next morning it started to rain and it rained long and hard for the next several days. When it became apparent that the crops (and the colonists) would survive, Governor Bradford declared that they would hold another day of thanksgiving (the Indians were again invited). As other settlers came to the country, they held their own thanksgiving celebrations, but each celebration was independent of the next.

    In 1668 the Plymouth General Court tried to bring some order to the celebration by declaring November 25th to be Thanksgiving. It was a proclamation that only lasted within the colony for five years.

    How Thanksgiving came to be held on a Thursday is not widely know. A very logical belief is that the first Thanksgivings were held on Thursday (and in some cases Wednesday) so as to not interfere with the Sabbath. During these times, the Sabbath was an extremely important day; Saturday was a day of preparation and Monday was out to give the Sabbath it’s proper respect so with these ‘restrictions’ Thursday becomes an easy choice.

    The first national celebration of Thanksgiving occurred in 1777. This one-time only event occurred at this time also as a way to celebrate the American defeat of the British at Saratoga.

    The day worked it’s way on and off local calendars until 1789 when George Washington made the first Presidential proclamation declaring Thanksgiving a national event. The first Thanksgiving held under this proclamation occurred on November 26 of that year. The pattern was set.

    When he was named as the Second President of the United States, John Adams, in an effort to be different, declared a day of Thanksgiving but moved it from Thursday to the Wednesday previous. Finding it brought more resistance than he felt it was worth, Adams relented and changed the day back.

    When it was Thomas Jefferson’s turn as President, he decided against the idea of Thanksgiving. At this time, many were against the idea of taking a day to honor the hard times of a few pilgrims. And so it went for nearly sixty years, until Sarah Josepha Hale came to bat.

    A magazine editor, Hale wrote strong editorials in many of the popular magazines of the time (including Boston Ladies’ Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book), she also wrote letters to anyone and everyone (including Presidents, Governors, Congress members and others) who might help her cause. She was concerned with her belief that the country needed to set aside a day to give thanks ‘unto him from who all blessings flow’.

    Finally she struck the right chord with Abraham Lincoln and in 1863, Hale saw her dream realized as the President declared the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

    For the most part, it is a day that has stayed. In the 1930’s President Roosevelt tried to move the date a bit. He tried to slide it forward by a week to extend the Christmas shopping season. Facing immense critical outrage, he moved the day back with little fanfare. Later during Roosevelt’s administration, in 1941, Congress declared the fourth Thursday in November to be the legal Holiday known as Thanksgiving.

    It should be noted that while Thanksgiving has become a holiday deeply associated with America, there have been numerous ‘harvest’, autumn, and ‘thanksgiving’ festivals throughout history including Grecian, Roman and Egyptian celebrations.

    Truth is a social construct.

  4. #3

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    Maybe if they had a National Administrative Professionals Day those Pilgrims would have been more civilized .

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by oyarde View Post
    Maybe if they had a National Administrative Professionals Day those Pilgrims would have been more civilized .
    I am not condoning it, but they had to take measures against the savages they encountered.

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  6. #5

    Default

    Not the last Thursday any longer. Fourth Thursday.

  7. #6

    Default

    Sarah Josepha Hale appears in my ancestry. She also wrote "Mary had a little lamb."
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.






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