Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

We here in the United States tend to get carried away with pilgrims and turkeys and overabundant feasts at the end of November while those of us who live in New England like to smugly think that it was our very own ancestors who celebrated the very first Thanksgiving Day and no one else. Sometimes traditions are hard to break and those things that are drilled into our heads during our early formative school years are hard to put aside.

Though it's quite likely that the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 did have some sort of Harvest Feast with the Native Americans who populated this part of the country (before they were beat back into submission and forgotten about until they resurrected themselves and started building massive casinos), Thanksgiving was not proclaimed as a National Holiday until 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. Encouraged by Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent magazine editor of her day, it was he who set apart the last Thursday of November as a day of "National Thanksgiving and Praise".

To that end, when you sit down tomorrow at your dinner table that is virtually groaning under the weight of all of the good food heaped upon it with all of your family and friends surrounding it and bow your heads or join hands to give thanks, please remember to say thank you to one of this country's greatest Presidents who proclaimed that you should have a day off to do those things.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and eat a piece of pumpkin pie for me and Abe!

President Abraham Lincoln
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 unequaled 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 consiousness 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 Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward
Secretary of State

14 comments:

  1. amen.

    I'll email you washington's...

    Have a great day tomorrow...and I THANK YOU and everyone like you who work on holidays to keep the rest of us safe.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving Linda!!

    I love love love the new blog look! It's awesome!

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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  4. Linda - Happy Thanksgiving...enjoy the day.

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  5. HAPPY THANKSGIVING LINDA TO YOU AND YOURS. XXX

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  6. Linda, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Patti's mom is being released today, so today is an especially good one to give thanks. Using Honest Abe's proclamation is great, and he found thanks for so much even in his darkest hour. Thanks be to all...

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  7. Hope you manage to still have a wonderful Thanksgiving even though you have to work to keep those folks up in Connecticut protected! I'm getting ready here to get everything coordinated now with cooking times for potatoes, gravy and the veggies so we can eat by 3:30 this afternoon, if all goes well!
    Hope your feeling better too, Kid!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. I had a dream with you last night. I dreamt that we went to some sort of a blogger meet up and your girls showed up and surprised you with cupcakes - they were delicious by the way. How funny huh?

    Happy Thanksgiving. My wish for you is to have a beautiful day filled with family, friends and fun!

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  9. A wonderful Thanksgiving post. Have a great one!

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  10. Abraham Lincoln is probably one of our better presidents.

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  11. Happy thanks giving dear.
    thank you for your picture.

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  12. Nice picture of the president.
    happy thanks gin\ving.

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