George Washington’s National Thanksgiving Proclamation

George Washington and the Thanksgiving Proclamation:

George Washington, our first president instituted the first Thanksgiving. Before the first special day, he read a statement to the public proclaiming the establishment of this new holiday.

A few things stood out to me when I read the text of his proclamation.

A religious President?

  • They wrote and spoke in very long sentences.
  • There was no mention of turkey, pumpkin pie, or football. (weird)
    See the source image

    Thanksgiving Turkey!! Where’s the cranberry sauce?

  • Our first president had a strong faith in the Almighty God.
  • The president encouraged the entire nation to acknowledge that all that is good comes from God.
  • He called for unity which to him, meant all citizens calling on the One Lord in prayer and thanksgiving.
  • Mr. Washington encouraged the practice and promotion of true religion.
  • Our first president believed in prayer and the Almighty God who provided answers to prayer and thanksgiving.

 

First National Day of Thanksgiving

 source

In Congress, Elias Boudinot introduced a resolution to create a joint committee to “wait on the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people a day of public prayer and thanksgiving,”

Duty of all Nations

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.

The great and Glorious Being

Thanksgiving Day

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 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 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.

A call for unity

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 shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord.

To practice true religion

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 third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Let’s all give thanks to the Lord for his great blessings.
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