On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln, issued a proclamation of thanksgiving which set apart the last Thursday of November as a “day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”
Earlier in his administration on November 28, 1861, Lincoln had ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving. After that, there became an increasing interest to have Thanksgiving the same day in all the states.
Our country was in the midst of a civil war in 1863, therefore, Lincoln’s Proclamation of Thanksgiving contained many references to the ongoing strife of the war. Based on the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, following is a condensed version of the 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 ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity…the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict. Even with needful diversions…to the national defense, we have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements and population has steadily increased.
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.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States 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 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, tranquility and Union.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln and written by
Secretary of State William Seward.
I believe a proclamation for this year could read more like this:
The year that is drawing toward its close is filled with empty promises of more entitlements under the guise of health care reform, stimulus and clean energy further increasing dependence and expanding a voting bloc who looks to the government for their every need. We pray the time will come when our politicians agonize more over the next generation than the next election.
Even though we are the strongest military power in the world, political correctness will no longer allow us to identify and bring our enemies to justice. We have eliminated the word victory in reference to military campaigns against terrorists who wish to destroy our country. We now give rights granted under our constitution, solely reserved for our citizens, to those terrorists.
While we still enjoy economic stability and prosperity, there are those who wish to curb it with new taxes and programs for those who do not want reap the rewards of their labor, yet desire goods and services paid for by the sweat of others.
Aircraft, ships and vehicles have enlarged our borders and our population has increased. While we welcome those from foreign lands with open arms who come here legally, we have failed to secure our borders from those who wish to do us harm.
Nevertheless, due to the Divine Providence of an almighty God, we have been exceedingly blessed as a nation. Although attacks from our enemies outside our borders have put us on the defense, we realize our most dangerous enemy is the one within the confines of our sovereign nation.
Only Divine intervention will curtail those who wish to use our right of free speech to indoctrinate our children with socialism and Marxism at movie theaters and various schools throughout our nation. Our Heavenly Father has been merciful to us, but those who hate our country now have such a powerful influence on our children that only He can demonstrate what must be done to reconcile ourselves to His will.
I hereby invite my fellow citizens all across our God-given land to join with me on the fourth Thursday of November to observe a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to the Most High God from whom all blessings flow and implore Him to help us heal our wounds by bringing us together so that we may once again become the United States of America.
Dennis Powers is a conservative columnist and his columns can be found in TheLaFollettePress.com, OnTheRightTrackOnline.blogspot.com,
BackyardPolitics.org and BackPorchPundits.com Send your comments to DennisHPowers@Comcast.net or mail them to POB 179, Jacksboro, TN 37757.