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Thanksgiving Proclamations of the Colonial and Founding Period

Thanksgiving Proclamations were common place during the Colonial and Founding Periods of the United States. Here are just a few examples:

1763 Proclamation of Thanksgiving by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth New Hampshire

File:Benning Wentworth governor Thanksgiving Proclamation.jpg

“The many great Mercies Almighty God, has all of His abundant Goodness, undeservedly made us Subjects of, in the Course of the Year pas, demand our thankful and dutiful Acknowledgment thereof, in the most public and solemn manner:

I have therefore not fit, with the Advice of his Majesty’s Counsel,

To order point, that Thursday the Twenty-Fourth of this Instant November, be religiously observed and kept as a Day public THANKSGIVING throughout this Province; and both Ministers and People hereby exhorted, seriously and devotedly Somenize the same, by devoting a reasonable Part of said Day to the public Worship in their respective congregations. That with thankful and obedient Hearts, we may offer up our united Praises to the most high GOD, that in his infinite Goodness has been pleased to spare and preserves the Life of our most gracious Sovereign Lord King GEORGE, and the Life of his Royal CONSORT; that the Lives of their Royal Highnesses the Prince of WALES, and the rest of the Royal Family, have been prolonged; that our civil and sacred Liberties have continued to us; that we have been preserved from the Incursions of our savage Enemy; that notwithstanding our Fears from Scarcity of the former Year, we have been blessed with the most plentiful Harvest; that we have, and you enjoy to a great Measure of Health in our Habitants; which, with a Multitude of other Blessings and Mercies, we are daily receiving at the Hands of our great benefactor, should excite us a Zeal for his Glory, and universal Obedience to his Divine Laws, and raise in our Souls sincere and unfeigned THANKSGIVINGS and Praises to GOD, the Father of all our Mercies.”

1766  General Thanksgiving Proclamation by Governor Francis Bernard 1766

Proclamation for a General Thanksgiving Governor Francis Bernard 1766

This transcription is in progress. Please excuse any errors….

“The Business of the Year being now drawing towards a Conclusion, we are reminded, according to the laudable Usage of this Province to join together in a grateful Acknowledgment of the manifold Mercies of the Divine Providence conferred upon us in the Course of the passing year.

Wherefore I have thought it to a point and I do, by and with the advice of his Majesty’s counsel, a point Thursday the Twenty-Seventh Day of November to be a Day of public Thanksgiving, that we may thereupon, with one Heart and Voice, return our most humble thanks to Almighty GOD for the gracious Dispensations of his Providence, since the last Anniversary religious Exercise of this Kind; and particularly that He hath been pleased to preserve and maintain our Most Gracious Sovereign King George in Health and Wealth, and Peace and House, and to extend the Blessings of his Government to the remotest Parts of his Dominions, that he hath pleased to bless and preserve our gracious Queen CHARLOTTE, the Prince of Wales, and the Princess Dowager of Wales; and by the Increase of the Royal Issue to assure to us the  Confirmations of the Blessings which we desire from that Glorious House, in the he had been pleased to prosper the whole British Empire, in the enjoyment of peace, by the increase of trade and by the? Of new sources of national wealth; and especially that he hath been pleased to favor the people of this province with healthy and fearful?, And to glass the labor of their hands with an uncommon abundance and?. And I do exhort all ministers of the gospel with their several congregations in this province, assemble on said day, and in a solemn manner to return their most honorable thanks I’m to Almighty God with these and all other is mercies? Unto us, and to? Him, notwithstanding all? To continue his gracious providence over us

1801 Proclamation of a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer by Governor John Taylor Gilman of New Hampshire

John Taylor Gilman Thanksgiving Proclamation New Hampshire, 1794


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