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  • Morning Bell: Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    Thanksgiving was not formally made a federal holiday until 1941. However, it has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November annually since President Abraham Lincoln delivered the address below in 1863. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Heritage Foundation.

    The year that is drawing toward 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 can not 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 theater of military conflict, while that theater 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 defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our 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 battlefield, 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 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 imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

    In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Morning Bell: Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    1. Ron Derry NH says:

      Most assuredly and with out shame, I concede to the grandeur and unending magnitude of the universal author and father of all things and give thanks with a humbled willingness to honor my fellow men with the gift of peaceful and thoughtful purpose as inspired by my forefathers and those who have given of themselves without hesitation to keep us all free.

      God bless those that give it all for us to have it all, so undeserving are we of both of these saviors that we so callously take for granted their constant vigil. On this day of Thanksgiving, we proudly declare that thanks to honor your gifts with our celebration of joy and remembrance.

      Truly we are GOD BLESSED.

    2. matthew queens, ny says:

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    3. Andre Slintak; Boca says:

      Profound…and appropriate to use the adage, "seeing the forest through the trees.". Happy Thanksgiving and GBA!

    4. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving

    5. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving! — Behind Blue Lines

    6. Gilbert Howe, Utah says:

      Excellent, Thanks for sharing this today. I am so glad we have an organization like yours to keep the true America alive.

    7. dlh8 says:

      President Lincoln thank you for giving us this day to thank our loving Father in Heaven for our blessings. I wish that our current administration had the same humility, reverence and respect that you so admirably portrayed in this speech.

    8. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving to my beloved Blog Family, and to all true Americans « VotingFemale Speaks!

    9. Pingback: One timeless Thanksgiving Proclamation; two not-so-much - texmonty’s Diary - RedState

    10. tailspin37 Freeport says:

      What has happened to this Great Country?

      Can you imagine any President or any government

      official speaking these words today?

      This Country has been blessed since its founding.

      Today, you can be suspended from school, or fired

      from a job, or just plain castigated for even

      mentioning God.

      I pray for The United States Of america, every

      single day, that we may find our way back to

      its founding principles.

      God Bless America, God Bless all her citizens,

      and may He grant all of you, bountiful blessings

      on this Thanksgiving Day.


    11. Bobbie Jay says:

      I give thanks to God the Father for the intelligent minds of logic and reason, who speak truth and goodwill to all mankind. May all mankind learn to respect and live with these privileges.

      I give thanks to Heritage for their excellent journalism, research and investigations, giving us the opportunity to write our opinions, solutions, etc, …

    12. Bobbie Jay says:

      Happy Thanksgiving!

    13. Paula K says:

      I pray we find another president like Lincoln to save this country. God bless us all and God bless America.

    14. FactReal, FL says:


      links to their journals & manuscripts


    15. Michael Hahn (Spring says:

      It's amazing how far our Country has fallen away from JESUS CHRIST! I PRAY that our Nation finds it's way back to GOD and that HE will show us mercy!

    16. Roger S., Ma. says:

      What a great speech: short and to the point, sincere and quietly dignified. And, all would have known Lincoln meant every word.

      What a contrast between yesterday's thought and today's political grandstanding!

      (No teleprompters needed!)

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