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  • Morning Bell: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

    We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday yesterday and continue to enjoy spending time with friends and family today. The Heritage Foundation will be posting on The Foundry throughout this Friday so please check back frequently. Till then, do enjoy President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation below.

    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.

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    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Morning Bell: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

    1. Bill says:

      Lincoln is the president that planted the seeds for the trees that are now yielding their fruit of Marxism in this country. Why do you offer glory to the evil of Abraham Lincoln?

    2. Dunk, Wayx says:

      Lincoln was a great REPUBLICAN!!!

    3. Richard E. Deetz, St says:

      What beautiful sentiments. How can any state that Lincoln was not a spiritual man. What articulate, erudite words !!

    4. werner h graf, michi says:

      The socialists that have hijacked our government will ultimately fail in their pursuit. When that time comes we will again hear a proclamation from our president that divine providence is,indeed, the life source of our freedom as a people. Only then will unsurpassed prosperity return and our nation will be a beacon of hope for the entire world.

    5. Wendell says:

      It is utterly amazing to me just how far we have stumbled away form core values of of Our Nation in the past 150 years. These were the values of my Great Grandparents and Grandparents.

      Without the guiding wisdom of God we are like a great ship without a compass, and no other option but to flounder at sea until the end.

      Let us not make this error ant longer and return to values and wisdom of our forefathers who understood what would make our country great a light amongst the nations.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Where are the atheists? Why aren't they declaring war on Thanksgiving like they are on Christmas? What's Thanksgiving? Isn't Thanksgiving a religious holiday like Christmas? Of course it is! Don't be ridiculous. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated, history tells us, was a feast shared by the Pilgrims of Plimoth Plantation, and the Wampanoag Indians. The first national Thanksgiving was declared in 1789 by George Washington. It was declared partly to give thanks for the Constitution. The first national Thanksgiving in 40 years was declared on October 3, 1863, by Abraham Lincoln, after a 40-year lobbying campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey's Ladies' Book, the first women's magazine. It was then moved to the third week of November. In 1939, FDR moved it to the fourth week of November so that it would help merchants with their sales. It was moved back to the third week of November when it bombed. So again I ask: Where are the atheists? Where's the war on Thanksgiving?

    7. Dave Provo, UT says:


    8. Amelia Wasiluk, amew says:

      Thank you for your information.

      I enjoy reading stories of success, love and courage. However, I am concerned about the future of this country, due to the fact that some major things in the system do not work any more. As a matter a fact they have the opposite effect. For instance, once I put in a position where i was forced to prove myself in court that i did not need welfare. i was being pressured, coersed and threatened into accepting their handouts when my 4 year old son was born.

      There's got to be a different way of distributing welfare. What i mean, not give incentives for spending the given budget so that the following year they get the same or more for social workers to stay in business.

      Thank you,

      Amelia Wasiluk

    9. Gloria, Aurora, IL says:

      I give thanks to God Almighty for the generous and gracious favors He has bestowed on America. This is a land undeniably blessed. I wish Americans would look to Him as the true and only reliable source of all blessings, for to be sure, such true benevolences do not come out of the ever-exacting hand of government. Foolish is he who considers his fortunes the product of the State. In the end, he will have no dignity or fortunes on which to lean.

      God bless America, my beautiful and generous adopted great land.

      Thank You Lord God Almighty for all the favors You have shown Her.

    10. J Holman, TN says:

      Lincoln is the worst choice for Thanksgiving Day. He destroyed State's rights and put the Constitution on a downhill slide ever since the War of Aggression. There were earlier Days of Thanksgiving that could be looked at. The one at Jamestown, or the one at St Augustine, and lastly the Day of Thanksgiving proclaimed by Pres Jefferson Davis for Nov 15, 1861.

    11. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Amen, and may God continue to Bless us.

    12. Phil, The Villages, says:

      I've always felt vaguely uncomfortable about Lincoln and the Civil War. We, the Heritage Foundation members, spend a great deal of our effort promoting the rights of the States and decrying the tyranny of a centralized Federal Government.

      Yet, there it is in the 1860’s. I know Slavery was, and is, a terrible injustice. But, the whole process that led to the Civil War leaves a bad taste in my Conservative mouth.

      One thing that cannot be argued is that Lincoln was one hell of a wordsmith.

    13. Lwesson, Tejas says:

      Lincoln then continued on with his murderous TOTAL War against a nation that wanted nothing more than it's independence, free from the hypocritical condemnation of the North and it's LSD like bizarre religious notions about the coming of the Lord (See, that Terrible Swift Sword song) by destroying the South.

      Europe looked at the blood drenched Northern war as wickedly farcical in light to all of the rhetorical pomp and circumstance of The Declaration of Independence.

      What Lincoln "blessed" upon the nation besides the death between 600 to 700 thousand lives, military and civilian, was the Federal Behemoth State, taxation, multiculturalism, corporate industrial control resulting in a ruling oligarchy, the Death of the Jeffersonian Republic and ultimately the pending death of the very nation itself.

      And of course the death of countless millions of yummy turkeys should not be forgotten.

    14. larry, TN says:

      I agree with a lot of the comments here about Lincoln. The civil war was the ugliest of all American history. Most of the people who lost everything in the south didn't have slaves, but the were attacked anyway and their homes were burned, children and women were murdered, and anything of value was stolen. I would say that Lincoln will be remembered by many as the worst president in history.

    15. Larry White says:

      Thank you again for unique look into our history.

      Lincoln was a God Sent leader to our country; our present leader is as close to his opposite as one can imagine.

      God Bless you Heritage.

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