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  • Morning Bell: President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving yesterday and continue to enjoy spending time with friends and family today. While we at The Heritage Foundation enjoy our holiday, we invite you to read 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.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to Morning Bell: President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    1. Mare Z Doats says:

      Thank you foir the timely speech of President Lincoln. It holds true throughout this time. I hope it is read by our current administration.

      God bless America

      • jjay says:

        God knows it wasn't read by the last administration…

      • Ed Butler says:

        Lincoln was aping Jefferson Davis who had declared a day of Thanksgiving since 1861.

        Wisdom is found only in truth,

        Ed B.

        • "Itellyouthetruth" says:

          President Lincoln was following in George Washington's tradition of praising God in his Thanksgiving address. President Lincoln was not "aping Jefferson".

          Lincoln looked UP to Washington. I am reading through the same book President Lincoln read about George Washington, called Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed. Both read their Bible and tried their best to apply it in their daily life. "Honest Abe" and George Washington "who never told a lie" were very similar in their outlooks.

          It's also interesting how "birds of a feather flock together …". Lincolns Grandfather was friends with Daniel Boone and there was intermarrying between the two families.

      • Jack White says:

        Mike I appreciate your post but every time I read something lauding Lincolin I can't help wondering why the actual history of this man's war crimes against the South, which are so well documented, continue to be ignored. This proclimation, as good as it is, was given by a man that many see as a hypocrite.

        Here is a brief excerpt fom a blog by Mark Alexander on The Pariot Blog February 13, 2009:

        "In his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln employed lofty rhetoric to conceal the truth of our nation's most costly war — a war that resulted in the deaths of some 600,000 Americans and the severe disabling of more than 400,000 others. He claimed to be fighting so that "this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." In fact, Lincoln was ensuring just the opposite by waging an appallingly bloody war while ignoring calls for negotiated peace. It was the "rebels" who were intent on self-government, and it was Lincoln who rejected their right to that end, despite our Founders' clear admonition to the contrary in the Declaration."

        While this is about the Gettysburg address, the criticisms apply here. I would like to see The Hertiage Foundation report on the real Lincoln not the myth.

        Thanks for the other good research that you do. I just didn't like this one.

        • Bobbie says:

          lets see, Mr. White. hmm… you take the history from 1863 and share a personal perception by an author from a blog in 2009? Not really giving reality the respect it deserves and a "fair" chance, are you??

      • "Itellyouthetruth" says:

        Obama and his thugs are too busy obsessing over themselves.

        They wouldn't relate to Godly people …. or waste their time reading about them. There is an utter disconnect between Godly people and the Obama gang.

    2. Bill Codner says:

      The South has Risen Again!

    3. JJR says:

      Thank you Morning Bell. a needful read.

      • jjay says:

        Right on, especially this part: "Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield," Some things don't seem to change…

    4. jonhartz says:

      In stark contrast note the current President's Thanksgiving message had not one mention of God, and referred only to "luck". What is wrong with that man?

    5. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      What a rich and diverse history we call upon each holiday to reinforce the greatness of our nation and how disgusted one becomes when we witness life-time politicians & and a socialist/communist in the White Houseprostituting our core values just for re-election.

      Is it still politically correct to say…God Bless America?

      • Mary A says:

        Politically correct ? probably not, however with the way the wind is blowing for years, even before Obama, let's pray and fight if necessary so that it will never be illegal.

    6. Linda says:

      Thank you for sharing this. May our Lord grant us mercy in this land that is steadily turning from Him, and turn our hearts back before it's too late.

    7. Happyscrapper says:

      It is definitely FINE to say God Bless America. Say it whenever you get the chance. We are putting God back in this country, and this adminsitration will pass onto the garbage heap of dark history. The criminals will be prosecuted and we will get our country back!

    8. Raymond Grasing says:

      Lincoln's Proclamation was both a benediction and a penitent prayer. It's too bad our current leaders do not believe that either are necessary or appropriate any longer.

    9. jjay says:

      Seems okay to still speak one's mind, unless you happen to be protesting standards like Wall Street outrages like soaking investors; bank bailouts instead of those they stole from; protesting illegal wars; spending our tax dollars on the incredible waste of military industrial complex contractors; or Supreme Court outrages like declaring "corporations as people".

      "God Bless America" seems okay to say, as long as it doesn't get too specific as to who He blesses below the 1% or the poverty line.

      • Bobbie says:

        You're funny jjay! God blesses all who seek blessings, income doesn't apply. As society shows those who are blessed AREN'T those who complain over matters they as individuals can and should rightfully control as individuals in a reasonable, civil manner as those they complain about do/did. Rules, regulations, mandates, loopholes, deductions, bailouts, etc. all under the authority of government. Why is anybody putting the blame on those that use what government makes available? what a horrible waste of mind, money, time, and health! The accountability is government which stands for necessary reprimand, including all regard to illegal wars and contracting practices that are unethical. as far as the supreme court declaring "corporations are people" they wouldn't be corporations without people, so I don't understand your take on that? Unless you're talking about union corporations who dictate to their members what their members' vote will be compliments of the sub anti American democratic party?

        Anyway, Obama's thanksgiving was clearly in fact for being the president of America. "So thank you America for making me your president." hadn't he abuse America's goodness rotting because of abuse, he wouldn't have been allowed reason/exception for the perversive damage he has caused this country.

    10. paul says:

      Lincoln was a statesman. that is why there are only four presidents on Mount rushmore.
      we have not seen a statesman in America since the 1930's.

      • "Itellyouthetruth" says:

        Reagan was pretty good.

        It's hard to believe that President Ronald Reagan declared 1985 as the Year of the Bible.

        As for the others …. well … they were appeasers and helped get us to electing a imbecile like Obama. You can't get worse than Obama …..

    11. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Thanksgiving isn't a politically correct holiday. Back in 1978, my junior year in high school, I took a minicourse called The American Indian. We discussed the various Indian tribes. When Thanksgiving Week came around,
      we were talking about Thanksgiving. He said that AIM, the American Indian Movement, and young Indians, were criticizing those who were participating in reenactment of the First Thanksgiving at Plimoth Plantation, "red apple Indians," because they were red on the outside and white on the inside. Who else wouldn't approve? PETA, because they're against eating turkey. Before Thanksgiving, they erected a billboard equating eating turkey to eating the family dog. PETA=PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS. Also, the American Atheists
      and ACLU, would probably sue. GOD FORBID THAT WE GIVE THANKS TO GOD!

    12. PastorCarmen says:

      God Bless Americans that hold Christ up and Know were their Freedom comes from.

    13. klwyatt says:

      Thank you for posting this beautiful message from a true American servant leader. I would love to see you write something to acknowledge the incredible woman behind President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation — Sarah Hale!

    14. Joan Knoertzer says:

      Your message is gratefully accepted. I am so proud of your commitment to our history, and for reminding us of it. God bless you and your staff. Have a blessed holiday season.

    15. Janiece Hamblen says:

      I would like to know why you are applauding the President that did more to destroy the Constitution and did destroy State's rights? Is that not what this organization is fight for? Just like the President we now have, he had Marxist surrounding him. He only fought the war against the South to keep their wealth in the Union. It was their ports and tariffs the Federal government imposed that he was trying to keep. He cared for nothing else, but the money.

    16. Pastor John Postel says:

      As I read President Lincoln's proclamation I considered the struggle that our nation faced and endured. Today we are facing by far more dangerous treats to a nation that has once again lost its way. We have only done what seems right in our own eyes and thoughts and again forgotten that the created can not contain and sustain a society without the hand of God. May this Thanksgiving we not only enjoy the continued mercy that God has so lovingly continues to show us in our disobedience toward Him but, may we with repentance of our sins and faith in Him restore a fellowship with God Almighty giving thanks for His devine design that will lead us back to our first love — a love for Him.

    17. John Earl Carpenter says:

      Thank you. Please! Please! Dear God, help us recapture the roots that bind us into Thy pure soil.

    18. Gringo Infidel says:

      Aw yes, I too remember when the United States of America was a Christian nation but did not make anyone be a Christian.

      But then that was back when voters put more effort into choosing political leaders that represented them unlike today when voters put more effort into deciding who to vote off some T.V. show.

      Americans get what we deserve if we do not change.

    19. "Itellyouthetruth" says:

      Like President Washington, President Lincoln thanked God.

      Obama thinks he is god! LOL!

      A minion of Satan is all he is. Obama is very transparent It's no wonder Obama nearly falls over bowing to a dictator or a "king" of some turd world country. He is salivating for that role. Not on my watch will that happen. Others may have been dense but even the dumbest numb nut is catching on to Obama and his epic failure to make U.S. a turd world communist country under Sharia Law.

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