A Thanksgiving Proclamation
Pres. George Washington
Whereas, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;
Whereas, Both the Houses of Congress have by their joint committee, requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now, therefore, I do recommend . . . next, to be devoted by the people of these states to the great Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks—for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.…
And also that we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all people by constantly being a government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed…To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue and the increase of science among them [other nations] and us—and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
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