Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Following is the 1863 Lincoln Presidential Proclamation - celebrated shortly after Lincoln committed his life to Christ and celebrated while America was still in the midst of its Civil War. It was this proclamation which eventually led to the establishment of our national Thanksgiving holiday.

Proclamation of Thanksgiving
by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years 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 field 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 of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. 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 at sea and those who are sojourning 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 interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

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

A. Lincoln

Forgive us for our constant failure to acknowledge You as the Creator of this universe, the Creator and sustainer of life, the Source of every blessing. Lord, may we be reminded that You are the only source of true love, joy, and happiness. Only a personal relationship with you can ensure that our life has meaning and purpose. May we be reminded that even in times of trial, You are the true source of our strength, courage, and perseverance. Our purpose is to honor and glorify Your name and to give testimony to Your presence in our lives, even when our days are difficult and our burdens are heavy.
Again, we live in a time of unrest and we have deployed brave young men and women to foreign soils. We would ask for their safe return. We would ask for comfort for their families. And for those who do not return, we would ask that your mercy, grace, and love
protect those families that are left with the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one.
Thank you Father, for the the gift of eternal life though faith in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for your Word to guide and direct our lives. Direct us to live in peace. Direct us to live in Your perfect will. Direct us to desire a closer walk with You now, in order that we might prepare to walk with You throughout eternity. Amen.


  1. I knew that Mr Lincoln had something to do with the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday but have not read his proclamation before. Thank you for acquainting me with this powerful and inspiring prose.

    Lincoln spoke from a time when public language was more elaborate than in our own time. Some examples from this era are annoyingly overblown and flowery. By contrast Lincoln manages to be clear and concise with a tone that is both formal and pleasing to the ear but free from stuffiness. There are not many politicians whose oratory still has the ability to inspire a century and a half later.

  2. He got it right didn't he. Can't do this anymore. God has to be out of everything. What a shame. We will pay for this at some point.

    Have a terrific day and Thanksgiving. Big hug. :)

  3. Dang, you are good at giving me goose bumps!
    Thanks for posting one of my favs.