Thanksgiving, 1777

How did Congress recognize Thanksgiving in 1777?

This is the text of the Continental Congress November 1, 1777 national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, as printed in the Journals of Congress.

Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, that servile labor, and such recreation as, though at other times innocent, may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment, be omitted on so solemn an occasion.

Hat Tip: Wallbuilders

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8 Responses to Thanksgiving, 1777

  1. Thanksgiving 1777: Congress says that “it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God”, specifically Jesus Christ.

    Thanksgiving 2011: The U.S. pResident doesn’t even mention God…

  2. The Continental Congress issued Thanksgiving Proclamations from 1777 to 1784, and you can read them here.

    George Washington issued the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, and you can read all Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations here.

    Many presidential proclamations are strikingly similar in their expressions of humility, thanksgiving, dependence, confession, repentance, supplication and praise to “Almighty God, “the Sovereign of the Universe,” “great and glorious Being,” “great Lord and Ruler of Nations,” “Father of Mercies,” “Redeemer of the World,” “Supreme Being,” “Most High God,” “Great Mediator and Redeemer,” “Author of All Good,” “Great Sovereign of the Universe,” “Almighty Father,” “Divine Majesty, “Holy Spirit,” “Most High God,” “Beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe,” “Giver of Good.” Every proclamation concludes with the same phrase used in the U.S. Constitution: “In the year of our Lord.”

    But something is missing from this year’s message out of the Obama White House

  3. Aaron says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I hope you enjoyed it with your family and a great meal.

  4. harvey g says:

    Hopefully God will allow US to give thanks for the departure of this anti-Christ (ian) man, some call president, after the next election.
    Surely a Christian President would be asking for guidance from the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for a struggling America especially on a day such as Thanksgiving.
    The Apostle James advised the Twelve Tribes sacttered abroad, of which I believe America is one:

    James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God,——-. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed like the wind. For let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
    Obama, whose troubled thoughts are as the waves of the seas driven and tossed by the wind. A doubled minded man, of two hearts or two souls, surely of divided loyalties and/or interests. Unstable in all his ways, confused in his mind, restless in his thoughts. Uncertain in his notions and opinions of things, always at variance in his actions. Forever in a continuance of uncertanty both in thinking and doing. Never continuing long in either opinion or practice. Forever shifting and moving. The worst president in the history of the United States of America.

    Thank God our founding fathers were the Christians they were, always under the guidance and leadership of the First King of all Israel, The Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

  5. Aaron,
    Thanks, we had a great family Holiday (Holy day).

    Harvey,
    Ineed.

  6. loopyloo305 says:

    I realize that this is off topic my friend, but I have nominated you for the Liebster Award!
    Please visit my site for the details http://loopyloo305.com/2011/12/11/liebster-award-2/

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