George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

President George Washington
  City of New York, October 3, 1789
  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, and Whereas both
  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
 peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety
 and happiness.”
 Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th
 day of November next to be devoted by the People of these
 States to the service of that great and glorious 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 previous to
 their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold
 mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence,
 which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the
 late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and
 plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and
 rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish
 constitutions of government for our safety and happiness,
 and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for
 the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,
 and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful
 knowledge and in general for all the great and various
 favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
 And also that we may then 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 the People, by constantly being a government
 of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and
 faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all
 Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown
 kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government,
 peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of
 true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among
 them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a
 degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

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