Thursday, November 22, 2007

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

JUNE 20, 1676

“The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series
of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr
with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought
to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this
wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst
of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered
his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for
our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion,
and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened,
and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with
many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them,
without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been
sensible of, if it be the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed,
It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies
are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the
Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his
returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as
not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading
him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the
29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving
and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many
Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not
those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as diligent
to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as
a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council
doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people
of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same
Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all,
even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a
living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.”


The First Thanksgiving Proclamation (June 20, 1676)

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown,
Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express
thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community
securely established. By unamimous vote they instructed
Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of
thanksgiving, our first. That proclamation is reproduced here
in the same language and spelling as the original.

From the Historic Documents archive published online by The Patriot Post at http://PatriotPost.US.