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Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:


Gratitude to benefactors is not only a duty, but is it also one of the most beautiful sentiments that can move and animate the heart.

It is our duty, at all suitable times and occasions, gratefully and publicly,to confess our dependence upon, and acknowledge our obligations to, that GREAT BENEFACTOR "in whom we live and move and have our being."

When the fruits of the Earth had ripened, and the harvest had been gathered in, our Pilgrim Fathers annually set apart a day for Thanksgiving and Praise to the God of the harvest and the Author of all their blessings.

In imitation of a custom so ancient and rational, I do, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY, THE THIRTIETH DAY OF NOVEMBER NEXT, to be observed by the people of this Commonwealth, as a day of Public Thanksgiving, Praise and Prayer.

Withdrawing from their places of business and the pursuits of pleasure, let them go to the temples of God, and there with joyful hearts raise the voiceof Thanksgiving and Praise to HIM for his goodness and mercies to us during the past year.

In our preparation for the happy family festival, let us remember the poor, upon whose destitute and cheerless homes the sun of prosperity and plenty never shines, and share with them, liberally, the bounties with which our common PARENT shall load our own tables.

In our public assemblies let us, with sincerity and truth, express our thanks to the living GOD, that HE has caused the Earth to yield her fruits in rich abundance, and rewarded the toils of the husbandman with a plentiful harvest;

That the laborer has eat the bread he has earned, in peace;

That the mechanic, the manufacturer, the merchant, and the mariner, have been left to choose their own pursuits, and been protected, and prospered in their avocations;

That general health has prevailed throughout our state, and, that the desolating scourge, which, within the last twenty years has travelled round the globe, carrying woe and death in its train, though it is again advancing over the earth, has not as yet reached our healthful shores;

That among our own citizens a new impulse has been given to that beneficent system of popular Education which was established by our fathers, and that our Colleges and High Seminaries of Learning are in a state of unusual prosperity, and are diffusing their influence and benefits among the rising generation;

That the Ministers and Professors of Religion, bearing different names,by the mutual interchange of kindness, the manifestation of Christian Charity towards each other, and by a cordial and earnest co-operation in the support

and diffusion of the cardinal doctrines of the Holy Scriptures, furnish higher evidence that they are the true disciples and followers of that divine Master who was "meek and lowly of heart," and who "gave his life a ransom" for a guilty world:

That peace has been restored between this and a neighboring Republic, that the clangor of war has ceased in our land, and our hostile hoofs no longer trample upon foreign soil;

That Liberty, rational, constitutional liberty, civil and religious, and self-government, with all their countless blessings, are, by HIS good providence, still continued to us as citizens of this free Commonwealth;

And that this union of a great family of States, into one Republic, the work of a wise and patriotic generation of men who have passed away, the glory of this continent and the admiration of the world, exists in the vigor and beauty of youth.

But whilst with devout gratitude to our FATHER in Heaven, we recount these blessings, we should remember, with deep humility, that they are mercies flowing from his goodness, and not the reward of our merits.

Conscious of our unworthiness as sinners, let us, by sincere repentance, and faith in HIS SON invoke HIS gracious pardon, and intreat HIM to bestow upon us those spiritual endowments, which are precious beyond all the treasures of earth:

Let us pray that HE will continue to us those civil and religious institutions which we have so long enjoyed:

That HE will enable us hereafter so to discharge our individual and social duties as to render us more deserving of His favor.

That HE will direct the public functionaries of this great Union, and of all the States, in the paths of moderation, justice, and humanity; and inspire the people with a love of truth, liberty, and religion.

That He will vouchsafe HIS aid to our fellow men in the old world, who are struggling to throw off the oppression of ages, and "to retain their long-lost rights."

That HE will in our own country arrest the further extension of Slavery,and open the way in HIS wise providence for the extinction of an institution,alike repugnant to the rights of humanity, and to that just rule of conduct laid down by the SON OF GOD, binding upon all men, everywhere, of "doing unto others, as we would that others should do unto us."

And finally, that HE will give success to the instrumentalities now in operation, for diffusing the light and knowledge of Christianity over the face of the whole earth.



Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this, sixth day of October, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the seventy-third.


By His Excellency the Governor, with the advice}
and consent of the Council.


God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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There is currently no available "Beginner" label. The following is the default level label: Every year the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues a proclamation for Thanksgiving Day. Prior to 1863, when Abraham Lincoln set a permanent day for Thanksgiving, each state set its own date; some years there was none at all. The language of this 1848 declaration by Gov. Briggs of Massachusetts is typical, save for some very topical references. 1848 was the year the Mexican War ended with the Treaty of Guadeloupe that ceded almost half of Mexico to the United States. New England had been opposed to the war which many saw as an effort to extend territory for slavery. Briggs calls for an end to "the further extension of slavery," an institution he declares is "repugnant to the rights of humanity." The debates over the status of the land taken from Mexico would eventually lead to a decade of political crises that would end in the Civil War.


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" A Proclamation For A Day Of Public Thanksgiving And Praise"

publisher   Commonwealth of Massachusetts
creator   George N. Briggs
date   Oct 6, 1848
location   Boston, Massachusetts
width   19.0"
height   24.0"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Public Announcements/Broadside
accession #   #L02.149

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See Also...

"Thanksgiving Assembly"

"A Proclamation For A Day Of Thanksgiving and Praise"

"Thanksgiving Pies"

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