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Commonwealth of Massachusetts.




The example of the Fathers, and the dictates of piety and gratitude, summon the people of Massachusetts, at this the harvest season, crowning the year with the rich proofs of the wisdom and love of God, to join in a solemn and joyful act of united praise and Thanksgiving to the Bountiful Giver of every good and perfect gift.

I do, therefore, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY, the 21st day of November next, the same being the anniversary of that day, in the year of our Lord sixteen hundred and twenty, on which the Pilgrims of Massachusetts, on board the Mayflower, united themselves in a solemn and written compact of government, to be observed by the people of Massachusetts as a day of Public Thanksgiving and Praise. And I invoke its observance by all people with devout and religious joy.

"Sing aloud unto God, our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob."---Psalm lxxxi. 1----4.
"O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hath proved us: thou has tried us, as silver is tried."--Psalm lxi. 8---10.

Let us rejoice in God and be thankful, for the fulness with which he has blessed us in our basket and in our store; giving large reward to the toil of the husbandman, so that "our paths drop fatness:"

For the many and gentle alleviations of the hardships which in the present time of public disorder have afflicted the various pursuits of industry:

For the early evidences of the reviving energies of the business of the people:

For the measure of success which was attended the enterprise of those who go down to the sea in ships, of those who search the depths of the ocean to add to the food of man, and of those whose busy skill and handicraft combine to prepare for various use the crops of the earth and the sea:

For the advantages of sound learning, placed within the reach of all children of the people, and the freedom and alacrity with which these advantages are embraced and improved:

For the opportunities of religious instruction and worship, universally enjoyed by consciences untrammelled by any human authority:

For "the redemption of the world by Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and the hope of Glory."

And with one accord, let us bless and praise God for the oneness of heart, mind, and purpose in which He has united the people of this ancient Commonwealth for the defence of the rights, liberties, and honor of our beloved country.

May we stand forever in the same mind, remembering the devoted lives of our fathers, the precious inheritance of Freedom, received at their hands, the weight of glory which awaits the faithful, and the infinity of blessing which it is our privilege, if we will, to transmit to the countless generations of the Future.

And, while our tears flow in a stream of cordial sympathy with the daughters of our people, just now bereft, by the violence of the wicked and rebellious, of the fathers and husbands and brothers and sons, whose heroic blood has made verily sacred the soil of Virginia, and, mingling with the waters of the Potomac, has made the river now and forever ours; let our souls arise to God on the wings of Praise, in thanksgiving that He has again granted us the privilege of living unselfishly and of dying nobly, in a grand and righteous cause;

For the precious and rare possession of so much devoted valor and manly heroism;

For the sentiment of pious duty which distinguished our fallen in the camp and in the field;

And for the sweet and blessed consolations which accompany the memories of these dear sons of Massachusetts on to immortality.

And in our praise let us also be penitent. Let us "seek the truth and ensue it," and prepare our minds for whatever duty shall be manifested hereafter.

May the controversy in which we stand be found worthy, in its consummation, of the heroic sacrifices of the people and the precious blood of their sons, of the doctrine and faith of the fathers, and consistent with the honor of God with justice to all men. And,

"Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away."----Psalm lxviii. 1, 2 "Scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield."----Psalm lix. 11.

Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this thirty-first day of October, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and the eighty-sixth of the Independence of the United States of America.




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 prior to the permanent establishment of a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863, the Governor of Massachusetts set a date for the holiday in an annual message along with a statement. This one, from 1861, was issued near the end of the first half-year of the Civil War which by then had already seen serious casualties among Massachusetts troops. The Sixth Massachusetts Regiment lost four men in Baltimore in April, 1861, the first of the Civil War. Just ten days before this proclamation was made, Massachusetts troops had suffered major losses in an attempt to capture Ball's Bluff, Virginia. Several days after this proclamation, Governor, John Andrew was re-elected.


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"A Proclamation For A Day Of Thanksgiving and Praise"

publisher   Commonwealth of Massachusetts
creator   John A. Andrew (1818-1867)
date   Oct 31, 1861
location   Boston, Massachusetts
width   20.0"
height   27.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Public Announcements/Broadside
accession #   #L02.150

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See Also...

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

"Thanksgiving Pies"

"Thanksgiving Assembly"

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