A PROCLAMATION by the President of the United States of America:
The completed circle of summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, has
brought us to the accustomed season at which a religious people
celebrates with praise and thanksgiving the enduring mercy of Almighty
God. This devout and public confession of the constant dependence of man
upon the divine favor for all the good gifts of life and health and
peace and happiness, so early in our history made the habit of our
people, finds in the survey of the past year new grounds for its joyful
and grateful manifestation.
In all the blessings which depend upon benignant seasons, this has
indeed been a memorable year. Over the wide territory of our country,
with all its diversity of soil and climate and products, the earth has
yielded a bountiful return to the labor of the husbandman. The health of
the people has been blighted by no prevalent or widespread diseases. No
great disasters of shipwreck upon our coasts or to our commerce on the
seas have brought loss and hardship to merchants or mariners and clouded
the happiness of the community with sympathetic sorrow.
In all that concerns our strength and peace and greatness as a nation;
in all that touches the permanence and security of our Government and
the beneficent institutions on which it rests; in all that affects the
character and dispositions of our people and tests our capacity to enjoy
and uphold the equal and free condition of society, now permanent and
universal throughout the land, the experience of the last year is
conspicuously marked by the protecting providence of God and is full of
promise and hope for the coming generations.
Under a sense of these infinite obligations to the Great Ruler of Times
and Seasons and Events, let us humbly ascribe it to our own faults and
frailties if in any degree that perfect concord and happiness, peace and
justice, which such great mercies should diffuse through the hearts and
lives of our people do not altogether and always and everywhere prevail.
Let us with one spirit and with one voice lift up praise and
thanksgiving to God for His manifold goodness to our land, His manifest
care for our nation.
Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States,
do appoint Thursday, the 29th day of November next, as a day of national
thanksgiving and prayer; and I earnestly recommend that, withdrawing
themselves from secular cares and labors, the people of the United
States do meet together on that day in their respective places of
worship, there to give thanks and praise to Almighty God for His mercies
and to devoutly beseech their continuance.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 29th day of October, A.D. 1877,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred