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Read about Thanksgiving Proclamations before Abraham Lincoln including George Washington Proclamation and proclamations by other Presidents.

Thanksgiving Proclamations Before Abraham Lincoln

It was in 1789, when the first National Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation was made by George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. Thanksgiving was celebrated on last Thursday of November that year. The President made the next Thanksgiving proclamation six years later in 1795. In this proclamation, George Washington, urged to 'all religious societies and denominations, and to all persons whomsoever, within the United States to set apart and observe Thursday, the 19th day of February next as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer'.

Three years later, John Adams made a proclamation as 'a loud call to repentance and reformation' and 'Wednesday, the 9th day of May next' was to be 'observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer'. Next year, John Adams made a Thanksgiving Proclamation, which stated that 'a plain dictate of duty and a strong sentiment of nature that in circumstances of great urgency and seasons of imminent danger earnest and particular supplications should be made to Him who is able to defend or to destroy; as, moreover, the most precious interests of the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by the hostile designs and insidious acts of a foreign nation'.

It was about 15 years in 1814, when James Madison issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation stating that the 'in the present time of public calamity and war a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public humiliation and fasting and of prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States' and Thanksgiving was observed on 12th January, which was a Thursday. In 1815, Madison stated that ' a day may be recommended to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace' in his Thanksgiving proclamation.