Sep 28, 2023 - Sale 2646

Sale 2646 - Lot 280

Price Realized: $ 12,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
GEORGE WASHINGTON. Issue of the Gazette of the United States with the proclamation of the first Thanksgiving under the Constitution. Issue LI [51]. 4 pages, 15 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches, on one folding sheet; stitch holes, minor foxing and wear, horizontal fold, ink calculations in the lower margin of final page. New York: John Fenno, 7 October 1789

Additional Details

The first national Thanksgiving proclamation, issued by President Washington just months after the adoption of the Constitution. It was issued in New York on 3 October, and here appears in the next bi-weekly issue of the semi-official Federalist newspaper. We know of no earlier newspaper printings. The day of prayer was set for the last Thursday of November. Thanksgiving would not be established as an annual national holiday until Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

"By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowlege the Providence for Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful to his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor: And whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me 'to recommend to the People of the United States, a Day of public Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts, the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.' Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States, to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. . . . that we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions. . . . and generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best."

Also includes the text of treaty executed with the Wyandot and other nations by General St. Clair at Fort Harmar near Marietta, OH, as ratified by President Washington. On the final page is an Independence Day oration given at Marietta by the patriot Colonel Return Meigs. Provenance: Bought from dealer Walter Dougherty circa 1980s.