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Proclamation of Thanksgiving


Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony 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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

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Amy Evans

America has been a nation of God-fearing people since its beginning. Many are Christians who pray daily for our President and those who have authority over us. May God touch the lives of the unsaved and non-believers, converting them to the Lord. The nation will be preserved as long as God hears prayer from believers, asking for protection and safety in the perilous times we live. Every day is a day of thanksgiving for believers, and we rejoice that America has a permanent day for all to express their greatfulness!

john feroldi

“his truth is marching on”


The left does not want history taught they want to change what our great nation stands for ; One Nation Under God.


Thank you AMAC for this great piece of History reading for the first time for me. We are One Nation Under God.

Larry Velasco

AWESOME. I too, fear for OUR GREAT COUNTRY. We have for some reason, let a group of non-GOD fearing and un- Patriotic people get in power and have to take them all OUT by voting new people in. Like the O.J. Simpson thing, I didn’t like O.J. Simpson before he KILLED the two young people, but had hoped he didn’t do it. Reason, I didn’t want it to be him because of the affect it would have on blacks. Now, we have a person in the white house, (I won’t spell it with capitols until Obama is gone and if the MURDEROUS Hillary is defeated.). barry soetoro Hussein is an EVIL person. He doesn’t like the USA. Believe it. He should be jailed, tried, convicted and EXECUTED. PERIOD. Yes, GOD BLESS OUR AMERICA. May we get HER back to what she was before these horrible people took over . Just… Read more »

Abel Camarena

Thank you AMAC for making a copy of the Proclamation available. I don’t recall ever having read it before and now discover that the true intent was for the Nation to offer a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise” to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. While we all feel and express gratitude for the blessings and good things in life, do we do so in Praise? The glamorized excitement and preoccupation with feasting, parades and football have taken center stage, distracting us from the original intent of turning to hearts and gaze, Heavenward! Although we are not reeling from civil war as in Lincoln’s time, we do face growing civil unrest and strife across the Nation. Let us remember to not only give thanks to God but praise him also, privately and publicly. Abel C.


I love our country but I fear for its future.
May God Bless America now and always.
Thanksgiving blessings to all of you!

Terry Stevens

I am thankful for AMAC. Trust me, this conversation is not taking place at AARP. May you all have a very blessed day giving thanks to our Creator God for all He has given us. But also asking forgiveness for every time we have stepped off the battlefield in complacency and apathy. We must engage the culture for the cause of Christ.

Ron and Mona Jacobson

We are also retired teachers. I taught 8th grade U.S. History over 50 yrs. ago. It amazes me that this document was written during the Civil War. I have lived my whole life with loved ones in our armed services….WW II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Nazis, Communists, despots like Sadam, and many terrorists have filled the news. Our American young men and women have willingly shed their blood for freedom and liberty in many foreign countries. We have a president that favors the evil religion of Islam. There is only one true God. He is a God of love, justice, wisdom and peace. Allah is not God! The Quaran is evil. Please people read it!!! We do need to humble ourselves and seek God’s ways. Our present culture is a terrible example of what America’s forefathers layed out in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Mona Jacobson

David Henderson

To me, at 83, Thanksgiving day is one of, if not the, most important holiday we observe in the USofA. Thanks to God for all His bountiful blessings to me, and to all of us.


Thank you- I love that our Lord is acknowledged in the truth of the matter- these states that make up America was indeed devinely created by God for His purposes- one being to be a becon of His gracious light to shine forth. To God be the glory that we are so blessed by Him and we pray that we humble ourselves before Him.

Dan De Vries

Prez Obummer would consider this letter of proclaimation politically incorrect. And dear Dr. As a retired teacher I can tell you that a teacher today who had students read and meditate on this letter of proclamation by Lincoln would be sued and fired for trying to bring “religion” in to our public schools. They can talk about the 7 pillars of Islam but not about the Christian faith of our fathers. Sad isn’t it? We need a real President again!!! We need a good, godly President again. Someone like Dr. Ben Carson! But “they” will crucify him before they’ll let him be President. Who are “they”. The progressive mainstream Democrat Super PAC called the media.


The neatest behavior I’ve ever witnessed is right here where one seeker tells another how to prevail. Something as simple as a correction.

Mark F. Gaudry

Amazing. Lincoln admitted a national dependence on God. Was he vilified for it? When was it made a true national holiday? Was the connection with God maintained? Interesting that he did not make abut the pilgrims.


Very Thankful! Today and everyday.


Happy Thanksgiving to all! If only we had a President with the moral terpitude of President Lincoln, today.

Carrol A. Smith

May we all have a Great Day of Thanksgiving for all the wonderful things we have been given in the great States of the United States of America. Florida in particular!

Dr. Jed Snyder

President Lincoln said so much that we should remember. I hope the Social Studies teachers beginning at least at 5th grade require the students to read that proclamation and have a discussion about it. Our history cannot be forgotten nor the good hand of Almighty God, as Lincoln said, be ignored. We have been a God-blessed people and we forget this at our own peril.
Blessed, happy Thanksgiving day to each of you.