First Thanksgiving Proclamation – June 20, 1676


First Thanksgiving Proclamation-June 20, 1676:

“The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive
dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this
land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant
people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the
midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his
Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with
many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving
many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy,
and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal
Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly
we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord’s mercy that we are not
consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies
are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should
take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be
found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as
well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this
instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his
Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but
we doubt not those who are sensible of God’s Afflictions, have been as
diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a
People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend
it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction;
Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by
the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies
and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.”
The First Thanksgiving Proclamation (June 20, 1676)
On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held
a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that
had seen their community securely established. By unamimous vote they
instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of
thanksgiving, our first [in what is now the US] . That proclamation is
reproduced here in the same language and spelling as the original.


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