Fun_People Archive
21 Nov
A Thanksgiving Proclamation

Date: Mon, 21 Nov 94 13:39:31 PST
To: Fun_People
Subject: A Thanksgiving Proclamation

[A friend's father used to say that Thanksgiving was the only holiday he really
enjoyed because it wasn't "owned" by any one religion, nor had it been co-opted
by the merchants into a celebration of greed.  Perhaps it's just the aftermath
of the recent election, but I sense big business and big religion circling over
American culture like buzzards over carrion.  And it just got worse when I came
across the following Thanksgiving Proclamation... (These legal documents can be
a little opaque; non-lawyers might not know, for instance, about "Footstool
clauses" or the difference between "Intimations" and "intimations".)  -psl]

     "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:
		-- the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Mon Nov 21 11:34:17 1994
From: Bill.Petro@Central.Sun.COM (Bill Petro)

    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
    unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim
    June 29 as a day of thanksgiving.  That proclamation is reproduced
    here [above] in the same language and spelling as the original.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []