Scarce broadside of a proclamation issued by Governor John A. Andrew of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 20 x 28, recognizing President Abraham Lincoln's proclamation for "a Day of Thanksgiving, Praise, and Prayer" to be held on August 6, 1863. Andrews orders that Lincoln's proclamation be published and promulgated to the citizens of Massachusetts, and notes: "I earnestly trust not only that in all our churches and Congregations of religious worship the day may be observed by becoming acts of public thanksgiving, but that every heart may find an altar on which to lay its offering of humble and grateful praise."
President Lincoln's proclamation, issued less than two weeks after Union victory at Gettysburg, is published below, in part: "It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to supplications and prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe to the Army and Navy of the United States on the land and on the sea, victories so signal and so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confidence, that the Union of these States will be maintained, their constitution preserved, and peace and prosperity permanently established…Now, therefore, be it known, that I do set apart, Thursday, the Sixth Day of August next, to be observed as a day for National Thanksgiving, Praise and Prayer." Professionally backed for reinforcement and in very good condition, with small splits and areas of paper loss at fold intersections. This historic proclamation for a national day of thanksgiving in August preceded Lincoln's call for another in November 1863, which first established 'Thanksgiving' as a national holiday in that month; however, a nationwide date for 'Thanksgiving Day' was not finally realized until Reconstruction, due to the ongoing conflict.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.