George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

george_washington_at_st__pauls_chapel in 1789_Thanksgiving Proclamation

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation
Everyone remembers seeing pictures of the pilgrims sharing their harvest with the Indians at a feast of Thanksgiving. But not so many are familiar with the first Thanksgiving Proclamation, written on behalf of the  Continental Congress, that was penned by the first American President, George Washington.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation
3 October 1789

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour;

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 PUBLICK THANSGIVING 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 then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation;  for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war;  for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been unable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;–

— for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then 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;-– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

George Washington

Was George Washington’s God the God of the Bible?
So, how do we know that George Washington revered Jehovah, the God of the Bible?
The is extensive evidence.  For example, three days before George Washington took the oath of office as the first Constitutional President of the United States, Congress passed the following resolution: Resolved, That after the oath shall have been administered to the President, he, attended by the Vice President and members of the Senate and House of Representatives, shall proceed to St. Paul’s Chapel, to hear divine service. (Annals of Congress, Vol. 1, p. 25, April 27, 1789)

St. Paul’s Chapel
And how do we know that St. Paul’s Chapel was a place to worship Jehovah, the God of the Bible and not allah or some other false god?
Evidence of America’s’ Godly heritage saturates America’s history. Pictured below is the altar in St. Paul’s Chapel; the same “St. Pauls Chapel” mentioned in the resolution above. The altar is an artwork titled “Glory”. This same altar that is in St. Paul’s Chapel today is the same altar that was there when George Washington regularly attended meetings there.

The white clouds and golden lighting represent the glory of God, and the Hebrew word for “The LORD”, “Yahweh”, is seen above the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. I pray that you can see that the origins of the “Thanksgiving” holiday are part of what set America on track to be the greatest nation on the face of the earth.


“A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday,
does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do.
We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know
where we came from or what we have been about.”

President Woodrow Wilson

This Thanksgiving I encourage you to fulfill the reason for which the Thanksgiving holiday was originally purposed. Give thanks to Yahweh, the God of the Bible for who He is and for allowing you to be in His family.

I’ll see you out in the field,
Parson Rayphe


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