President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1789


On a day where the news is filled with terror and sorrow from halfway across the world, I hope you can find happiness and solitude in family and friends.

Please think of those serving us overseas today, and their wonderful and loving families back here at home.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from the Schreiber family.

– Jeff


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 THANKSGIVING 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 enable 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.

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  1. John Galt says:

    T E A C H I N G A B O U T T H A N K S G I V I N G

    Dr. Frank B. Brouillet
    Superintendent of Public Instruction
    State of Washington

    Cheryl Chow
    Assistant Superintendent
    Division of Instructional Programs and Services

    Warren H. Burton
    Director
    Office for Multicultural and Equity Education

    Dr. Willard E. Bill
    Supervisor of Indian Education

    Originally written and developed by
    Cathy Ross, Mary Robertson, Chuck Larsen, and Roger Fernandes
    Indian Education, Highline School District

    With an introduction by:
    Chuck Larsen
    Tacoma School District

    Printed: September, 1986

    Reprinted: May, 1987

    AN INTRODUCTION FOR TEACHERS

    This is a particularly difficult introduction to
    write. I have been a public schools teacher for twelve
    years, and I am also a historian and have written several
    books on American and Native American history. I also just
    happen to be Quebeque French, Metis, Ojibwa, and Iroquois.
    Because my Indian ancestors were on both sides of the
    struggle between the Puritans and the New England Indians
    and I am well versed in my cultural heritage and history
    both as an Anishnabeg (Algokin) and Hodenosione (Iroquois),
    it was felt that I could bring a unique insight to the
    project.

    For an Indian, who is also a school teacher,
    Thanksgiving was never an easy holiday for me to deal with
    in class. I sometimes have felt like I learned too much
    about “the Pilgrims and the Indians.” Every year I have
    been faced with the professional and moral dilemma of just
    how to be honest and informative with my children at
    Thanksgiving without passing on historical distortions, and
    racial and cultural stereotypes.

    The problem is that part of what you and I learned in
    our own childhood about the “Pilgrims” and “Squanto” and
    the “First Thanksgiving” is a mixture of both history and
    myth. But the THEME of Thanksgiving has truth and integrity
    far above and beyond what we and our forebearers have made
    of it. Thanksgiving is a bigger concept than just the story
    of the founding of the Plymouth Plantation.

    So what do we teach to our children? We usually pass
    on unquestioned what we all received in our own childhood
    classrooms. I have come to know both the truths and the
    myths about our “First Thanksgiving,” and I feel we need to
    try to reach beyond the myths to some degree of historic
    truth. This text is an attempt to do this.

    At this point you are probably asking, “What is the
    big deal about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims?” “What does
    this guy mean by a mixture of truths and myth?” That is
    just what this introduction is all about. I propose that
    there may be a good deal that many of us do not know about
    our Thanksgiving holiday and also about the “First
    Thanksgiving” story. I also propose that what most of us
    have learned about the Pilgrims and the Indians who were at
    the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation is only part
    of the truth. When you build a lesson on only half of the
    information, then you are not teaching the whole truth.
    That is why I used the word myth. So where do you start to
    find out more about the holiday and our modern stories
    about how it began?

    A good place to start is with a very important book,
    “The Invasion of America,” by Francis Jennings. It is a
    very authoritative text on the settlement of New England
    and the evolution of Indian/White relations in the New
    England colonies. I also recommend looking up any good text
    on British history. Check out the British Civil War of
    1621-1642, Oliver Cromwell, and the Puritan uprising of
    1653 which ended parliamentary government in England until
    1660. The history of the Puritan experience in New England
    really should not be separated from the history of the
    Puritan experience in England. You should also realize that
    the “Pilgrims” were a sub sect, or splinter group, of the
    Puritan movement. They came to America to achieve on this
    continent what their Puritan bretheran continued to strive
    for in England; and when the Puritans were forced from
    England, they came to New England and soon absorbed the
    original “Pilgrims.”

    As the editor, I have read all the texts listed in our
    bibliography, and many more, in preparing this material for
    you. I want you to read some of these books. So let me use
    my editorial license to deliberately provoke you a little.
    When comparing the events stirred on by the Puritans in
    England with accounts of Puritan/Pilgrim activities in New
    England in the same era, several provocative things suggest
    themselves:

    1. The Puritans were not just simple religious
    conservatives persecuted by the King and the Church of
    England for their unorthodox beliefs. They were
    political revolutionaries who not only intended to
    overthrow the government of England, but who actually
    did so in 1649.

    2. The Puritan “Pilgrims” who came to New England were not
    simply refugees who decided to “put their fate in God’s
    hands” in the “empty wilderness” of North America, as a
    generation of Hollywood movies taught us. In any culture
    at any time, settlers on a frontier are most often
    outcasts and fugitives who, in some way or other, do not
    fit into the mainstream of their society. This is not to
    imply that people who settle on frontiers have no
    redeeming qualities such as bravery, etc., but that the
    images of nobility that we associate with the Puritans
    are at least in part the good “P.R.” efforts of later
    writers who have romanticized them.(1) It is also very
    plausible that this unnaturally noble image of the
    Puritans is all wrapped up with the mythology of “Noble
    Civilization” vs. “Savagery.”(2) At any rate, mainstream
    Englishmen considered the Pilgrims to be deliberate
    religious dropouts who intended to found a new nation
    completely independent from non-Puritan England. In 1643
    the Puritan/Pilgrims declared themselves an independent
    confederacy, one hundred and forty-three years before
    the American Revolution. They believed in the imminent
    occurrence of Armegeddon in Europe and hoped to
    establish here in the new world the “Kingdom of God”
    foretold in the book of Revelation. They diverged from
    their Puritan brethren who remained in England only in
    that they held little real hope of ever being able to
    successfully overthrow the King and Parliament and,
    thereby, impose their “Rule of Saints” (strict Puritan
    orthodoxy) on the rest of the British people. So they
    came to America not just in one ship (the Mayflower) but
    in a hundred others as well, with every intention of
    taking the land away from its native people to build
    their prophesied “Holy Kingdom.”(3)

    3. The Pilgrims were not just innocent refugees from
    religious persecution. They were victims of bigotry in
    England, but some of them were themselves religious
    bigots by our modern standards. The Puritans and the
    Pilgrims saw themselves as the “Chosen Elect” mentioned
    in the book of Revelation. They strove to “purify” first
    themselves and then everyone else of everything they did
    not accept in their own interpretation of scripture.
    Later New England Puritans used any means, including
    deceptions, treachery, torture, war, and genocide to
    achieve that end.(4) They saw themselves as fighting a
    holy war against Satan, and everyone who disagreed with
    them was the enemy. This rigid fundamentalism was
    transmitted to America by the Plymouth colonists, and it
    sheds a very different light on the “Pilgrim” image we
    have of them. This is best illustrated in the written
    text of the Thanksgiving sermon delivered at Plymouth in
    1623 by “Mather the Elder.” In it, Mather the Elder gave
    special thanks to God for the devastating plague of
    smallpox which wiped out the majority of the Wampanoag
    Indians who had been their benefactors. He praised God
    for destroying “chiefly young men and children, the very
    seeds of increase, thus clearing the forests to make way
    for a better growth”, i.e., the Pilgrims.(5) In as much
    as these Indians were the Pilgrim’s benefactors, and
    Squanto, in particular, was the instrument of their
    salvation that first year, how are we to interpret this
    apparent callousness towards their misfortune?

    4. The Wampanoag Indians were not the “friendly savages”
    some of us were told about when we were in the primary
    grades. Nor were they invited out of the goodness of the
    Pilgrims’ hearts to share the fruits of the Pilgrims’
    harvest in a demonstration of Christian charity and
    interracial brotherhood. The Wampanoag were members of a
    widespread confederacy of Algonkian-speaking peoples
    known as the League of the Delaware. For six hundred
    years they had been defending themselves from my other
    ancestors, the Iroquois, and for the last hundred years
    they had also had encounters with European fishermen and
    explorers but especially with European slavers, who had
    been raiding their coastal villages.(6) They knew
    something of the power of the white people, and they did
    not fully trust them. But their religion taught that
    they were to give charity to the helpless and
    hospitality to anyone who came to them with empty
    hands.(7) Also, Squanto, the Indian hero of the
    Thanksgiving story, had a very real love for a British
    explorer named John Weymouth, who had become a second
    father to him several years before the Pilgrims arrived
    at Plymouth. Clearly, Squanto saw these Pilgrims as
    Weymouth’s people.(8) To the Pilgrims the Indians were
    heathens and, therefore, the natural instruments of the
    Devil. Squanto, as the only educated and baptized
    Christian among the Wampanoag, was seen as merely an
    instrument of God, set in the wilderness to provide for
    the survival of His chosen people, the Pilgrims. The
    Indians were comparatively powerful and, therefore,
    dangerous; and they were to be courted until the next
    ships arrived with more Pilgrim colonists and the
    balance of power shifted. The Wampanoag were actually
    invited to that Thanksgiving feast for the purpose of
    negotiating a treaty that would secure the lands of the
    Plymouth Plantation for the Pilgrims. It should also be
    noted that the INDIANS, possibly out of a sense of
    charity toward their hosts, ended up bringing the
    majority of the food for the feast.(9)

    cont on link

    http://www.ewebtribe.com/NACulture/articles/thanksgiving.html

  2. John Galt says:

    This part needs to be included
    ————————
    5. A generation later, after the balance of power had
    indeed shifted, the Indian and White children of that
    Thanksgiving were striving to kill each other in the
    genocidal conflict known as King Philip’s War. At the
    end of that conflict most of the New England Indians
    were either exterminated or refugees among the French in Canada, or they were sold into slavery in the Carolinas
    by the Puritans. So successful was this early trade in
    Indian slaves that several Puritan ship owners in Boston
    began the practice of raiding the Ivory Coast of Africa
    for black slaves to sell to the proprietary colonies of
    the South, thus founding the American-based slave
    trade.(10)

    http://www.ewebtribe.com/NACulture/articles/thanksgiving.html

  3. bluewater says:

    Today – George would be a religious wacko who clearly doesn’t understand the Constitution. God love Him and the country he fought for – we may actually get it back one day.

    Pray hard.

  4. Jan says:

    Thank you, Jeff for reminding us of the words of wisdom from this great man. I trust your Thanksgiving has been enjoyable with your family. May God’s blessings be abundant today and the days to follow.

  5. Craig and Susie says:

    Humility, wisdom, graciousness – yep, a good presidential proclamation. Thanks for posting this piece. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hellooo (knock, knock, knock). Doesn’t anybody else have nothing to do on Thanksgiving?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shadow World: Resurgent Russia, The Global New Left, and Radical Islam

    Read this article from “American Thinker”.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/11/shadow_world_resurgent_russia.html

    What can we possibly do at this point?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Reverend Manning demands Obama show his Birth Certificate!!

    http://facta-non-verba.blogspot.com/2008/11/reverend-james-david-manning-jr-phd-of.html

  9. Anonymous says:

    Your blog and your efforts are one of the many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. May the blessings be many for you and your family.

    And the commenters, too.

    Special thanks to John Galt.

    How reassuring to know Islam had nothing to with the African slave trade.

    Having read that, I think I’ll get lots of actual facts for Christmas this years.

    Now that our time of national reeducation has finally begun, there must be lots of new things written by people who themselves have never been there correcting my thinking about things they themselves have never seen.

    I guess that’s what makes them actual facts.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To John Galt,
    I wonder if you included the Thanksgiving History as an example of revisionist history trash they are feeding children in government schools or do you agree with it?

    I was suspicious when I got to the part about “the elder Mather” as I have done much research on Cotton Mather and knew this did not sound right. I’m providing you a link that discusses this further.

    http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/Introduction/lessonplandebunk.php

    I also tried to access the books (Berkofer, et. al.) referred to in the link you sent to check out the footnotes and bibliography since the books mentioned are of recent vintage (read: suspect). I wonder if they have references to PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS which in my mind is crucial in the study of history.

    Have you read Bradford’s “Of Plimouth Plantation” or studied the Mayflower Compact? This is not consistent w/ these primary sources. Neither are sermons from Cotton Mather and others at that time.

    Please know that I am not saying that the men who founded this nation were saints. They were fallen men just like all of us and I am sure there were misdeeds on both sides if we could know everything there is to know, which of course none of us can. Since we only have primary source documents as the basis for the most accurate picture of history, we must use those, not take on a rewritten interpretation of history (historicism). (C. S. Lewis has written an excellent essay on Historicism that you may want to read, BTW.)

    Also the Pilgrims were not the same as the Puritans as your article mentions but that would take too much space to get into right here.

    John, I hope I’ve not come off ungracious to you b/c that is not my intent. We are a homeschooling family and I am passionate about an accurate view of history (as accurate as one can get) and the best way is by looking at primary source documents written at that time — including but not limited to the historical/political documents and the literature written of the day. Additionally, we always try to look at books that were written closest to that period of time in history. This is why I collect vintage pre-1900 books.

    BTW, if there are primary source documents to back up what that website says, I would love to see them. Otherwise, I am standing by the primary sources of this time period that I have personally studied for myself. I have a strong desire to restore America’s Christian Heritage back to our children, not the revisionist garbage that passes for history in government schools. Oh…. I forgot…. they no longer teach HISTORY…. they teach SOCIAL STUDIES! Ackkk!

    K

  11. Anonymous says:

    To think of our Lord being the centerpiece of our nation and Him being in the heart of every great man. These words are so humbling. What happened? Who threw God out and let the devil in?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jeff-

    I think I just came to a realization about what the framers meant by “natural born citizen.”

    One is a natural born citizen when it is the natural consequence of their birth that at the time of their birth said person is only and entirely an American Citizen.

    Obama is not natural born because it is not the natural consequence of his birth that at the time of his birth he was only and entirely an American Citizen.

    Obama was a British Citizen at the time of his birth. Nothing mitigates this fact.

    Obama at birth was not born only and entirely an American citizen.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Regarding the 10:49pm “only and entirely” comment from another Anonymous:

    “Obama was a British Citizen at the time of his birth. ….

    “Obama at birth was not born only and entirely an American citizen.”

    As I understand it, this is the essence of Leo Donofrio’s lawsuit.

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