Samuel Adams (1722-1803); Samuel Adams was a leader in the opposition
to the acts by British Parliament which precipitated the American
Revolution; he formed Boston’s Committee of Correspondence in 1772; was
a member of the Continental Congress (1774-81) where he signed
of Independence (1776); he helped draft the Articles of Confederation (1777);
was a delegate to the Massachusetts constitutional convention (1779-80); served
as president of the Massachusetts senate (1781); was a member of the state convention
to ratify the Federal Constitution
(1788); Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts (1789-94); and Governor of Massachusetts
(1794- 97). He is justly titled both the “Firebrand of the Revolution” and “The
Father of the American Revolution” for his important leadership in the cause
of American independence.
The following is the text of a proclamation for a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer issued by Samuel Adams as Governor of Massachusetts. This proclamation was issued on February 28, 1795, declaring April 2, 1795 the day of fasting for the state of Massachusetts.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By the Governor
For a Day of PUBLIC FASTING, HUMILIATION and PRAYER
THE supreme Ruler of the Universe, having been pleased, in the course of his
Providence, to establish the Independence of the United States of America, and
to cause them to assume their rank, amount the nations of the Earth, and bless
them with Liberty, Peace and Plenty; we ought to be led by Religious feelings
of Gratitude; and to walk before Him, in all Humility, according to his most
Holy Law.-But, as the depravity of our Hearts has, in so many instances drawn
us aside from the path of duty, so that we have frequently offended our Divine
and Merciful Benefactor; it is therefore highly incumbent on us, according to
the ancient and laudable practice of our pious Ancestors, to open the year by
a public and solemn Fast.-That with true repentance and contrition of Heart,
we may unitedly implore the forgiveness of our Sins, through the merits of Jesus
Christ, and humbly supplicate our Heavenly Father, to grant us the aids of his
Grace, for the amendment of our Hearts and Lives, and vouchsafe his smiles upon
our temporal concerns:
I HAVE therefore thought fit to appoint, and with the advice and consent of
the Council, I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Second Day of April next, to
be observed as a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer throughout this
Commonwealth:-Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, of every Denomination,
with their respective Congregations, to assemble on that Day, and devoutly implore
the Divine forgiveness of our Sins, -To pray that the Light of the Gospel, and
the rights of Conscience, may be continued to the people of United America;
and that his Holy Word may be improved by them, so that the name of God may
be exalted, and their own Liberty and Happiness secured.-That he would be graciously
pleased to bless our Federal Government; that by a wise administration, it may
be a sure guide and safe protection in national concerns, for the people who
have established, and who support it-That He would continue to us the invaluable
Blessings of Civil Liberty; guarding us against intestine commotions; and enabling
the United States, in the exercise of such Governmental powers, as are devolved
upon them, so that the honor and dignity of our Nation, upon the Sea and the
Land, may be supported, and Peace with the other Powers of the World, upon safe
and honorable terms, may be maintained.
That he would direct the administration of our Federal and State Governments,
so that the lives, liberties and property of all the Citizens, and the just
rights of the People, as Men and Citizens, may be forever acknowledged, and
at all times defended, by Constitutions, founded upon equal rights; and by good
and wholesome Laws, wisely and judiciously administered and duly executed.
That he would enable Legislators and Magistrates of this Commonwealth, to discharge
the important duties incumbent on them, that the People may have good reason
to feel themselves happy and safe, and lead quiet and peaceable lives in all
Godliness and Honesty.
That he would incline the Natives of the Wilderness, to listen to reasonable
offers of Peace, that tranquility and security may be established on the Frontiers
Of our Country;-That he would graciously regard the Lives and Health of the
People of this and our sister States, and preserve them from contagious and
wasting diseases: To crown the ensuing Year with Plenty and Prosperity, by his
blessing on our Husbandry, our Fisheries, our Commerce, and all the labor of
our Hands-to affect our minds with a sense of our entire dependence upon Him,
and of his great goodness towards us, that when we may present ourselves before
Him, at the close of the Year, with our thank-offerings, our Hearts may by his
grace, be prepared to do it in a manner acceptable to Him.
That He would be graciously pleased to establish the French Republic, and prosper
others who are contending for the Rights of Men, and dispose all Nations to
favor the same principles , and return to Peace and Friendship.
That He would in his great Mercy, remember the unhappy state of our Fellow-Citizens
and others, who are groaning under bondage, in a foreign Land. That He would
soften the Hearts of those who have led them captive, inclining that People
to show them favor during their Captivity, and in His own due time open a door
for their relief: -And finally, that He would over-rule all the confusions that
are in the Earth, of the speedy establishment of the Redeemer’s Kingdom, which
consisteth in Righteousness and Peace.
And I do recommend to the People of this Commonwealth, to abstain from all
unnecessary Labor and Recreation on the said Day.
GIVEN at the Council-Chamber, in Boston, this Twenty-eighth Day of February,
in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-five, and in
the Nineteenth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
Attest: John Avery, jun. Secretary
GOD save the COMMONWEALTH of MASSACHUSETTS!