This is the text of a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer issued by John Taylor Gilman (Member of the Continental Congress), while he was serving as Governor of New Hampshire. The proclamation was issued on March 19, 1804, declaring April 19, 1804 as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer.







To those whose minds are duly impressed with a sense of dependence upon divine providence, for the privileges and advantages we enjoy as a people, and for public and social, as well as individual blessings, arguments cannot be wanting to evince the propriety of uniting together in a public and solemn manner, for the purpose and solemn manner, for the dependence, and in supplication to the father of mercies, that He would forgive our transgressions, and bestow upon us such favors as we may stand in need of.

Therefore, in conformity to the long established, and highly laudable practice of setting apart some certain day at this season of the year, I have thought fit, by and with the advice of council, to appoint THURSDAY, the Nineteenth Day of April next, to be observed as a day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, throughout this state; and I do request ministers and people of every denomination, would religiously dedicate said day, and assemble together at their respective places of public worship, that we may unitedly, with contrite hearts, acknowledge our transgressions, beseech forgiveness from the father of mercies, and offer up our fervent petitions for His blessing.

That He would guide and prosper our state and national governments; that all our rulers may be just men, and conscientiously discharge the duties of their several stations, remembering that they are accountable not only to man, but to the almighty ruler of the universe.

That the seasons of the year may be prosperous, and the fruits of the field amply reward the labor of the husbandman.

That success may attend our commerce, manufactures, and all lawful employments.

That we may be preserved from contagious and destructive sickness, and the voice of health be hear in their professions, by their conduct and example.

That He would bless our seminaries of learning, that the rising generation may be prepared by literary, moral, and religious instruction, for eminent usefulness.

And above all, that a spirit of pure and undefiled religion may universally prevail.

And I do recommend that all persons religiously abstain from labor and recreations unbecoming the solemnity of the day.

Given at the Council Chamber in Exeter this Nineteenth day of March, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Four, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the Twenty-Eighth.


John Taylor Gilman

By his Excellency’s command, with advice of Council.

Joseph Pearson, Secretary