This is the text of George Washington’s October 3,
1789 national Thanksgiving Proclamation; as printed in The Providence
Gazette and Country Journal
, on October 17, 1789. (See another national Thanksgiving proclamation issued by George Washington in 1795. And see more Thanksgiving proclamations here.)



By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

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 favor; 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 public 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


Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th 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 enabled 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 favors 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 public 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 shown kindness to 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.


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.


G. Washington.