Thomas Mifflin (1744-1800) was born in Philadelphia. He graduated from the College of Philadelphia (the University of Pennsylvania today) and began a career in a counting house. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774-1775 and again in 1782-1784; he enlisted in the American army during the Revolution and was promoted up the ranks to Major General. Thomas Mifflin was serving as President under the Articles of Confederation when George Washington resigned his commission in December 1783. Mifflin was a signer of the United States Constitution in 1787. He served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1790-1799 and died early in 1800.
The following proclamation was issued by Thomas Mifflin on November 14, 1793 as governor of Pennsylvania for a day of Thanksgiving on December 12, 1793. The text and picture of this proclamation is taken from Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser published on December 6, 1793.
By THOMAS MIFFLIN,
Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Appointing a day of General Humiliation,
Thanksgiving and Prayer.
WHEREAS it hath pleased ALMIGHTY GOD to put an end to the grievous calamity, that recently afflicted the city of Philadelphia, and it is the duty of all, who are truly sensible of the Divine Justice and Mercy, to employ the earliest moments of returning health in devout expressions of penitence submission, and gratitude: THEREFORE I have deemed it proper to issue this Proclamation, hereby appointing THURSDAY, the Twelfth day of December next, to be holden, throughout the Commonwealth, as a DAY OF GENERAL HUMILIATION, THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER AND I earnestly exhort and entreat my Fellow-Citizens to abstain, on that day, from all their worldly avocations [hobbies], and to unite in confessing with contrite hearts, our manifold sins and transgressions; – in acknowledging, with thankful adoration, the mercy and goodness of the Supreme Ruler and Preserver of the universe, – more especially manifested in our late deliverance; – and in praying, with solemn zeal, that the same mighty power would be graciously pleased to instill into our minds just principles of our duty to Him, and to our fellow creatures; – to regulate and guide all our actions by his Holy Spirit; – to avert from all mankind the evils of War, Pestilence, and Famine; – and to bless and protect us in the enjoyment of Civil and Religious Liberty. AND all Officers of the Commonwealth, as well as all Pastors and Teachers are, also, particularly requested to make known the Proclamation, and, by their and advice, to recommend a punctual observance thereof within their respective jurisdictions and congregations; – so that the voice of the people, strengthened by it unanimity, and sanctified by sincerity, ascending to the throne of grace, may there find favour and acceptance.
GIVEN under my Hand and the great Seal of the State, at Philadelphia, this Fourteenth day of November, in the Year of our LORD, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-Three, and of the Independence of America the Eighteenth.
By the Governor,
A.J. DALLAS, Secretary of the Commonwealth