This is the written text of a proclamation for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer given by Caleb Strong (Delegate to the Constitutional Convention), Governor of Massachusetts. The proclamation was issued on October 8, 1813 and was declaring November 25, 1813 a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer.
By His Excellency,
Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
For a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer
THE revolving year has again brought us to the season, in which we have been accustomed to unite, in offering our public tribute of Thanksgiving and Praise to the Supreme Being, for the gifts of Providence conferred upon us. And though, in His just displeasure, He permits our country to be still involved in the calamities of war, yet He has not left Himself without witness, in doing us good, and giving us rain from Heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. It is our duty, then, renewably to present our public and grateful acknowledgments to Him, from whose bounty all our blessing are derived; to implore that He would support us under the adversities we meet with, by His Almighty Power, and guide us in the way we should go, by His unerring wisdom.
I do, therefore, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint THURSDAY, the Twenty-Fifth Day of November next, to be observed by the People of this State as a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer. And the Ministers and People of each religious denomination are requested to meet together on that day, that we may unite in paying our humble adoration and praise to the Great Parent of the World, for the display of His goodness in the works of Creation and the ways of Providence, for the protection afforded to the People of this State, from its first settlement, for the numerous favors which He has vouchsafed to them, in the course of the last year, for His blessing on the labors of the husbandman, and the provision that it made for the supply of our wants, for the measure of health which the people have enjoyed in the course of the year; and that they have been exempt in so great a degree from the terrors and devastations of War, For the delights of friendly intercourse, and the preservation of so many of those with whom we have been intimately connected by the ties of friendship or relation, For His kindness to us, as individuals, and the support He has afforded us, from our infancy, in the various stages through which we have been passed, For the numerous deliverances from dangers and distress, which He has wrought for us; and all the temporal blessings conferred upon us, which are more than can be numbered, and especially for the Gospel of Christ, which is designed to purify and exalt our nature, which inspires and inculcates the love and practice of righteousness, and opens to our view the prospect of a glorious immortality.
And while we thank the Author of our mercies for all the benefits we have received, let us confide in Him for all that we want; and entreat Him, that He would still be merciful to the people of this state, and cause His anger towards us to cease, that by His former kindness to our forefathers and to us, we may be encouraged to trust in His mercy, and honor Him by our sincere and faithful obedience; and that a deep conviction of His constant and universal agency may afford us consolation amid the fearful and perplexing changes which are taking place in the world. That we may be grateful in prosperity, and resigned in adversity, and acknowledge the wisdom and goodness of God in whatever He bestows, withholds or inflicts, that He would save us from the power of the sword, and from the ravages and alarms of war, and give us quietness and safety in our borders; and that the People may be at peace among themselves, and, if it be possible, live peaceably with all men.
That He would preserve the Union of these States, and that our rulers may be governed by a spirit of wisdom, moderation and justice, and be guided by the mild influences of that religion which breathes only benevolence and peace, that He would guard us against us any fatal injury from foreign connections or partialities, that the War in which we are involved may be speedily terminated, and the hearts of all who are engaged in it be disposed to peace and justice, and that He would give us true repentance for all our sins, and especially for those which have occasioned the calamities we suffer; and convince us of our errors by the mischiefs they bring upon us, so that neither interest, prejudice nor passion may hinder us from discerning the truth.
That He would put an end to the sanguinary war which has overspread the whole Christian world, and that every contending nation may impartially inquire upon whom the stain of blood guiltiness lies, that He would change the hearts of oppressors by His grace, or restrain their malignity by His power; and reclaim from the error of their ways all those who are engaged in unrighteous war, that He would be gracious to those countries which are made desolate by the sword of an invading enemy, and cause the influence of Gospel of Peace to be extended to every nation, that He would enlarge the borders of the Redeemer’s Kingdom. That exalted honors may everywhere be paid Him, and all the ends of the earth look unto Him and be saved.
And the people are requested to abstain from such labor and recreation as shall be inconsistent with the religious services above recommended.
Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this Eighth Day of October, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen, and in the Thirty-Eighth Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
By His Excellency the Governor,
With the advice and consent of the Council
ALDEN BRADFORD, Secretary of the Commonwealth
God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!