This proclamation was issued by New Jersey governor, Aaron Ogden, for a day of Thanksgiving on January 1, 1813. It was printed in the National Intelligencer on December 15, 1812.
BY AARON OGDEN,
Governor, Captain General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the State of New Jersey and territories thereunto belonging, Chancellor and Ordinary in the same, & c.
WHEREAS it is, at all times, the duty of states in their public capacities, no less than of individuals, in their private characters, devoutly to acknowledge the universal government and Providence of Almighty God, in whose hands are the destinies of nations, and humbly to supplicate His throne, through His Son, as well for the mercies we need, as to avert the evils which we most justly fear, and whereas it hath pleased Him, in the midst of many righteous corrections, for our manifold iniquities, which ought to lead us to repentance, to mingle great and unmerited national blessings, which impose upon us the obvious duty of thanksgiving and praise.
I do, therefore, with and by the unanimous advice of the privy council of this state, recommend and appoint Friday the first day of January next, to be observed by all religious societies of people within this state as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to the most High Ruler of nations; and I do invite my fellow citizens of all denominations, to abstain from unsuitable amusements and worldly occupations, and devoutly to assemble in their several places of religious worship, on that day, to offer Him their homage for His multiplied blessings, through the past year, particularly recalling with thankfulness, in His presence, the general healthfulness and fertility of the season, which have crowned the hopes of the husbandmen with plenty, rendering praise to Him for the continued preservation of our inestimable privilege, civil and religious; for that general and peaceful submission to the wholesome laws of the state, which has not been disturbed among us by the violent impulses of party zeal; for that charitable and harmonious union, which prevails among all sects in their salutary endeavors to advance the interest of morality and piety; for tranquility in all our borders, so that while we behold, at distance, the fail of so many ruined dynasties and oppressed republics, we have been enabled to preserve our freedom and independence unimpaired; for our happy exemption from invasion and insurrection, and all those heavy calamities with which divine providence often chastises the iniquities of offending nations, above all we are called upon now, and at all times, to renew the sentiments of our most profound gratitude to the God of all mercy and grace for the precious gift of divine truth and for the consoling hope of life and immortality, as brought to light by the blessed Redeemer, Christ Jesus our Lord.
And I do earnestly recommend that along with the devout acknowledgment of the mercies of Almighty God we add our humble and fervent supplications for the aid of His Holy Spirit, to sanctify all these blessings, to their proper end, the amendment of our lives and strengthening in our hearts the purposes of new obedience – that He would mercifully please to bestow His effectual benediction on all the public interests of the state and of the nation, and on the private and lawful enterprises of our citizens – that He would prosper and extend the means of useful, liberal and religious instruction, and that the youth of the republic imbued with sound principles of virtue, piety and patriotism, may strenuously defend the fair inheritance which God hath given us, and to transmit it to the following age – that it would please Him who holds in His hands the hearts of all men, so to direct the councils of the general government, as most effectually to subserve the best interests of this great people, uninfluenced by private views, unperverted by party attachments, and neither seduced or awed by the intrigues or menaces of foreign powers – that foreign injustice may be repressed – that the measures of our own government may be always actuated by a spirit of justice, impartiality and temperate firmness towards all nations – that our armies and navies may be under the guidance and protection of a kind Providence – that peace may be restored to our afflicted country on just and honorable terms – that we may be speedily reinstated in the free enjoyment of our commercial industry – that the happy union of these states may not be dissolved – that we may be preserved from that most pernicious abuse of liberty, which refusing subjection to the peaceful laws of the land, would accomplish the purposes of its own passions by unlawful and tumultuous violence, tending to bloodshed and murder – that we may be preserved from the dangers of an unequal and treacherous alliances – that we may be ever able to rest the defence of our beloved country on our own virtues, and our own energies – and finally that God, the Almighty Ruler and Father of the universe, would graciously put an end to the wars and calamities which have so long disturbed and desolated the earth, and hasten the establishment of the empire of righteousness and peace.
JAMES LINN, Secretary.