Wisconsin 1997

THE STATE of WISCONSIN

OFFICE of the GOVERNOR

A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS; our state has been richly blessed in natural beauty, reflecting God’s miracle of creation; and

WHEREAS; Christian Heritage is important to our state’s traditions and values; and

WHEREAS; religious holidays, festivals, and celebrations have brought welcome respite from labor, as well as renewed respect and meaning for nature’s seasons of change; and

WHEREAS; the community church serves a vital function in binding folk together and providing crucial education and charitable services; and

WHEREAS; teaching future generations of our state the all important role of Christian heritage is of concern to citizens of all faiths;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TOMMY G. THOMPSON, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim November 23 through November 29, 1997 CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in the State of Wisconsin, and I commend this observance to all citizens.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed.

Done at the Capitol in the City of Madison this thirteenth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven.

TOMMY G. THOMPSON

GOVERNOR

By the Governor:

DOUGLAS LA FOLLETTE

Secretary of State

Tennessee 1994

STATE OF TENNESSEE

PROCLAMATION

BY THE GOVERNOR

WHEREAS, our state has been richly blessed in natural beauty, reflecting God’s miracle of creation; and

WHEREAS, the importance of Christian heritage to the traditions and values of our state is immeasurable; and

WHEREAS, religious holidays, festivals and celebrations have brought welcome respite from weary labor, as well as renewed respect and meaning for nature’s seasons of change; and

WHEREAS, the community church serves a vital function in binding folk together and providing crucial education and charitable services; and

WHEREAS,  teaching future generations of our state the all-important role of Christian heritage is of crucial concern to citizens of all faiths;

NOW, THEREFORE, I Ned McWherter, as Governor of the State of Tennessee, do hereby proclaim November 20-26, 1994, as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in Tennessee, and urge all citizens to join me in this worthy observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I HAVE HEREUNTO SET MY HAND AND CAUSED THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE TO BE AFFIXED AT NASHVILLE ON THIS 21ST DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1994.

Ned McWherter

GOVERNOR

Riley C. Darnell

SECRETARY OF STATE

West Virginia 2023

Proclamation by Governor Jim Justice

Whereas, the Preamble to the Constitution of West Virginia declares, “Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people o West Virginia reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God”; and

Whereas, the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of West Virginia guarantees religious freedom; and the “Sundays expected” provision of Article 7, Chapter 14 historically recognizes Sunday as a day of rest and worship; and

Whereas, For many West Virginians, public school days began with a daily Pledge of Allegiance, prayer and bible reading; and

Whereas, the state songs, The West Virginia Hills and West Virginia my Home Sweet Home, contain the lyrics, “With their summits bathed in glory, like our Prince Immanuel’s land!” and “there I work, and I play, and I worship Sunday,” ; and

Whereas, the influence of Christianity in West Virginia is evident by her many churches and Christian charities, ministries, missions and schools; cherished Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving holiday seasons; and a willingness of Mountaineers to love thy neighbor as thyself; and

Whereas, Thanksgiving week is an appropriate time to center attention on our thanks to Almighty God for His great and good Providence and for the Christian faith, which is part of West Virginia’s and America’s history.

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved that I, Jim Justice, Governor of the Great State of West Virginia, do hereby proclaim November 19-25, 2023 as:

Christian Heritage Week

in the Mountain State and invite all citizens to join me in observance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia to be affixed.

Done at the Capitol, City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, this the Twentieth day of June, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twenty-Three, and in the One Hundred Sixtieth year of the State.

Jim Justice , Governor
By the Governor:
Mac Warner, Secretary of State

Proclamation – Thanksgiving – 1887, Massachusetts

Oliver Ames (1831-1895) was governor of Massachusetts from 1887-1890. This proclamation was issued on October 26, 1887 for a day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to be held on November 24, 1887. (See also the Massachusetts 1887 Fasting Proclamation here.)


Commonwealth of Massachusetts
By His Excellency
Oliver Ames, Governor
A Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Praise

In accordance with a good and honored custom established by our fathers, which has added to the happiness of all who have dwelt within our boundaries.

I hereby appoint, with the advice and consent of the Council, Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next, to be a day of Public Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God for his rich and constant blessings to the people of our beloved Commonwealth.

Let us, on that day, assemble in our places of public worship, and meet our loved ones in the privacy of our homes, not forgetting the unfortunate, the needy, and the sorrowing, but letting our hearts go out to them with the charity of our sympathy and of our abundance.

Let us remember with gratitude that we live under political institutions which guarantee freedom of conscience to all, and which open every avenue of education and virtue to all who desire to walk therein.

Let us humbly acknowledge our dependence upon Him from whom all blessings flow, and heartily thank Him for the prosperity which prevails throughout the Commonwealth.

Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this twenty-sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and twelfth.

Oliver Ames,

By His Excellency, the Governor, with the Advice of the Council.
Henry Peirce, Secretary.

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Proclamation – Thanksgiving Day – 1907, Massachusetts

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

BY HIS EXCELLENCY

CURTIS GUILD, JR.
GOVERNOR

A PROCLAMATION FOR A DAY OF PUBLIC
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE

At the springtide and at the ebbing of the year, two American holidays are dedicated to gratitude. On Memorial Day we gather to commemorate the sacrifices made by man: on Thanksgiving Day we reverently acknowledge our debt to the mercy and providence of Almighty God.
In accordance with a custom at once reverent and inspiring, I, therefore, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint Thursday, November Twenty-eighth, as a day of Thanksgiving Prayer and Praise.

May the scattered children of the Commonwealth return to the ancient hearthstone, that the successful may rejoice with those who have known them as brothers, that the afflicted may feel the consoling touch of a mother’s hand.

Material prosperity has been ours beyond the fortune of any other people, and with prosperity has come almost measureless power at the Council Board of the Nations. May it be granted to us to use that power for good. May we remember that the venerable charter of the colony from which our Commonwealth arose cites that the purpose to which Massachusetts was dedicated is reverence for religion and the spread of civilization and happiness among those less favored than ourselves.
Confident that even hardship and misfortune would, under Divine Providence, be converted for good, the Pilgrim Founders of the Feast gathered together in hope and even in joy, and faced their trials with a song.

Let us in our flood-tide of success desert not the duties of religion. In the liberality of faith, respecting every honest conviction, let us remember that no nation of atheists has ever been allowed to live. In returning thanks for the ever broadening Brotherhood of Man, let us the more gratefully acknowledge the beneficent Fatherhood of God.

Given at the Council Chamber, this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and thirty-second.

CURTIS GUILD, Jr.

By His Excellency the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Council.

WILLIAM M. OLIN
SECRETERY

God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Proclamation – Fasting Humiliation and Prayer – 1887, Massachusetts

Oliver Ames (1831-1895) was governor of Massachusetts from 1887-1890. This proclamation was issued on March 2, 1887 for a day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer to be held on April 7, 1887. (See the 1887 Massachusetts Thanksgiving Proclamation here.)


Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

By His Excellency

Oliver Ames, Governor.

A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer. 

In conformity to a good ancient custom, established by our fathers, continued without interruption to the present time, and sanctioned by law,

With the advice and consent of the Executive Council, I hereby designate Thursday, the seventh day of April next, to be observed by the people of Massachusetts as the annual Fast Day.

I earnestly invite our people, humbly recognizing our dependence on our Heavenly Father, to keep the day as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer.

Given at the Council Chamber in Boston, this second day  of March, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the  United States of America the one hundred and eleventh.

Oliver Ames.

By His Excellency the Governor, with the Advice and Consent of the Council.

Henry R. Pierce, Secretary.

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Proclamation – Thanksgiving – 1888, Massachusetts

This proclamation was issued on October 17, 1888 for a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to be held on November 29, 1888.


Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
By His Excellency
Oliver Ames,
Governor:
A Proclamation
for a Day of Public
Thanksgiving and Praise.

In the olden time our pious ancestors, surrounded by dangers that imperiled their existence, annually devoted a day to the giving of public thanks to Almighty God that He had spared their lives and granted them so many mercies.

This custom has continued to the present time, binding the past to the present as with a golden thread. In conformity with this revered usage, and in recognition that the people of this Commonwealth have enjoyed another year of peace, prosperity, and happiness, I hereby appoint, with the advice and consent of the Council, THURSDAY, the twenty-ninth day of November next, to be the annual Thanksgiving Day,

“whom from East and from West,

From North and from South come the pilgrim and guest,

When the gray-haired, New Englander sees round his board

The old broken links of affection restored.”

Putting aside on that day our usual cares and occupations, as we assemble in our cautionary places of public worship or in the privacy of our homes, let us be thankful to Almighty God for His many blessings.

And may our thankfulness be so devoid of selfishness that we remember the erring, the unfortunate, and the suffering, and from our abundance contribute to their comfort and happiness.

Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston this seventeenth day of October, in their year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and thirteenth.

Oliver Ames.

By His Excellency the Governor, with the Advice and Consent of the Council.
{Henry B. Pierce}, Secretary.

God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Proclamation – Thanksgiving – 1779, Virginia

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was involved in many professions throughout his life. He was a lawyer, a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses (1769-1775), served in the Continental Congress (1775-1776) where he drafted the Declaration of Independence, was governor of Virginia (1779-1781), and the U.S. minister to France (1785-1789). Jefferson also served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington, was Vice President under John Adams, and was the nation’s third President. During his time as governor of Virginia, Jefferson issued the following proclamation on November 11, 1779 calling for a statewide day of thanksgiving and prayer on December 9, 1779.

The text of this proclamation can be found in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julia P. Boyd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), 3:177-179.


Whereas the Honourable the General Congress, impressed with a grateful sense of the goodness of Almighty God, in blessing the greater part of this extensive continent with plentiful harvests, crowning our arms with repeated successes, conducting us hitherto safely through the perils with which we have been encompassed and manifesting in multiplied instances his divine care of these infant states, hath thought proper by their act of the 20th day of October last, to recommend to the several states that Thursday the 9th of December next be appointed a day of publick and solemn thanksgiving and prayer, which act is in these words, to wit.

“Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise, for the wonders which His goodness has wrought in conducting our forefathers to this western world; for His protection to them and to their posterity, amidst difficulties and dangers; for raising us their children from deep distress, to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty Princes in our deliverance; and especially for that He hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labours of the husbandman, and spreading plenty through the land; that He hath prospered our arms and those of our ally, been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory, and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that He hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that He hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that He hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he Hath diffused the glorious light of the Gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of His eternal glory. Therefore,

George Washington, Patrick Henry, and members of the First Continental Congress join with Rev. Jacob Duché in prayer.

Resolved, that it be recommended to the several states to appoint THURSDAY the 9th of December next, to be a day of publick and solemn THANKSGIVING to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of PRAYER, for the continuance of His favour and protection to these United States; to beseech Him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our publick Councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness and success; that He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel; that He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that He would smile upon the labours of His people, and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance, that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that He would take into His holy protection, our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him finally great, as the father of his people, and the protector of the rights of mankind; that He would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispence the blessings of peace to contending nations.

That he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon all our sins, and receive us into his favour; and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety.”

I do therefore by authority from the General Assembly issue this my proclamation, hereby appointing Thursday the 9th day of December next, a day of publick and solemn thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God, earnestly recommending to all the good people of this commonwealth, to set apart the said day for those purposes, and to the several Ministers of religion to meet their respective societies thereon, to assist them in their prayers, edify them with their discourses, and generally to perform the sacred duties of their function, proper for the occasion.

Given under my hand and the seal of the commonwealth, at Williamsburg, this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779, and in the fourth of the commonwealth.

THOMAS JEFFERSON

Proclamation – Fasting – 1870

William Claflin (1818-1905) was governor of Massachusetts from 1869-1872. Here is his proclamation for a statewide day of fasting and prayer for April 7, 1870. Notice the mention he makes of “The request of a few that this custom [of issuing proclamations] be discontinued…”



Commonwealth of Massachusetts

By His Excellency

William Claflin,

Governor:

A Proclamation

For a day of Fasting and Prayer.

The season has returned which our pious ancestors deemed suitable to a public acknowledgment of dependence upon the goodness of God.

The request of a few, that this custom be discontinued, manifestly does not express the feeling of any considerable number of the people of the Commonwealth.

And it is certainly desirable that among us there be no diminution of the religious sentiment which originated the usage.

If the observance of the day has degenerated from its original idea, we should use it as described by the prophet in Holy Writ, proclaiming “an acceptable fast to  the Lord.”

It is not to “bow the head as a bulrush,” but to “loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free.”

“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”

It is therefore recommended that Thursday, the Seventh day of April Next, be devoted to Fasting and Prayer, and to the exercise of those benevolent purposes which denote sincere humility of heart toward God and the recognition of our obligations to our fellow-men.

As we engage in public, worship, let us pray Him who rules the destinies of Nations, that He may preserve us from the dreaded pestilence, that He may give us freedom from wars and tumults, that He may bestow plentiful harvests, and secure to each a just recompense for his labors; and that we may be blessed with good order and good government, which are so essential to the prosperity of the States and Nations. Let us remember in our prayers the bereaved and sorrowing and ask for them the consolations which are granted to those who look with faith to the great source of all comfort. And let us ask of God the strength and wisdom necessary to develop in us those principles of piety, charity, and good will, which are man’s distinguishing attributes; and to add to His other blessings the full forgiveness of sin through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Given at the Council Chamber, in Boston, this third day of March, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and seventy, and of the Independence of the United states of America the ninety-fourth.

William Claflin

By His Excellency the Governor,

By and With the Advice and consent of the Council.

Oliver Warner, Secretary.

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Proclamation – Lord’s Day – 1782

John Dickinson (1732-1808) was a lawyer, statesman, and soldier during the War for Independence. He wrote, among many other pieces, the Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania which were highly praised both in the colonies and abroad. Although he was a delegate to Continental Congress, he absented himself from the vote to adopt on the grounds of wishing to have more secure footing before igniting war with Briton. This, however, did do keep Dickinson from fully supporting the measure upon its adoption and throwing all his energies toward securing the liberty of America.

He was held in an extremely high regard by the other notable men of the time, with Dr. Benjamin Rush remarking that, “Few men wrote, spoke and acted more for their country from the year 1764 to the establishment of the federal government than Mr. Dickinson.”

The following is a prayer proclamation John Dickinson issued while he was the president of Pennsylvania in 1782.



By the President and Supreme Executive Council of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,

A Proclamation.

As the best and greatest of Beings commanded mankind into existence with a capacity for happiness, bestowing upon them understanding and many “good gifts”; so when they, by an abuse of the blessings thus intrusted, had involved themselves in guilt and misery, his compassion was extended towards them, and in “his tender mercies,” not only “seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night,” were continued unto them, but “the eternal purposes’ were revealed, and the heavenly treasuries opened, to restore the human race to the transcendent privilege from which by transgression they were fallen: And in this “marvelous work,” the laws of righteousness have been with such infinite wisdom adjusted, and united to the obligation of nature, that while they jointly tended to promote the felicity of men in a future state, they evidently cooperate to advance their welfare in the present, and to offend against the sanctions of revelation, of the dictates of reason and conscience, is suredly to betray the joys of this life, as well as those of another.

Wherefore, as we are entirely persuaded that just impressions of the deity are the great supports of morality, And As the experience of ages demonstrates, that regularity of manners is essential to the tranquility and prosperity of societies, And the assistance of the Almighty, on which we rely, to establish the inestimable blessings our afflicted country is contending for, cannot be expected without an observance of his holy laws, We esteem it our principal and indispensable duty to endeavor, as much as we can, that a sense of these interesting truths may prevail in the hearts and appear in the lives of the inhabitants of this state; And Therefore have thought proper to issue this Proclamation, sincerely desiring that they seriously meditating on the many signal and unmerited benefits of public and private import conferred upon them, the affecting invitations and munificent promises of divine goodness, and the “terrors set in array” against disobedient, may be urged to exert themselves in avoiding, discountenancing, and suppressing all vice, profaneness and immorality, and feeling a due gratitude, love,and veneration for their most gracious, all-wise , and omnipotent Benefactor, Sovereign, and Judge, and correspondent temper of resignation to the dispensations of his Supreme Government, may become a people “trusting in him, in whom they live and move and doing good.”

And to the intent that these desirable ends may be forwarded, all persons are herby fervently exhorted, to observe the Lord’s Day, commonly called Sunday, and thereon constantly to attend the worship of God, as a service pleasing to him who is, “a hearer of prayer,” and condescends to “inhabit the praises of his people,” and profitable to themselves; a neglect of which duty has, in multitude of instances, been the beginning of a deviation into the ways of presumption, that at length have led into the deepest distresses and severest sorrows:

And As the education of youth is of so much moment to themselves and to the commonwealth, which cannot flourish unless that important point be diligently regarded, the sentiments, dispositions, and habits begin then generally formed that pervade the rest of their lives, all parents, guardians, masters, and tutors are herby strenuously called upon, to discharge the high trust committed to them, and for which they must account, by a faithful attention; that those under their care may be nurtured in piety, filial reverence, submission to superiors in age or station, modesty, sincerity, benevolence, temperance, industry, consistency of behavior, and frugality regulated by an humble reliance on Providence, and a kind respect for others; that their inexperienced minds may be by wholesome instructions fully convinced, that whatever employment they are designed for, virtue will be a chief promoter of success, and irregularity of conduct the greatest obstacle to it; that the intellectual faculties are aided by moral improvements, but weakened by illicit courses; and in brief, that Religion is the fiend of their peace,health and happiness; and that to displease their Maker, or trespass against their neighbor, is inevitably to inure themselves.

And we expect and hereby require, that all well disposed persons, and especially those in places of authority, will by their conversation and demeanor encourage and promote piety and virtue, and to their utmost contribute to the rendering these qualities truly laudable and honorable, and the contrary practices justly shameful and contemptible; that thus the influence of good men, and the dignity of the laws, may be combined in repressing the follies and insolencies of scorners and profligates, in directing the weak and thoughtless, and in preserving them from the pernicious contagion of evil examples; And for further promoting such reformation, it is hereby enjoined, that all magistrates, and others whom it may concern, be very vigilant and exact in discovering, prosecuting, and punishing all persons who shall be guilty of profanation of the Lord’s Day, commonly called Sunday, blasphemy, profane swearing or cursing, drunkenness, lewdness, or other dissolute or immoral practices; that they suppress all gaming houses, and other disorderly houses, that they put in execution the act of General Assembly, entitled, “An Act for the suppression of Vice and Immorality,” and all other laws now in force for the punishing and suppressing any vice, profaneness or immorality: And for the more effectual proceeding herein, all Judges and Justice, having cognizance in the premises, are directed to give strict charges at their respective Courts and Sessions, for the due prosecution and punishment of all who shall presume to offend in any of the kinds aforesaid; and also of all such as, contrary to their duty, shall be remiss or negligent in putting the laws in execution: And that they do at their respective Courts and Sessions cause this Proclamation to be publicly read, immediately before the charge is given: And every Minister of the Gospel is requested strongly to inculcate in the respective congregations where they officiate, a love of piety and virtue, and an abhorrence of vice, profaneness, and immorality.

Given in council, under the hand of the President, and the Seal of the State, at Philadelphia, this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty two.

Attest. T. Matlack, Secretary.

John Dickinson.

God Save the Commonwealth.