Hancock called this Day of Thanksgiving after God saved George Washington's life from the murderous plans of traitor Benedict Arnold. Hancock directly credits God with preserving General Washington.
Size: 13" x 19" (Sizing is approximate)
By His Excellency John Hancock, Esq; Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation, For a day of thanksgiving
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, amidst the vicissitudes and calamities of war, to bestow blessings on the people of these States, which call for their devout and thankful acknowledgments; more especially in the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in rescuing the person of our Commander in Chief, and the Army, from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution; in prospering the labors of the husbandmen, and casing the earth to yield its increase in plentiful harvests; and above all, in continuing to us the enjoyment of the Gospel of Peace:
I do therefore, by and with the advice of the Council, recommend to the good people of this commonwealth, to set apart Thursday the seventh day of December next, (the day recommended by the congress to all the States) to be observant as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer: - That all the people may assemble on that day, to celebrate the praises of our Divine Benefactor, - to confess our unworthiness of the least of his favors,- and to offer our fervent supplications to the God of all grace, that it may please Him to pardon our heinous transgressions, and incline our hearts for the future to keep all his Laws, - to confront and relieve our brethren who are in any wise afflicted or distressed, - to smile upon our husbandry and trade,- to direct our public Councils,- and lead our Forces by Land and Sea to Victory,- to take our illustrious Ally under His special protection, and favor our joint councils and exertions for the establishment of speedy and permanent peace,- to cherish all schools and seminaries of Education, - and to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth. Given at the Council-Chamber in Boston, the eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty, and in the fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America
By His Excellency’s Command,
John Avery, Sec’y
God save the People of the United States!