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Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, good reading n

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The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the imposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

Comments

bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

I have appreciated meditating on this.

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equalaccessprivacy 3 years, 8 months ago

I appreciate the opportunity to read this, Gnome.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

MidgeFan1, you are welcome.

there is so much here to consider now in our national situation.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

Equal-access-privacy, you are welcome. I am glad to help.
what did you find particularly appropriate in it today?

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Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

I wonder what he thought about the women and children his hired terrorist starved by burning their crops..

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Kathy Getto 3 years, 8 months ago

What a wonderful wordsmith Abe was! It would serve us well, however, to remember that it wasn't until the victorious colonial murderers returned from their slaughter of the Pequot that the New Americans began their now cherished Thanksgiving.

I only wish we would hear more today about the widows, mourners, orphans and sufferers Abe spoke of, not just those on American soil, but ALL who have been subjected to our killing forces, whether Chirstian or Muslim, Hindu, or Atheist, instead of the hatred for those unlike us that seems so prevalent these days. Is this not what Abe meant by his use of the words peace, harmony, tranquility, and union?

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

Liberty275 (anonymous) says…

I wonder what he thought about the women and children his hired terrorist starved by burning their crops..

November 27, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.

---L275: you are failing to note the broader question by calling Sherman et al "hired terrorists."

a population whose nation is at war often suffers all kinds of deprivation pain and loss.

is it more humane to bring that warfare to a swift end? or, to drag out that war on on and on?

many believe that a swift end is the humane choice.

also, many of those you are implying were "victims" of "hired terrorists" owned and endorsed the keeping of slaves.

bringing a swifter end to the war was certainly more humane to those among the civilians of the north.

plus, Sherman et al were far from the first to practice what we now call "total war" in history.


anyone who praises "compromise" as somehow always virtuous should consider the "birth defect" in our american soul, slavery. it was enshrined in the constitution as a compromise, they couldn't vote, and were counted as three fifths of persons. all compromise.

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ksriver2010 3 years, 8 months ago

We have so much emotion tied up in Lincoln's legacy that we forget the times in which he lived. His speech at the debate would have been considered very generous at the time. We should remember the history that is literally crying out from all around us in Lawrence that should make it have some clarity, rather than indulging in self-righteous finger pointing. Thanks BG for posting the Thanksgiving address. Reading Lincoln's subsequent daily struggles with God's Sovereignty and faith in the course of the war (as demonstrated recently on the PBS series) is also inspiring and shows the complexity of the man.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

and ... sad to see Mrs. Getto seems to believe in the myth that it was all eutopia for the indians here before the evil whites came. sorry, scalping, warfare, all happened among american native peoples before the whites came and your characterization is betraying modern liberal bias. please check your bas at the door when you consider people in history, and please tryto check your generationalist prejudice too [this is the common prejudice today to assume we are smarter than them back then].


and MidgeFan, there is actual evidence that Lincoln's opinions regarding american blacks actually changed over time.
plus you forgot to note that at that time Lincoln was also in favor of returning blacks to africa as a way of making things right since their seizure for slavery.
Ever heard of Liberia, read its history.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

KSriver, very perceptive.
yes, Lincoln struggled with the sovereignty of God. his comments on prayer, his own personal prayer, are incredibly moving.

we here should of all people know the import of this.

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

From the proclamation: No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. ....

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, ...


Lincoln refers to "our sins" and "our national perverseness and disobedience."

Obviously I think he included slavery in this. Perhaps he included personal greed? Anybody have other ideas what he meant here?

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bearded_gnome 3 years, 8 months ago

Mrs. Getto started her post thusly: Valkyrie_of_Reason (Kathy Getto) says…

What a wonderful wordsmith Abe was! It would serve us well, however, to remember that it wasn't until the victorious colonial murderers returned from their slaughter of the Pequot that the New Americans began their now cherished Thanksgiving.

---suppose she wants to remove Abe from Mt. Rushmore?

sad to see her trying to minimize Abraham Lincoln, just makes her look small.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

No one told LIncoln that this is a secular society? Surely he knew.
Unless the historical revisionism had not started then. Game set and match.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

BG Lincoln's opinions about race did change during the war. To others, Before you criticize, remember the zietgiest of the times.

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