(Made at the Direction of a Joint Resolution of the United States House and Senate)
[From Sparks's Washington, Vol. XII, Pg. 119]
Messages and Papers of the Presidents
George Washington, Vol.1, Pg.56
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to
obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;
and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to
recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be
observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God,
especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for
their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to
be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the
beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in
rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people
of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the
favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the
great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable
and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for
our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and
religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing
useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased
to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to
the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other
transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and
relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the
people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and
faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such
as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to
promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science
among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal
prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A. D. 1789.
GO. WASHINGTON.