thanksgiving and praise
By Continental Congress President Henry Laurens
November 17, 1778 Philadelphia
IT having pleased Almighty GOD, through the Course of the present Year, to bestow great and manifold Mercies on the People of these UNITED STATES; and it being the indispensable Duty of all Men gratefully to acknowledge their obligations to HIM for Benefits received:
RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the Legislative or Executive Authority of each of the said STATES, to appoint WEDNESDAY, the 30th Day of December next, to be observed as a day of public THANKSGIVING and PRAISE, that all the People may, with United Hearts, on that Day, express a just Sense of His unmerited Favours; particularly in that it hath pleased Him, by his overruling Providence, to support us in a just and necessary War, for the defense of our Rights and Liberties, by affording us seasonable supplies for our ARMIES, by disposing the Heart of a powerful Monarch to enter into Alliance with us, and aid our Cause; by defeating the Councils and evil Designs of our Enemies, and giving us Victory over their Troops; and, by the Continuance of that Union among these STATES, which, by his Blessing, will be their future Strength and Glory.
And it is further recommended, that, together with devout Thanksgiving, may be joined a penitent Confession of our Sins, and humble supplication for Pardon, through the Merits of our Saviour; so that, under the smiles of Heaven, our public Councils may be directed, our ARMS by Land and sea prospered, our LIBERTY and INDEPENDENCE secured, our Schools and Seminaries of learning flourish, our Trade be revived, our Husbandry and Manufactures increased, and the Hearts of all impressed with un-dissembled Piety, with Benevolence and Zeal for the public Good.
And it is also recommended, that Recreations unsuitable to the Purpose of such a solemnity may be omitted on that Day.
Done in CONGRESS, this 17th day of November, 1778, and in the third year of the INDEPENDENCE of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
HENRY LAURENS, President.