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Lincoln and The Creation of Thanksgiving

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Dustin Hudak

on 15 November 2017

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Transcript of Lincoln and The Creation of Thanksgiving

Lincoln and the Creation of Thanksgiving
(Learning Lincoln by Reading his Words)


By
Dustin Hudak
History
George Washington Thanksgiving Proclamation
...Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November net, 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 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 become nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interposition of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, 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...- 1789
Question
1 - What was happening in America when George Washington gave this Thanksgiving Proclamation?
2 - What themes did George Washington mention in this segment?
3 - Why did George Washington give this Proclamation?
Sara J. Hale's Letter to Lincoln
September 28, 1863
.
..You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only to become permanently, an American custom and institution...

....it has occurred to me that proclamation from the President of the United States would be the best, surest and most fitting method of National appointment..

...Now the purpose of this letter is to entreat President Lincoln to put forth his Proclamation, appointing the last Thursday in November as the National Thanksgiving for all those classes of people who are under the National Government...
Questions
1 - Why did Sara J. Hale write to President Lincoln?
2 - What day did Sara suggest for Thanksgiving?
Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation - 1863
Part One
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessing 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, other have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to ever watchful providence of Almighty God."
Questions
1. In 140 characters or less, please summarize the beginning of the Proclamation?
2. Why did Lincoln start of this way?
Part Two
"In the midst of a civil war of unequalled 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 theatre of military conflict, which that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union."
Questions
1. Lincoln writes, "theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union" what does that mean?
2. Should Lincoln have written this?
Part Three
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the was that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom"
Question
1. Overall, is this portion a positivity message or negative? Explain?
Part Four
"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, reverntly and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do there invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning 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"
Questions
1. Who do you think is "whole American People?" Just the North? South, Slaves?
Part Five
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverance and blessing, 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 interposition of the Almighty Hand to head the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Questions
1. Who is the "Almighty Hand?"
2. What is Lincoln asking the "Almighty Hand" to do?
Compare and Contrast
...Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November net, 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 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 become nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, 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...- 1789
Washington
Haley
...You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only to become permanently, an American custom and institution...

....it has occurred to me that proclamation from the President of the United States would be the best, surest and most fitting method of National appointment..

...Now the purpose of this letter is to entreat President Lincoln to put forth his Proclamation, appointing the last Thursday in November as the National Thanksgiving for all those classes of people who are under the National Government...
Lincoln
"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, reverntly and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do there invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning 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"
Question
1. What are the similarities and difference in between the documents?
Media
Thomas Nast Cartoon
A Closer Look: the Top Portion
Questions
1. What do you see?
2. How does it relate to Lincoln's Proclamation?
A Closer Look: Bottom Portion
A Closer Look: The Middle
Questions
1. What do you see?
2. How does it relate to Lincoln's Proclamation?
Questions
1. What do you see?
2. How does it relate to Lincoln's Proclamation?
Questions
1. What do you see?
2. How does it relate to Lincoln's Proclamation
Thanksgiving Hymn
Questions
1. What do you see?
2. How does this relate to Lincoln's Proclamation?
Gilder Lehrman
Today
President Obama, 2015
Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear. Today, as we give of ourselves in service to others and spend cherished time with family and friends, we give thanks for the many blessing bestowed upon us. We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day.

Our modern celebration of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the early 17th century. Upon arriving in Plymouth, at the culmination fo months of testing travel that resulted in death and disease, the Pilgrims continued to face great challenges. An indigenous people, the Wampanoag, helped them adjust to their new home, teaching them critical survival techniques and important crop cultivation methods. After securing a bountiful harvest, the settlers and Wampanoag joined in fellowship for a shared dinner to celebrate powerful traditions that are still observed at Thanksgiving today: lifting one another up, enjoying time with those around us, and appreciating all that we have.

Carrying us through trial and triumph, this sense of deceny and compassion has defined our Nation. President George Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving in our country's nascence, calling on citizens of our fledgling democracy to place their faith in "the providence of Almighty God,' and to be thankful for what is bequeathed to us. In the midst of bitter division at a critical juncture for America, President Abraham Lincoln acknowledged the plight of the most vulnerable, declaring a "day of thanksgiving," on which all citizens would "commend to [God's] render care' those most affected by the violence of the time -- widows, orphans, mourners, and sufferers of the Civil War...
Question
1. How does President Obama's Proclamation and President Lincoln's Proclamation compare? Similarities? Differences?
Word Cloud Of Lincoln's Proclamation
President Obama's Word Cloud
Vs
President Lincoln's Word Cloud
Question
1. What are some similarities? What are some differences?
2. In your opinion, why are there such major differences?
Citations
Washington, George. "Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation." The Heritage Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2016. <http:// www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/washingtons-thanksgiving-proclamation>.

Hale, Sarah J. "The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress." The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2016. <http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mal&fileName=mal1%2F266%2F2669900%2Fmalpage.db&recNum=0>.

"Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln." Thanksgiving Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. Ed. Roy P. Basler. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, n.d. Web. 15 July 2016. <http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm>.

Taylor, James B, James B Taylor, and Muhlenburgh. Thanksgiving Hymn. Firth, Son & Co., New York, 1863. Notated Music. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200002043/>.

Huffer, Beth. "Thanksgiving Illustrated Book." Vimeo. Gilder Lehrman, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2016. <https://vimeo.com/144680956>.

Obama, Barack H. "Presidential Proclamation -- Thanksgiving Day, 2015." The White House. The White House, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 Aug. 2016. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/20/presidential-proclamation-thanksgiving-day-2015>.

Elmore, A. E. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address: Echoes of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2009. Print.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Seward, Frederick W. Seward at Washington, as Senator and Secretary of State: A Memoir of His Life, with Selections from His Letters. New York: Derby and Miller, 1891. Electronic.

Burlingame, Michael. Abraham Lincoln. a Life. Vol. 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2013. Knox College. Web. 6 July 2016.

Gardner, Alexander. "Abraham Lincoln, November 8, 1863, Alexander Gardner Photograph, Detail." Daily Report. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2016. <http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/41242>.
Photo Courtesy of Gilder Lehrman
Photo Courtesy of The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
Photo Courtesy of George Washington's Mount Vernon
Photo courtesy of civil-war-150.com
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress
Video courtesy used from Gilder Lehrman Instituted
Photo Courtesy of House Divided Project
Full transcript