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PROCLAMATIONS OF DAYS OF THANKSGIVING, FASTING,
Proclamation of a National Fast Day.
AUGUST 12, 1861. Whereas a joint committee of both houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States and requested him to "recommend a day of public prayer, humiliation, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, his blessings on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace”:
And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions, in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action:
And whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous,
and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before him and to pray for his mercyto pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reëstablishment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under his guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence:
Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation. And I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion, of all denominations, and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day, according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our country. In testimony, etc.
Abraham Lincoln. By the President:
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.
On February 19, 1862, President Lincoln issued a proclamation ordering the celebration of the forthcoming anniversary of WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, by