Lost Episode for November 24

President Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation for a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to be observed on the last Thursday of November in 1863, issued a few months after the bloodiest battle of the Civil War at Gettysburg. With the outcome of the war still in doubt, Lincoln nevertheless called the nation to give thanks: “The year that is drawing towards 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 cannot 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 unequalled magnitude and severity… 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 siege and the battle-field… “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 […]

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