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1863 November 26: Wisconsin Governor Salomon’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

November 28, 2013

Wisconsin Governor Edward Salomon issued his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 12.  The Polk County Press published it in their October 24 and 31, 1863, issues.  We have saved it to post on our Thanksgiving Day in 2013.

Governor Salomon’s Proclamation.

The people of Wisconsin have much reason to be thankful to God for the many favors and blessings they have enjoyed during the past year.  While the calamities and dangers of war have visited so many of our sister States, we have been permitted to enjoy peace and prosperity within the borders of our State ;  the earth has been bountiful in its productions to us, and our harvest plentiful ;  commerce, manufactures and all the arts and vocations of peace have flourished with unusual prosperity.  And all of this has been vouchsafed to us while the nation has been, and is, in a fierce and bloody contest for its life and integrity—a contest in which the brave and noble sons of Wisconsin have shown unsurpassed endurance, heroism and devotion to our country’s sacred cause upon so many battle-fields ;  and, thus bravely acting their part in the suppression of the rebellion, and assisting in driving the enemy from his strongholds, have conferred honor and renown upon themselves and our beloved State.

Thanks to God who gave them such loyal and stout hearts and strong arms !  Thanks to him for the success that has accompanied our army within the past year, bringing nearer to us constantly a permanent national peace, unity and happiness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with a time-honored custom, and conforming to a recent proclamation of the President of the United States appointing a day of National Thanksgiving, I, EDWARD SALOMON, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, do hereby appoint

Thursday, 26th day of November, 1863,

as a day of Thanksgiving and Rest, and request the people of the State of Wisconsin that, laying aside all their secular pursuits, they repair on that day to their accustomed places of worship, there to offer their gratitude to God for the blessings and favors we have been permitted to enjoy during the past year.  And in that gratitude let us not omit to remember the many noble and departed heroes who have laid their lives upon the altar of our common country, to save it from destruction and ruin ;  nor their weeping widows, orphans, relatives and friends ;  nor those who have sacrificed health and limbs in this great national struggle ;  nor those who yet so bravely stand around the flag of the Union.

Let us remember them and those that are dear to them.  Let us comfort and assist them in their affliction and their struggles.

Offering our thanks, let them be mingled with Prayers for a speedy and permanent restoration of peace, unity and happiness to our distracted country.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed.  Done at Madison, the twelfth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three.


EDWARD ILSLEY, Assistant Secretary of State.

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