This is a proclamation given by the city council of Watertown, Massachusetts for a day of Thanksgiving as printed in The Pennsylvania Evening Post. The proclamation was issued on November 4, 1775 for the day of Thanksgiving on November 23, 1775.
Although in consequence of the unnatural, cruel, and barbarous measures, adopted and pursued by the British Administration, great and distressing calamities are brought upon our oppressed country, and on this colony in particular; we feel the dreadful effects of Civil War, by which America is stained with the blood of her valiant sons, who have bravely fallen in the laudable Defense of our Rights and Privileges;— Our Capital, once the Seat of Justice, Opulence and Virtue, is unjustly wrested from its proper Owners, who are obliged to free from the Iron Hand of Tyranny, or are held in the unrelenting Arms of Oppression:—Our seaports greatly distressed, and Towns burnt by the Foes, who have acted the Part of barbarous Incendiaries. —And although the wise and holy Governor of the World, has in his righteous Providence, sent Droughts into this Colony, and wasting Sickness into many of our Towns; yet we have the greatest Reason to adore and praise the Supreme Disposer of Events, who deals infinitely better with us than we deserve; and amidst all his Judgments hath remembered Mercy, by causing the Voice of Hezlin again to be heard amongst us;— Instead of Famine, affording to an ungrateful People a Competency of the Necessaries and Comforts for Life; in remarkably preserving and protecting our Troops, when in apparent Danger, while our Enemies, with all their boasted Skill and Strength, have met with Loss, Disappointment, and Defeat;— and in the Course of his good Providence, the Father of Mercies hath bestowed upon us, many other Favors, which call for our grateful Acknowledgment:
We have thought fit, with the Advice of the Council and House of Representatives, to appoint Thursday the Twenty-third Day of November Instant, to be observed as a Day of public THANKSGIVING, throughout this Colony; hereby calling upon Ministers and People, to meet for religious Worship in said Day, and devoutly to offer up their unfeigned Praises to Almighty God, the Source and benevolent Bestower of all Good, for his affording the necessary Means of Subsistence, though our Commerce has been prevented, and the Supplies from the Fishery denied us.— That such a Measure of Health is enjoyed among us; that the Lives of our Officers and Soldiers have been so remarkably preserved, while our Enemies have fell before them;— That the vigorous Efforts which have been used to excite the Savage Vengeance of the Wilderness, and rouse the Indians to Arms, that an unavoidable Destruction might come upon our Frontiers, have been almost miraculously defeated;—That our unnatural Enemies, instead of Ravaging the Country with uncontrolled Sway, are confined within such narrow Limits, to their own Mortification and Distress, environed by an American Army, brave an determined; — That such a Band of union founded upon the sect Principles, unites the American Colonists;—that our Rights and Privileges, both Civil and Religious, are so far preserved to us, notwithstanding all the Attempts of our barbarous Enemies to deprive us of them—
And to offer up humble and fervent Prayers to Almighty God, for the Whole British Empire; especially for the United American Colonies; —that he would bless our Civil Rulers, and lead them into wise and prudent Measures in this dark, and difficult Day:— That he would endow our General Course with all that Wisdom which is profitable to direct:— That he would graciously Smile upon our Endeavor to restore Peace, preserve our rights and Privileges, and hand them down to Posterity:—That he would give Wisdom to the American Congress, equal to their important Station:— That he would direct the Generals, and the American Armies, wherever employed, and give them Success and Victory:— That he would preserve and strengthen the Harmony of the United Colonies:—That he would pour our his Spirit upon all Orders of Men, through the Land, bring us to a hearty Repentance and Reformation; purity and sanctify all his Churches:— That he would make Ours Emanuel’s Land:— That he would spread the knowledge of the Redeemer through the whole Earth, and fill the World with his Glory.And all servile Labor is forbidden on said Day.
Given under our Hands at the Council-Chamber, in Watertown, this Fourth Day of November, in the Year of the Lord, One Thousand seven Hundred and Seventy-five,
By their Honor’s command, PEREZ MORTON, Dep. Sec.
James Otis, W. Spooner, Caleb Cushing, Joseph Gerrish, John Whetcome, Jedediah Foster, James Prescott, Eldad Taylor, Benjamin Lincoln, Michael Farley, Joseph Palmer, Samuel Holten, Jabez Fisher, Moses Gill, Benjamin White.
GOD Save the PEOPLE.