Governor Jonathan Belcher's Proclamation

for Day of Thanksgiving (1730)

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  In Colonial America, it was O.K. for a governor or ruler to acknowledge dependence on God and to issue an official recognition of God's goodness to the people! The following is from The New England Weekly Journal, No. 187, October 19, 1730 (Printed by Kneeland and Green).]



    Lord's Day October 11. Being the anniversary of their Majesties' coronation, the same was observed here on Monday last, by the discharge of the guns at His Majesty's Castle William, and etc. And in the evening there were illuminations and other public demonstrations of joy; particularly His Excellency the Governor's house was beautifully illuminated on this joyful occasion.

    On Wednesday last His Excellency the Governor was pleased with the advice of His Majesty's Council, by Proclamation, to appoint Thursday the twelfth of December [November] next, a Day of public Thanksgiving throughout the Province.


    The pictures of their Majesties King GEORGE II. and Queen CAROLINE, beautifully drawn at length, are put up in the Council Chamber in this town, and according to the inscription at the bottom of them, they are the gift of His Majesty to this his province of the MASSACHUSETTS BAY, at the desire of His Excellency JONATHAN BELCHER, Esq; Governor of NEW ENGLAND.


[The following Proclamation for Day of Thanksgiving is printed in The New England Weekly Journal, No. 189, November 2, 1730 (Printed by Kneeland and Green):]


Captain General and GOVERNOR in Chief in and over His Majesty's


    A Proclamation for a Public THANKSGIVING.

    WHEREAS it hath pleased Almighty GOD (notwithstanding the provocation of His holy displeasure by our sins, testified in divers instances, and particularly in the late infectious and mortal distemper [small pox]) to favor us with many undeserved blessings in the course of this year, which do justly demand our humble adoration and thankful acknowledgment of the Divine goodness.

    I have therefore thought fit, with the advice of His Majesty's Council, to appoint THURSDAY the TWELFTH of NOVEMBER next, a day of Public THANKSGIVING throughout this Province, hereby exhorting both ministers and people in their several assemblies, religiously to solemnize the same by offering up their sincere and grateful PRAISES for the manifold blessings and favors which GOD of His undeserved goodness hath conferred upon us; PARTICULARLY, in continuing to us the invaluable life of Our Sovereign Lord the KING, with His Royal Consort Our Most Gracious QUEEN, His Royal Highness the PRINCE OF WALES, and the rest of the royal issue; In succeeding His Majesty's wise councils FOR RESTORING and establishing the peace of EUROPE; In prolonging the ecclesiastical and civil privileges of this people; In granting his gracious conduct and assistance in the administration of the civil government of this Province; In restoring HEALTH to many of our towns lately visited with a contagious distemper [small pox], and preserving others from the infection thereof; In maintaining our PEACE with the Indian Natives, and granting us a plentiful HARVEST, in giving success to our MERCHANDISE AND FISHERY, and protecting it from the insults and ravages of PIRATES, with other numberless instances of the Divine beneficence: And all servile labor is prohibited on the said Day.

    GIVEN AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBER IN Roxbury the FOURTEENTH Day of October 1730. In the Fourth Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of GOD of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, KING, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, and etc.

By His Excellency's Command, with the Advice of the Council,

                                                                                                J. BELCHER.

Josiah Willard, Secr.

    GOD save the King.

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