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Proclamations and Broadsides

Public thanksgiving proclamation, 1755

Public thanksgiving proclamation, 1755

Item 20113 info
Maine Historical Society

A Country Finds Its Voice

Intimidated by dissent and concerned with controlling popular opinion, the English monarchy strictly managed printing in Great Britain and the American colonies.

Few officially sanctioned pressed were allowed to operate in pre Revolutionary America, but during the Revolutionary era, the printing press was the primary tool of dissent.

Revolutionary sentiment was not confined to grievances. Even in the routine proclamation of Thanksgiving, an annual notice dating to 1676, anti-monarchial sentiment is evident.

Pre-1775 declarations, such as this one by Spencer Phips, lieutenant governor and commander in chief of Massachusetts, issued Dec. 4, 1755, prominently mentions the King.

Later declarations replace the king with the "Almighty."


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