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Giving Thanks

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Public thanksgiving proclamation, 1755

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Public thanksgiving proclamation, 1755 / Maine Historical Society

Thanksgiving observances were not always focused on harvests and feasts.

A good example is this 1755 proclamation, issued by Spencer Phips Esq., lieutenant governor and commander in chief of Massachusetts.

He proclaimed a celebration of public thanksgiving for Dec. 4, 1755 and urged colonists to give thanks for the successful harvest, along with victories over the French, the good health of King George and other British officials, and the good life colonists enjoyed.

The proclamation notes that "all servile labor" is forbidden for the day.

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