By the President of the United States of America
The people of the United States should never be unmindful of the gratitude they owe the God of Nations for His watchful care, which has shielded them from dire disaster and pointed out to them the way of peace and happiness. Nor should they ever refuse to acknowledge with contrite hearts their proneness to turn away from God's teachings and to follow with sinful pride after their own devices.
To the end that these thoughts may be quickened it is fitting that on a day especially appointed we should join together in approaching the Throne of Grace with praise and supplication.
Therefore, I, Grover Cleveland, president of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the 26th day of the present month of November, to be kept and observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer throughout our land.
On that day let all our people forego their usual work and occupation, and, assembled in their accustomed places of worship, let them with one accord render thanks to the Ruler of the Universe for our preservation as a nation and our deliverance from every threatened danger, for the peace that has dwelt within our boundaries, for our defense against disease and pestilence during the year that has passed, for the plenteous rewards that have followed the labors of our husbandmen, and for all the other blessings that have been vouch safer to us.
And let us, through the mediation of Him who has taught us how to pray, implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuation of heavenly favor.
Let us not forget on this day of thanksgiving the poor and needy, and by deeds of charity let our offerings of praise be made more acceptable in the sight of the Lord.
Witness my hand and the seal of the United States, which I have caused to be hereto affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 4th day of November, A. D. 1896, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and twenty-first.
By the President:
Secretary of State.