Proclamation 241—Thanksgiving Day, 1878
By the President of the United States of America
The recurrence of that season at which it is the habit of our people to make devout and public confession of their constant dependence upon the divine favor for all the good gifts of life and happiness and of public peace and prosperity exhibits in the record of the year abundant reasons for our gratitude and thanksgiving.
Exuberant harvests, productive mines, ample crops of the staples of trade and manufactures, have enriched the country.
The resources thus furnished to our reviving industry and expanding commerce are hastening the day when discords and distresses through the length and breadth of the land will, under the continued favor of Providence, have given way to confidence and energy and assured prosperity.
Peace with all nations has been maintained unbroken, domestic tranquillity has prevailed, and the institutions of liberty and justice which the wisdom and virtue of our fathers established remain the glory and defense of their children.
The general prevalence of the blessings of health through our wide land has made more conspicuous the sufferings and sorrows which the dark shadow of pestilence has cast upon a portion of our people. This heavy affliction even the Divine Ruler has tempered to the suffering communities in the universal sympathy and succor which have flowed to their relief, and the whole nation may rejoice in the unity of spirit in our people by which they cheerfully share one another's burdens.
Now, therefore, I, Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States, do appoint Thursday, the 28th day of November next, as a day of national thanksgiving and prayer; and I earnestly recommend that, withdrawing themselves from secular cares and labors, the people of the United States do meet together on that day in their respective places of worship, there to give thanks and praise to Almighty God for His mercies and to devoutly beseech their continuance.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 30th day of October, A.D. 1878, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and third.
By the President:
WM. M. EVARTS, Secretary of State.
Rutherford B. Hayes, Proclamation 241—Thanksgiving Day, 1878 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203470