Proclamation 278—Thanksgiving Day, 1886
By the President of the United States of America
It has long been the custom of the people of the United States, on a day in each year especially set apart for that purpose by their Chief Executive, to acknowledge the goodness and mercy of God and to invoke His continued care and protection.
In observance of such custom I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the 25th day of November instant, to be observed and kept as a day of thanksgiving and prayer.
On that day let all our people forego their accustomed employments and assemble in their usual places of worship to give thanks to the Ruler of the Universe for our continued enjoyment of the blessings of a free government, for a renewal of business prosperity throughout our land, for the return which has rewarded the labor of those who till the soil, and for our progress as a people in all that makes a nation great.
And while we contemplate the infinite power of God in earthquake, flood, and storm let the grateful hearts of those who have been shielded from harm through His mercy be turned in sympathy and kindness toward those who have suffered through His visitations.
Let us also in the midst of our thanksgiving remember the poor and needy with cheerful gifts and alms so that our service may by deeds of charity be made acceptable in the sight of the Lord.
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 1st day of November, A.D. 1886, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eleventh.
By the President:
T. F. BAYARD, Secretary of State .
Grover Cleveland, Proclamation 278—Thanksgiving Day, 1886 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204883