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measures as have most directly contributed to frustrate their own desires and expectations : above all, in making their extreme cruelty to the inhabi. tants of these states, when in their power, and their savage devastation of property, the very means of cementing our union, and adding vigour to every effort in opposition to them.
And as we cannot help leading the good people of these states, to a retrospect on the events which have taken place since the beginning of the war, so we recommend, in a particular manner, to their observation, the goodness of God in the year now drawing to a conclusion. In which the confederation of the United States has been completed : in which there have been so many instances of prowess and success in our armies ; particularly in the southern states, where, notwithstanding the difficulties with which they had to struggle, they have recovered the whole country which the enemy had overrun, leaving them only a port or two, on or near the sea ; in which we have been so powerfully and effectually assisted by our allies, while in all the conjunct operations, the most perfect harmony has subsisted in all the allied army:in which there has been so plentiful a harvest, and so great abundance of the fruits of the earth of every kind, as not only enables us easily to supply the wants of our army, but gives comfort and happiness to the whole people : and in which, after the success of our allies by sea, a general of the first rank, with his whole army has been captured by the allied forces under the direction of our commander in chief.
It is therefore recommended to the several states, to set apart the thirteenth day of December next, to be religiously observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer; that all the people may assemble on that day, with grateful hearts, to celebrate the praises of our gracious benefactor ; to consess our manifold sins; to offer up our most fervent suppli
cations to the God of all grace, that it may
IN CONGRESS, OCTOBER 18, 1785.
WHEREAS, it hath pleased the Supreme Ruler of all human events, to dispose the hearts of the late belligerent powers, to put a period to the effu. sion of human blood, by proclaiming a cessation of all hostilities by sea and land, and these United States are not only happily rescued from the dangers and calamities to which they have been long exposed, but their freedom, sovereignty and independence, ultimately acknowledged. And whereas, in the progress of a contest on which the most essential rights of human nature depended, the interposition of Divine Providence in our favour hath been most abundantly and most gloriously manifested, and the citizens of these United States have every reason for praise and gratitude to the God of their salvation. Impressed, therefore, with an
exalted sense of the blessings by which we are surrounded, and our entire dependance on that Almighty Being from whose goodness and bounty. they are derived, the United States, in Congress assembled, do recommend it to the several states, to set apart the second Thursday in December next, as a day of public thanksgiving, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate with grateful hearts and united voices, the praises of their Supreme and all bountiful Benefactor, for his numberless favours and mercies. That he hath been pleased to conduct us in safety through all the perils and vicissitudes of the war ; that he hath given us unanimity and resolution to adhere to our just rights; that he hath raised up a powerful ally to assist us in supporting them, and hath so far crowned our united efforts with success; that in the course of the present year, hostilities have ceased, and we are left in the undisputed possession of our liberty and independence, and of the fruits of our land, and in the free participation of the treasures of the sea; that he hath prospered the labour of our husbandmen with plentiful harvests; and above all, that he
hath been pleased to continue to us the light of the · blessed gospel, and secured to us in the fullest ex
tent, the rights of conscience in faith and worship. And while our hearts overflow with gratitude, and our lips set forth the praises of our great Creator, that we also offer up fervent supplications, that it may please him to pardon all our offences, to give wisdom and unanimity to our public councils; to cement all our citizens in the bonds of affection, and to inspire them with an earnest regard for the national honour and interest, to enable them to improve the days of prosperity by every good work, and to be lovers of peace and tranquility; that he may be pleased to bless us in our husbandry, our commerce, and navigation; to smile upon our seminaries and means of education ; to cause pure reli
gion and virtue to flourish; to give peace to all na- tions, and to fill the world with his glory.
ISSUED BY GENERAL WASHINGTON, TO THE ARMY
OF THE UNITED STATES.
Head Quarters, April 18, 1783.
THÉ commander in chief orders the cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and the king of Great Britain, to be publicly próclaimed to-morrow at twelve o'clock, at the new building : and that the proclamation which will be communicated herewith, be read to-morrow evening at the head of every regiment and corps of the army; after which the chaplains, with the several brigades, will render thanks to Almighty God for all his mercies, particularly for his over-ruling the wrath of man to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease among the nations.
Although the proclamation before alluded to, extends only to the prohibition of hostilities, and not to the annunciation of a general peace, yet it must afford the most rational and sincere satisfaction to every benevolent mind, as it puts a period to a long and doubtful contest, stops the effusion of human blood, opens the prospect to a more splendid scene, and, like another morning star, promises the approach of a brighter day than hath hitherto illuminated the western hemisphere. On such a happy day, which is the harbinger of peace, a day which completes the eighth year of the war, it would be ingratitude not to rejoice; it would be insensibility not to participate in the general felicity.
The commander in chief, far from endeavouring : to stifle the feelings of joy in his own bosom, offers bis most cordial congratulations on the occasion to all the officers of every denomination ; to all the troops of the United States in general; and in particular to those gallant and persevering men who had resolved to defend the rights of their invaded country, so long as the war should continue. For these are the men who ought to be considered as the pride and boast of the American army; and who, crowned with well earned laurels, may soon withdraw from the field of glory to the more tranquil walks of civil life. While the commander in chief recollects the almost infinite variety of scenes through which we have passed, with a mixture of pleasure, astonishment, and gratitude ; while he contemplates the prospects before us with rapture, he cannot help wishing that all the brave men, of whatever condition they may be, who have shared the toils and dangers of effecting this glorious revolution ; of rescuing millions from the hand of oppression, and of laying the foundation of a great empire, might be impressed with a proper idea of the dignified part they have been called to act, under the smiles of Providence, on the stage of human affairs ; for happy, thrice happy! shall they be pronounced hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous fabric of freedom and empire, on the broad basis of independency; who have assisted in protecting the rights of human nature, and establishing an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions. The florious task for which we first flew to arms being accomplished; the liberties of our country being fully acknowledged, and firmly secured, by the smiles of heaven on the purity of our cause, and the honest exer- . tions of a feeble people, determined to be free, against a powerful nation disposed to oppress them;