‘Fruitful fields and healthful skies’

During this Thanksgiving season, particular thanks should be extended to Sarah J. Hale, “editress” (as she called herself) of the Lady’s Book and the reason we have a national day of thanksgiving today.

Hale worked for 15 years placing “papers before the Governors of all the States and Territories — also I have sent these to our Ministers abroad, and our Missionaries to the heathen — and commanders in the Navy. From the recipients I have received, uniformly the most kind approval.”

Yet she felt a national statement from President Lincoln would greatly aid and accelerate “the great Union Festival of America.” So, in late September of 1863, Hale wrote to Lincoln to request he make what had become a regional celebration into a national day of thanksgiving, to be held, as she suggested, annually on the fourth Thursday of November.

A week later, Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

Written by William H. Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state, and approved by Lincoln, the proclamation is particularly notable for its gratitude and praise to the “Most High God” for the country’s blessings.

Click here to read the rest of this grateful post at Sutherland Daily.