Thanksgiving… I time to be thankful…

November 26, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

The title seems to be a bit absurd; or is it?  In a land of abundance we often take our blessings for granted. Good health, a roof over our head, knowing where our next meal is coming from, being surrounded by loved ones, having a warm place to stay, safety – all of which we rarely need to question – are before us day in and day out.  Our freedoms – of speech, of religion, of the right to bear arms, of political expression, of the pursuit of happiness, etc. – the list of things for which we should be thankful pervade every aspect of our lives.  For most of us our greatest concern this Thanksgiving will be deciding on the time we plan to eat and whether we should have dessert before or after the football game.  This abundance affords us the luxury to focus on such intellectual discourse as whether or not the Pilgrim story we learned as children actually occurred, or if it occurred in the manner we were taught. There is nothing wrong with this.  However, this year, let’s take a respite from our intellectual pursuits and spend time engaging in matters of the heart. George Washington grasped the importance of a thankful heart when he made the first Thanksgiving proclamation:

General Thanksgiving

By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of

the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an

opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the single and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wife, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

With Washington’s proclamation set before them, governors and elder statesmen have followed his lead ever since (view an example from October 28, 1829).  Similar proclamations and the general national attitude of “thankfulness” have revealed themselves in countless historic newspapers.

Finally, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln’s nearly broken heart led him to make Thanksgiving a National (U.S.) Holiday:

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony 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 Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Matters of the heart. It is interesting to note both Washington’s and Lincoln’s historic Thanksgiving Proclamations came in response to war – moments when the citizenry was moved to lay down their differences to come together in unity (similar to what occurred on September 12, 2001 – the day after), and acknowledge the blessings which were common to all.

Being surrounded by historic newspapers, I am constantly reminded of the great & many sacrifices which have been made so my children can live in this land of abundance – in freedom and in safety. I am moved to challenge myself to take time to count my blessings (which are many), and to “come as a child” to the feast which will soon be set before me. I invite you to join with me in reflecting upon life’s simple pleasures, the memories of old, and the joys which warm the heart. It is with this in mind I leave you with:

A Boy’s Thanksgiving Day

by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop for doll or top,
for ‘tis Thanksgiving Day

Over the river, and through the wood,
oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose,
as over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood
and straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go extremely slow—
it is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood,
when Grandmother sees us come,
she will say, “Oh dear, the children are here,
bring a pie for every one.”

Over the river, and through the wood—
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

from the staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers…   History’s Newsstand

I’m New Here: Week Thirty-Nine…

November 27, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes rabbit trails lead to revised destinations – particularly those that meander through the annals of history.  This week is a big deal on the US calendar because of colonists and survival and a heritage of gratitude…and I am a person full of thanks this year, as I have been much of my life.

I obtained permission from Guy to be a bit personal in my post, which he graciously granted, but a communication with a favorite collector in NYC derailed my reflection.  Ms. P told me about Evacuation Day, which commemorated the rousting of the British troops from their occupation of New York City following this nation’s fight for independence from England.  I had never heard of the liberation of NYC, let alone the celebrations that occurred annually until Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation co-opted the seasonal celebrations.  To be honest, I had never considered the duration of conflict following the 1776 declaration.  Anyway, this information came to light in a peripheral way, and the collector who brought it to our attention, attended this year’s anniversary hoopla in the city that was liberated.

It’s a privilege to learn from the staff here, as well as those who are ordering papers.  The collecting community is made up of a broad spectrum of interest and study, and I get to glean from the riches that move through the Rare and Early Newspapers archives.

I am thankful for the people who envisioned the United States of America — this great experiment.  I am thankful for those who kept their convictions through a long, wearying stretch of conflict, and I am thankful for families and communities who continued to manage the stuff of life through the political upheaval.

If you have some time over the upcoming holiday, our catalog is much more fascinating than any Black Friday special.  Whether you find the perfect gift for yourself or another, the time spent perusing the pages is a treat all by itself.

Cheers!

The best of the best from the mouth and/or hand of Abraham Lincoln…

September 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

What is Abraham Lincoln’s most noteworthy speech, proclamation, letter, etc.? The Emancipation Proclamation? His Thanksgiving Proclamation or proclamation for a National Fast Day? Perhaps it was his 1862 Annual Message to Congress, his 2nd Inaugural Address, or his last public address in 1865? Of course the “go to” answer is often what we now refer to as The Gettysburg Address. The choices are almost endless. However, below is a candidate which appeared in an issue of The Crisis (Columbus, Ohio, May 4, 1864) I’d like to throw into the mix. Why it flies under the radar of notoriety and has never received more recognition is rather perplexing. What are your thoughts? Note: I’d like to thank a friend of Rare & Early Newspapers for suggesting I take a 2nd look.

National Day of Prayer… Love our neighbors… Newspapers provide perspective…

May 5, 2022 by · Leave a Comment 

As we reflect on the political, religious, racial, socio-economic, etc., etc., etc. diversity of the citizens of the United States on this National Day of Prayer, one cannot ignore what appears to be our ever-increasing polarization and wonder if our days are numbered. Is it possible to learn to appreciate our differences… to be kind… to play nice? When we were just sprouting, many of us were taught the Biblical mandate to love our neighbors – albeit a difficult task, at least we could wrap our minds around the concept.

However, Jesus, in His famous Sermon on The Mount, upgraded this calling to a height eclipsing human reason:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

Is this really possible? Can we actually learn to love those who violently oppose us – who would wish us harm? God tells us that with Him, ANYTHING is possible. He also provides considerable encouragement when He states: “You often do not have because you do not ask.”

Reading news from the day it was first reported through historical first-hand accounts as found in Rare & Early Newspapers provides incredible perspective. Our shared heritage was built upon diversity. Did we make mistakes, have passionate disagreements, and even come to the brink of our demise? Absolutely! However, through it all we managed to stay together – to be a melting pot unlike any the world had ever experienced. Was this… is this a God-thing? One thread woven throughout our history has been the calls by our leaders (Presidents, Governors, etc.) to seek God through prayer – often given as Proclamations for a Day of Thanksgiving, Humiliation, and Prayer. The truth is, prayer has been woven throughout the fabric of our nation from the start.

So, on this agreed upon, country-wide, National Day of Prayer…

Dear Lord,

We, as a nation, need Your help. Please give us the ability too see others through Your eyes and to love those with whom we fervently disagree. We understand the truth in President Lincoln’s words: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We realize there are many from outside our borders who are actively fomenting such division, and rather than steeling ourselves against such attacks, we too often respond as mere pawns.  Help us to unite against such nefarious intentions. Help us to appreciate our common Source – that we are all made in Your image, our common citizenry, and the abundance of our shared experiences – birth, death, and a ton of joys and sorrows in between. Help us to play nicely with one another – to seek common ground whenever possible, and to agree to live peacefully with our differences. While humanly absurd, please give us Your strength to love one another. We grasp this is a You-size quest and therefore come to You with child-like humility – pleading for You to do that which we cannot do ourselves. We, as a nation, need Your help. Thanks in advance.

Amen

The following is a post from the past which, in my opinion, is worth a second look:

America – pulling a nation back together…

blog-11-14-2016-jfk-jr-photoMy Fellow Americans: Devastating hurricanes, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, the end of WWII, Lindbergh’s 1st flight across the Atlantic – while there is much that divides us, there have been times throughout our history when both triumphs and tragedies have inspired us to lay down our weapons and to unite as one. While these times of mutual good will are typically short-lived, they often act as a reset to help center us on that which binds us together. We need such a time!

It is was with the current atmosphere of angst as a backdrop that I was moved by an under-the-radar prayer found buried on page 11 of an issue reporting the assassination of President JFK. His death, airmailed via television directly into the living room of nearly every home in America, brought together Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike and unified us around shared grief.  May a day come when such unity of spirit flourishes without the inspiration of deep sorrow, tragedy, or war. As another assassinated President once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand (Abraham Lincoln).” It is time for us to lay down our weapons. Much is at stake.blog-11-14-2016-prayer-jfk

Last Words Can Say it All… John Hancock’s thankful heart…

November 11, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

What do the following sayings have in common: “A man’s last words reflect what he held most dear”… “He finished well”… “He ran with perseverance the race set before him”?

I would argue, based on a fascinating issue of the Columbian Centinel (Oct. 9, 1793) I found today, they are all applicable to John Hancock. What began as intrigue with a Proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving by this notable Founding Father, turned to a swell of warmth as I noticed his death announcement within the same issue. At the end of his life, he was clearly focused on giving thanks: “Where as it is the Duty of Men, as well in their social, as individual state, religiously to consider the dispensation of God’s Holy Providence – To acknowledge with gratitude, their obligations to Him and their entire dependence upon Him: I have therefore thought fit, by and with Advice and Confident of the the council, to appoint, and I do hereby appoint Thursday, the Seventh Day of November next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving throughout this Commonwealth…”

His well-run race, punctuated by an abundance of highlights along the way, stands as an emphatic reminder to never take thankfulness for granted. While it is easy to assume gratitude has always been in the hearts of men, truth is, its more rare than one would hope and needs to be proclaimed more often. In John Hancock’s case, his words and deeds proclaimed the overflow of his heart long before he signed off on this life and entered the next.

The July (2017) Newsletter from Rare & Early Newspapers…

July 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Each month the staff of Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers sends out a newsletter to our members which includes special offers, discounts, alerts to new inventory, and information related to the rare newspaper collectible.

The July, 2017 newsletter is as follows:

Dear Friend of Rare & Early Newspapers,

Welcome to the July edition of our member’s newsletter. This month we have a special set of Dewey Defeats Truman issues to offer, more issues added to our list of items priced at 50% off, additional reports of famous Hollywood deaths (Auction & Buy It Now), an updated link to items listed since our most recent catalog went to print, Catalog 260, and the most recent posts on the History’s Newsstand Blog. Please enjoy.
Dewey Defeats Truman: Just a few days ago we had the pleasure of adding a few more issues featuring the infamous Dewey Defeats Truman headline. As a result, we have decided to significantly discount two our our offerings:
Hollywood Stars: Over the past few weeks we have begun to explore a relatively new set of Los Angeles Times issues we’ve added to inventory – searching for the deaths of famous Hollywood celebrities. Since our last e-mail only a week ago, we have found quite a few more, some of which are currently listed via Auctions, and others available immediately through our website:
  • AUCTION (Deaths of Hollywood Celebrities) – including Anthony Perkins, Audrey Hepburn, Liberace, Cab Calloway, John Candy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Stanwyck, Dean Martin, Orson Wells, Anne Baxter, Ava Gardner, William Holden, Ginger Rogers, Rock Hudson, Lana Turner, and more.
  • WEBSITE (Deaths of Hollywood Celebrities) – including Gilda Radner, Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant, Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, Natalie Wood, Robert Shaw, Alfred Hitchcock, Andy Kaufman, Jackie Gleason, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, John Belushi, Steve McQueen and more.
*Discounted Newspapers: An additional 100+ newspapers have been added to our list of items reduced in price by 50% (through August 14th), and may be viewed at: Discounted Newspapers. The prices shown already reflect the discount. Some of the noteworthy content includes: Emancipated slaves in Louisiana, the Battle of Bull Run, Greta Garbo, Betty Grable, Jesse Owens, Rube Barrow, Botany Bay, Daniel Mendoza, when the swastika became the symbol of Nazism, the first balloon flight across the English Channel, and more.
Catalog 260 continues to be available, and a number of great items still remain.
Recent Listings – Items which have been listed since our latest catalog went to print.

History’s Newsstand Blog (recent posts):

  • Are you smarter than a 17th century 5th grader? Math exercises within Gentleman’s Magazines…  As we continue to explore the diversity of content found on the pages of 18th and 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines, our attention was drawn to the abundance of Mathematical challenges found within many issues – particularly those from the 1700’s. Rather than opining on the difficulty level of the quests as opposed to what might be expected of the average reader of a common (blog) post or publication of the 21st century, especially since we have no idea as to the intended target audience. Instead, let’s just enjoy the challenge as if we were living just prior to the American War for Independence. The challenge: On a somewhat regular basis the publisher would provide a set of Mathematical exercises and invite their subscribers to submit solutions. These responses would then be printed… (continue reading)
  • Some things actually do change… One of the things that struck me while discussing the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution with my children earlier this month was the insight of the American forefather’s demonstrated in their framing of the foundation of this new experiment in self-rule. While some might point to the flaws found within many of the founding documents, procedures, underlying beliefs, and early practices to poke holes in our current state of government, truth be told the seeds of change were sewn throughout the fabric of this new society – avenues which have allowed for peaceful and rightful adjustments to be made over time. Sure, there were times when peaceful change took a backseat, however… (continue reading)
  • O Canada! The Traveler… Earlier this week I traveled to New York City by the way of The New York Times dated July 2, 1867 where I found the headline “The Dominion of Canada” with the subhead “Inauguration of the Confederation — A General Holiday — Lord Monck Sworn in — Review of Troops”. “This day has given birth to the political infant, the Dominion of Canada…” This was the announcement of the birth… (continue reading)
  • Victor Hugo – poetry in early 19th century Gentleman’s Magazines…  In our opinion, one of the early titles we come across, The Gentleman’s Magazine, is grossly underappreciated. This London “Reader’s Digest-sized” publication which spanned the early 18th through mid-19th centuries and was known for great reporting from throughout the world, was also pregnant with book reviews, poetry, mathematical challenges, birth and death notices, and an abundance of plates depicting everything from maps to sketches of rare animals, historical cathedrals, and notable men and women of the era. While we’ve written about this title in previous posts (view posts), our attention this time around is in regards to poetry – with a question. Whereas nearly every issue contains poetry of the period, the poets are often unknown to me, and therefore, rarely catch my eye. However, during the process… (continue reading)
  • Are Presidential proclamations for thanksgiving and prayer unconstitutional? Over the years we have written multiple posts featuring noteworthy Presidential proclamations for days of thanksgiving, humiliation, and prayer, and have listed quite a few on the Rare & Early Newspapers website. Not too long ago we came across an issue of The Boston Investigator for November 10, 1880 which contained an article focused on a view that such proclamations are/were unconstitutional. So, although we passionately disagree with this opinion, in an effort to be fair and balanced, we present… (continue reading)

* Regarding our discounted issues… Why the extreme discount? Having over 15,000 items posted on the Rare & Early Newspapers website, with most links showing the most recently listed items first, there are undoubtedly a host of great items which simply become overlooked. These selected discounts enable us to bring a handful of these to light while benefiting our members.

 Thanks for collecting with us.

If you would like to receive these free monthly newsletters, along with additional news and alerts concerning the hobby, go to:

FREE RARE & EARLY NEWSPAPERS MEMBERSHIP

The Traveler… giving thanks… not on the Sabbath…

October 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-10-17-2016-ThanksgvingI traveled to Boston today by the way of the Independent Chronicle dated October 14, 1816. I found “By His Excellency John Brooks, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, A Proclamation, for a day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer.” had been proclaimed. This was to be held on the Thursday, November 28.

Also found was an article entitled “Sabbath Laws” in which Judge Putnam “…repealed all former provisions upon the subject whether by statue or common law; that no act of labour, therefore, upon that day are lawful, except in cases of necessity or charity; and that prosecutions upon the statute are not within the exception…”. Too bad we cannot go back to those days…

~The Traveler

An October, 2016 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

October 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-10-3-2016-Proclamation-Thanksgiving-PrayerWhat news was reported in the month of October – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1966, 1916, 1866, 1816, 1766)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
October:
1966 – 50 years ago
1916 – 100 years ago
1866 – 150 years ago
1816 – 200 years ago
1766 – 250 years ago

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