President Lincoln Attends Thanksgiving Services

August 6, 1863

“This was the day of thanksgiving appointed by the President,” writes presidential aide John Hay in his diary.  “We went to Dr [Byron] Sunderland’s [First Presbyterian Church] but he was away so went to [Dr. Phineas] Gurley’s [New York Avenue Presbyterian Church].  G. Came out pretty strongly in prayer and sermon more decidedly than ever before.  The President said after Church, that he supposed his faith in ultimate success must be decidedly strengthened or he would not have talked so.”   Hay adds: “The President says there is no foundation for the rumor of War with England.”

The problems of the New York City draft, which resulted in riots in mid-July, continue to concern the Lincoln Administration: “The President had recd. an enormous letter from Seymour about draft, and intends to enforce the draft with such arrangements as will take from the present enrollment its present look of unfairness.  He says he is willing and anxious to have the matter before the Courts.”

Hay adds regarding reconstruction: “Matters from Louisiana look very well. Banks in a letter to Boutwell says the state will do anything we want her to.  In reference to that the President has written Banks this letter, a very careful & I think admirable one.”

Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi and his sons write to support President Lincoln’s efforts on behalf of emancipation: “If in the midst of the clangor of your titanic strife our voices may also mingle, O Lincoln, let us the free Sons of Columbus send a message of augury and of admiration of the great work you have initiated.

Heir of the thought of Christ and of [John] Brown, you will pass down to posterity under the name of the Emancipator,! more enviable than any crown and any human treasure!

An entire race of mankind yoked by selfishness to the collar of Slavery, is, by You, at the price of the noblest blood of america, restored to the dignity of Manhood, to Civilization, and to Love.

America, teacher of liberty to our Fathers, now opens the most solemn Era of human progress, and whilst she amazes the world by her gigantic boldness, makes us sadly reflect that this old Europe allb albeit agitated by the grand cause of freedom, does not understand, nor move forward to become equal to her.

Whilst the epicurean upholders of Despotisms intone the bacchic ode which celebrates the decay of a free people, let the free, religiously celebrate the downfall of Slavery– Parallel Mysteries of History! — the rapine of Mexico and the proclamation of Lincoln!

Greeting to you Abraham Lincoln great pilot of freedom; greeting to all who for two years have fought and bled around your regenerating Standard; — greeting to you, the redeemed offspring of Ham.

Published in: on August 6, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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