George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation on Christie’s Auction Block

You may have already viewed President George Washington’s proclamation that created the first federal Thanksgiving Day in 1789. This piece of American history was on a national tour by Christie’s and stopped at the Jefferson Hotel Nov. 4. It is now on the auction block at Christie’s New York at Rockefeller Plaza. If you are in midtown Manhattan, you still have time to see it and make a bid.

Here are some details from Christie’s: “On Nov. 14, in a special single-lot evening sale, Christie’s New York is honored to offer a proclamation signed by George Washington on October 3, 1789, establishing the first federal Thanksgiving Day, called for the last Thursday of November (estimate: $8 to12 million). This sale, which follows a national tour, offers a unique opportunity to acquire a foundational document in the history of our great national tradition of Thanksgiving.”

Here are excerpts from President Washington’s proclamation:

“• By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation…

• …both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer…

• Now therefore do I recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being…That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–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 enabled 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…”

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