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VOLUME LXXVIII.-NO. 181.
AMERICA`S THANKSGIVINGS OLD AND NEW Thanksgiving and turkey. How easily one associates the feast with the bird, around which clusters the family reunion, the tiavor of cranberries and the best cooking of the year. When our Puri tan fathers thought it wise and well to give thanks to God for the benefits show ered upon them little (lid they think that in after years this, their day of great est worship to the Creator of every good and perfect thing, would be turned into a day for the purpose of distributing football trophies among the youths whose muscle was their religion and whose halfback was their God. In those long departed days the family board was surrounded by all that was in keeping with tne day of thanks, yet at the master's elbow leaned the trusty flintlock for inquisitive red men who might deem it well to disturb the feast. In the heart of the Puritan th<;re was a most decided sincerity in the administra tion of Thanksgiving, but that did not les sen the solemnity of the occasion, nor did it lighten the distresses that so often oc curred in the building up of old New Eng land whose men have been the salvation of our country and whose deeds are the best monument to their names. To-day, after the battles of revolution ary and civil war have been fought and the smoke of strife has cleared away, we are prone to forget the situations under which our ancestors dined on that day of good cheer. The inconveniences under which they were compelled to make the best of it are but memories now, and in the midst of a land of plenty and content we sit at our sumptuous repast and greatly to the satisfaction of our appetites give thanks to the Most High Ruler, whose greatness is our might and for wnose bountiful gifts we tnis day give thanks. So may it be. ORIGIN OF IttArSKSOIVING. Fhe Puritans of Old Plymouth Are Directly Responsible. In the year 1021, about a year after the Pilgrims bad landed from the Mayflower, governor Bradford, seeing that the fields bad beeii tilled and made to bring forth their crops and that the land had been made to bear fruit, was moved to show Sod that the people were full of thanks and good will for the bounteous harvests and his protection. He vrrote of the work and of the results and the final thanksgiv ing in these words: | |"They begaue now to gather in the small harvest they had and to fitte up their houses md dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength, and had all things in good plenty ; fur as some were thus employed in affairs abroad sthers were exercised in fishing about codd md bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had iheir portion. All the somer there was no waste. And now began to come in store of foul and a great store of wild urkies, of which they took many, besides renison, etc." By this lime the crops had jeen gathered in, and the Christian Gov ;rnor sent men out among the fowls with nstructions to gather and kill enough for i feast of thanksgiving. The soldiers thus sent into the forests came back with game jf all Kinds, and the Indians accompanied by their mighty chief Massasoit came to the homes of the Pilgrims to the number if ninety, and the red men were entertained For three days. They went again into the forests and the hills and came back with five deer, which were added to the feast after having been bestowed upon the Gov ernor and Captain Miles Standish. Thus the first Thanksgiving was brought to a ;lose, and the next was held in July, 1623. &. long and severe drought had prevailed in which the grass and corn were dried up by ;he hot weather and the Governor ap pointed a day of fasting and prayer, and is the Pilgrims prayed "soft, sweet and noderate showers" fell lasting some two reeks. The fasting was then changed into i day of thanksgiving, and God was ihowered with the gratitude of his devoted iollowers. And so it was that the Pilgrims gave The San Francisco Call. thanks for the many things for which they felt they were indebted to the Creator, but there were lapses of time during which no regular ceremony was held, all of which was greatly due to the condition of the crops or the people generally, or else the result of unchanged conditions during the months or years of time not occupied by thanksgiving observances. In the Ply mouth Colony Thanksgiving days were named by the Governors in 1651. 1668 and 16S0, and in the Massachusetts Bay Color.y similar obse:vances were held in 1033, 1634, 1637, 1633 and 1639. The colony and pro vince of New York was not without its days of praise and prayer. The Dutch ! Governors proclaimed such days between 1644 and 16(54. The English Governors did not follow this custom established by their j predecessors until 1760. Throughout the ! Revolution Congress annually re?om- | mended days of thanksgiving. In 1784, ! alter the terrors of war had ceased to occur i and Washington had led the colonists to i victory and to perpetual freedom, lie an- ! nounced that there would be a day of gen- ! eral praise for the return of peace and j liberty. In 1789 the constitution of the ; United States was adopted and another > day of rejoicing and feasting was ap- i pointed by President Washington. FIRST NATIONAL FEAST. The Father of His Country Prepared the Proclamation. In 1795 the ability of the United States to carry on its own government and lay the foundation of the grandest common wealth in the world became apparent to such an extent that the people, vigorous with the new blood of a young Nation, made mighty strides in the channels of commerce leading to all parts of the civil ized world. Her vast and yet undiscov ered resources were being developed each year and her people, being a freedom loving, Christian race of inhabitants, the necessity of a more general and National day of Thanksgiving was thought to be a wise plan by General George Washington, whose previous acts had demonstrated the wisdom of the soldier and the statesman. He was the supreme executive head of a growing Nation that had burst the chains of bondatreand were, by their own acts and the spilling of precious blood, free men. SAN FRANCISCO, THURSDAY MORNING, NOVEMBER 28, 1895. America was steadily forging to the front, while other nations were tottering in civil war and international strife. Washington saw the depth of peace and contentment tbat reigned in the United States, and he accordingly issued the first National Thanksgiving proclamation, the preamble of which read: "When we review the calamities that afflict many other nations, the present con dition of the United States affords much matter of consolation and satisfaction. Our exemption hitherto from foreign war, an increasing prospect of the continuance of that exemption*— the greatest degree of I internal tranquillity we have enjoyed; the recent confirmation of that tranquillity by the suppression of an insurrection which i wantonly threatened it; the happy course lof our public affairs in general ; the unex \ ampled prosperity of all classes of our citi ! Zens — are circumstances which peculiarly > mark our situation with indication of the . divine ber>eiieenee toward us. In such a state of things, it is in an especial manner ! our duty as a people, with reverence and j affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our ■ many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore him to continue and ! confirm the blessings we experience." President Washington, in view of all these obligations, so sincerely set forth, recommended to all persons whatsoever within the United States to observe Thurs day, the 19th day of February, as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. '•Particularly," the proclamation con | tinned, "for the possessions of constitu ) tions of government which unite, and by | their union establish, liberty with order; ! for the preservation of our peace, foreign and domestic; for the reasonable control which has been given to a spirit of disorder in the suppression of the late insurrection, ; and generally for the prosperous condition ! of our affairs, public and private; and at j the same time humbly and fervently to be seech the kind Author of these blessings graciously to prolong them to us; to ira i print 011 our hearts a deep and solemn sense of our obligations to him for them; ' to teach us rightly to estimate their im : mense value; to preserve us from the arrogance of prosperity and from hazard j ing the advantages we enjoy by delusive ! pursuits; to dispose us to merit the con : tinuance of his favor 3 by not abusing | them, by our gratitude for them, and by a A THANKSGIVING TRAGEDY IN COLONIAL DAYS.; Th.c feast ±m spread. ■Fixe DF»ilsrixxa. ±m oontont ' ;'.'"■.. j ■j&l. _ . osry • of paizx ! from out t b.o frosty : air ; : jBL I ■ deadly ! arrox^ by ("'«.'•" xrod ;; xnaxi ; ' sent- ' / :.'•• ■ ' ' ' , "Thy x^rlll too done "-a. Z>ll«;rlsxi.'s vacant oliair. corresponding conduct as citizens and as men; to render this country more and more a propitious asylum for the unfortu nate of other countries; to extend among us true and useful knowledge; to diffuse and establish habits of sobriety, order, morality and piety; and finally to impart all the blessings we ask or possess for our selves to the whole family of mankind." In that proclamation the immortal Washington voiced the feeling of the peo ple of the country, and as they had passed through a most expensive and distressing revolution they felt that with the victory won they should indeed give thanks to the Creator. While this particular proclama tion had a most satisfactory effect, it was not until some years later that it became a regular custom. In 1817 Governor De Witt Clinton of New York issued a call that was most heartily responded to by the people. Since that year the day has been observed by the people of New Eng land almost without a break. The West was slow to follow, doubtless because of the uncivilized condition it was in at the time and the scarcity of settlers. In the South it was not generally recognized until ls<sß, when eight Governors issued proclamations. From the time of Ihe proclamation issued by President Washington up to the time of President Lincoln no further at tempt was made to make it a National holiday. Lincoln, however, during the war frequently appointed special days in which to commemorate Union victories. In 1863 he set apart the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving and prayer and ever since then the succediug Presidents have observed that day and have issued calls for a general Thanks- giving. * Among the Roman Catholics the day received no ofliciai attention until the Plenary Council which convened in Balti more in 1885 recommended that extra prayers be offered on Thanksgiving day. Since then the day has become more and more general throughout the United States. The obligation that a successful and im proving Nation owes to an Almighty God became apparent to the people of the country and for the blessings bestowed upon them they have learned to give thanks. From the Eastern to the Western boundaries and from North to South the custom has gained a gradual foothold until to-day it is one of the greatest days of grat itude and content set apart by our Presi dent. A great deal of its Puritanical at mosphere has been removed with the prog ress of the masses and it is now more a day of festivity than one of constant and unbroken prayer. From a day of the most absolute and systematic worship it has gradually evolved into a day of festivity properly begun with the offering of thanks lor which it was intended. Tne belief that it is a fitting occasion in which to show that the American people have not forgot ten their God has not waned, but in a great part it has taken unto itself a broader view of what constitutes religious gratitude. CALIFORNIA'S THANKSGIVING. How It Gradually Crept Into the Great Golden West. Here in California, when but few of the hardy pioneers were assembled on the western shore of the United States, and even before that eventful period of 1849 in which a great deal of our most important history finds its beginning, a dozen men who came from the sturdy stock of New England assembled in the house of Robert Gordon in the beginning of the month of November of the year 1847 and dined on fat turkey, raised in California, and stuffed with the sage that grew wild on the hill sides of Yerba Buena, now better known to a recent generation as San Francisco. It is also recorded that about thirty other sons of New England sat at the dinner table in the City Hotel and had as presid ing officer John Paty of Plymouth at the head of the feast. It was at these dinners that the custom of giving thanks was in troduced into California. Another inci dent, and probably the one that sounded the keynote of the magnificent accomplish ments to follow in quick succession, was the introduction of steam in the vessels on the bay. The old steamer California puffed along the water front and blew her whistle, the tirst steam whistle that had ever given forth its blast on the waters in this vicin ity, It was truly a day of days for the determined men who had crossed the mountains and fought their way through the Indians of the plains that the West might be opened to the march of progress, and make new homes for the rapidly *ac cumulating population of the East. It was to them an echo of their homes and brought with it the family scenes so far away. In the year 1848, about the time when Thanksgiving should have begun to be considered, the Pacific seaboard was stirred by the life that came with the promise of civil government for California. The lead ing citizens of San Francisco were at once anxious to begin the appointment of dele gates, by the people, to frame the laws and proceed at once to the formation of a pro visional Government. In the midst of these deliberations and discussions, which were apparently more important to the people of California than anything else that could occur, the day of thanksgiving, so well begun the year before, was tem porarily forgotten, and not until 1849, that magic year when the pioneers began to date their records, was it observed again. It was ordered on this occasion by General Kiley, who selected the 29th of Novem ber. His proclamation was brief and every way to the point involved and was signed "B. Riley, brevet brigadier-general, U. S. A., and Governor of California. H. W. Halleck, brevet captain and Secretary of State." The occasion for giving thanks at that time will be more appreciated when it is remembered that on the 13th of November of the same year the constitu tion was ratified and California became one of the States of the Union. Great was the rejoicing that year and long was the feast. The next day of Thanksgiving, and the first one named after California was ad mitted to statehood, was held November 30, and the proclamation was issued by Governor Burnett, who passed over to the old pioneers across the Styx about six months ago. In 1856 Governor John Bigler, for some reason or other, paid no attention to the custom of giving thanks, although he had done so the year before. His failure to give Thanksgiving the recognition it was accustomed to met with considerable dis approval, and the people shut up their stores for half a day and indulged in a semi-holiday on their own responsibility. Although the weather on that occasion was wet and chilly, the whole affair was said to be most satisfactory to the people who had made the attempt to keep up the festivity, which had become a regular thing in this State. In 1857 the Vigilantes were conducting things in San Francisco in a manner that they thought the conditions justified and which caused considerable difference be tween them and Governor Johnson, who was a little inclined to the side of the "law and order" men. The Governor had is sued a proclamation announcing that the City of San Francisco was in a state of an archy, and he furthermore called upon the militia to put down the defiant Vigilance Committee. About that time Casey and Cora, the gam biers, were hung, one of them for the assassination of James Kinsrof Wil liam, editor of the Bulletin. The City was in a state of excitement, but it did not, however, interfere with the regular annual thanksgiving and the customary amount of turkey meat was disposed of by the peo ple of this City. THANKSGIVING AND WAR. How Our Governors Referred to the Struggle of the Nation. The day of Thanksgiving continued to have its place on the calendar of the State's holidays, and when the war echoes rolled up from the South in 1860, and the Union was threatened with internal strife, Gov ernor Downey issued a Thanksgiving proc lamation in which he touched upon the issue in these words: "While returning thanks to God, a black cloud has arisen threatening our Nation with blood. The land is rilled with wicked men, who nurse treason, disunion and in cendiarism to such an extent as to light the torch of civil war. But, while we are far removed from the struggle, our honor is involved, for blood ties and memory hold us to the old States." His proclamation concluded with the foregoing paragraph and stirred up con siderable comment among many of Cali fornia's citizens who happened to have lived or had relatives living in the South. The actual day of Thanksgiving, however, PRICE FIVE CENTS. passed off with a reasonable amount of zest ; but in 1861 the State was so disturbed that no day was set aside for Thanksgiving. In November, 1862, Governor Leland Stanford issued his first proclamation, with corsid erable stress upon the glorious climate of the State and her wonderful resources. He, too, touched upon the great civil strucgle that was shaking the Nation, but not in the same positive way as his prede cessor had handled the matter. Governor Stanford, in 1563, received no tice from President Lincoln of the second National Thanksgiving proclamation hav ing been issued, in which the Governors of all the States in the Union were called upon to observe the 26th day of Novem ber. In accordance with this request Gov ernor Stanford issued a proclamation, which opened with the Biblical quotation: " 'Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and show ourselves glad in. him with psalms.' " The proclamation then goes on at some length, with the result that California is compared with the stricken East, and set aside from the seat of war. "While we deplore our condition as a Nation, we liave manifold reasons for of fering up our united thanksgiving as a community. Our State during the last year has been blessed with prosperity and health. We have been free from floods, pestilence and famine, and as a State have known no widespread calamity. * * * "But while we assemble with cordial hearts among the pleasant associations of our own happy homes, let us not forget the many desolate households in our sister States, whose altars will be twined with cypress and whose hearts will be overflow ing with desolation, while our lives are filled with thanksgiving for the plenitude of our divine protection. "As a Nation we have been passing through a bitter, trying anil bloody ordeal, but recent events seem to foretell the com ing of better and brighter days. And in this we have cause for peculiar thankful ness, and for this and all other mercies vouchsafed to us let us give Almighty God our unreserved thanksgivings." In the same year of this proclamation two other days of thanksgiving were held, April 30 and August 6. They were for the purpose of commemorating Union vic tories. These days were recognized very thoroughly in San Francisco and patriotic demonstrations were indulged in all over the State. Thomas Starr King wrote of California at that time: "The land is at war, yet California, a most prif ed portion of the country, is in perfect peace. * * ♦ Immigration from foreign countries and from all parts of America increases and the State's credit remains untarnished. Our State pays its debts in gold and remains so loyal that Secessia gives her up." The Civil War was the chief topic of dis cussion in the '60 r s, and it is not surprising that reference to it appears in everything not excepting documents and proclama tion of a public nature. It was the thing uppermost in the minds of the people, and not until the wounds received in the strug gle were healed and the new South began to affiliate with the victorious North did its echoes die away. Governor Frederic F. Low mentioned ia his proclamation of 1864 that one of the greatest causes for thanksgiving was the peaceful election of a President during war times, although on April 14, 1865, the people of America were stunned and hor ritied at the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This blow to the people of the Union was so great that instead of hold ing thanksgiving services they went into mourning for their dead yet beloved Presi dent, who had administered over the people of the United States when the Union was tottering in the balance of civil war. THANKSGIVING OF TO-DAY. What the People of California Are Thankful for Now. ■\yhile the people of San Francisco have not forgotten the kindly acts of Andrew A. Louderback, who supplied the orphans and homeless children with a Thanksgiv ing dinner in the Ws, nor Sergeant Lind heimer, who saw that the prisoners of the City jail were fed a good Christian dinner, nor Samuel C. Harding, the champion of the Ladies' Relief and Protection Associa tion as well as the orphan asylums; there are to-day many generous and magnificent charities practiced at this time of the year. The never-tiring disciples of the Salvation Army and the thousands of good women and men who perform some mission of samaritanism are still doing the work that is dictated by naught but a righteous heart. They spread contentment and good cheer among the homeless and the hun gry and help in manifold ways to lighten the burden of life by mingling with the distress some hours or days of comfort. The American people, as a nation, are charitable and well disposed toward their fellow-men, and on this sublime day of ThanKsgiving the poor will have the plea sure of eating a dinner that will bring contentment and a better feeling among them. It is truly a day of thanksgiving, and all over our broad State the stranger within our gates and whosoever is hungry will feel the pressure of the warm hand and good fellowship coupled with a repast that will make the inner man fesl corre spondingly happy with the balance of his kind. California has every reason to be con* tented with her present fortune. The crops have been good, the inhabitants have been practically free from the distress of want, and while other countries and States are suffering from poverty that borders on starvation there are no cases that can be reached and that deserve attention here that will not be accorded all necessary care. There has never been a famine in Cali fornia, nor have we been subjected to the terrible calamities of earthquakes and floods so common to other countries. The marvelous equality of our climate and the prospects of the coast generally justify an annual thanksgiving which, in the fullness of their gratitude, the people are quite* content and anxious to set apart as a day of rest and thanks. Back in New England the same spirit of fidelity to the "Giver of every good and perfect thing" still reigns, and the maple log will burn in the big fireplaces while a mantle of snow covers the earth, and the people of that part of the country will Fine engraving distin* guishes, and "cheap" engrav* ing disgraces, its user. 227 Post street _ _ 215 Bosh street H S CROCKER Cq