THANKSGIVING UN INSPIRATION PE6ULIfIR TO THE NfITION
*tr|EEPLY penetrated with this
i-' . sentiment, I, George Washing
ton, president of the United States,
fio commend to all religious
societies and denominations, and to all
Will. E. Matheis Co.
Sixth and Cedar. Cash or Credit.
St. Paul's New Up-to-Date Housefurnishers.
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persons whomsoever, within the United
States, to set apart and observe Thurs
day, the 19th day of February next, as
a day of public thanksgiving and
prayer, and on that day to meet to-
THE ST. PAUL GLOBE, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1903.
gether and render sincere and hearty
thanks to the great ruler of nations for
the manifold and signal mercies which
distinguish our lot as a nation; partic
ularly for the possession 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 sup
pression of the late insurrection, and
generally for the prosperous condition
of our affairs, public and private."—
From the First National Thanksgiving
Of all the days marked red in this
nation's calendar, Thanksgiving day
means the most because it is the most
fraught with memories. There was a
Thanksgiving day one hundred years,
at least before there was a Fourth of
July. Independence day, indeed, marks
a period, a glorious period in the na
tion's life, but Thanksgiving day marks
the beginning of that life. It is rooted
deep in the soil and it is indigenous to
the soil. Other nations today celebrate
their Fourths of July, most counthies
observe Christmas and Easter pos
sesses a significance in every country
where there are Christian people, but
Thanksgiving day "is meaningless to
all nations except this.
Feast Days No Longer Original.
"Entire originality in the matter of
feast days, fast days and holidays is
a thing of the past," says a modern
"Practically every day in the year
was pre-empted for anniversary pur
poses long ago, and should a new na
tion spring into existence tomorrow
and seek to mark the event by the es
tablishment of a general public fes
tival, some uneasy bookworm would
rise up and prove by the production of
a Chaldean or Assyrian or Aztec cal
endar, that a similar festival was an
nually observed by primeval man some
10,000 odd years more or less before
the Christian era."
What this writer says is true enough
but, after all, the strongest argument
that can be brought forward to dis
pute the claim that this nation is the
original Thanksgiving nation is that at
various times other nations or other
communities, feeling in a thankful
mood, have set aside a day for the
chanting of a paean of praise.
But no other nation has so closely
interwoven with its history, no other
nation today is called upon by its ruler
or its chief executive to set apart one
day for thanksgiving, no other nation
feasts annually on roast turkey and
It is almost three hundred years ago
that the first thanksgiving proclama
tion was issued in this country. It
was issued by a governor, but it was
not dictated to his secretary nor was
it published in a newspaper. In fact,
no formality at all marked its issuance.
The governor merely bade four of the
men whom he governed to take their
fowling pieces and go out and shoot
some wild turkey in order that the
people might feast and rejoice after
they had gathered the fruit of their
labor, but that action of the Plymouth
governor was prompted by something
more than a mere impulse. It was an
inspiration and in spite of the infor
mality of the proclamation, it wrote
with red ink one day in a nation's cal
The First Thanksgiving Day.
Alexander Young, the father of
Judge Young of this city, in his
"Chronicles of the Pilgrims," quotes a
colonial writer's account of the first
thanksgiving day ever observed in this
country. The date of that Thanksgiv
ing festival was Dec. 11, 1621, and it
was held in Plymouth town.
"Our harvest being gotten in," wrote
the colonist, "our governor sent four
men out fowling, that we might, after
a special manner, rejoice together
after we had gathered the fruit of our
labors. They four, in one day, killed
as much fowl as, with a little help be
sides, served the company almost a
week. At which time, amongst other
recreations we exercised our arms,
many of the Indians coming, amongst
us, and among the rest their greatest
king, Massasoyt, with some ninety
men whom, for three days, we enter
tained and feasted; and they went out
and killed five deer, which they
brought to the plantation and
bestowed on our governor and upon
the captain and others." The govern
or, of course* was Bradford; the fowl,
it is needless to state was wild turkey.
The following year no Thanksgiving
festival was observed in Plymouth
town, but in July of 1623, a ship arriv
ing from England with provisions that
were sorely needed by the colonists,
the governor again set a day of
Forgotten for Forty-Five Years.
The day was not revived until forty
five years later. Then it was forgotten
again until June, 1689, when a thanks
giving service was held in honor of
the accession of William and Mary to
the English throne. In 1690 Thanks
giving was observed in the autumn and
the next year, Plymouth colony becom
ing a part of Massachusetts colony,
the Thanksgiving festival ceased, of
course, to be connected with the name
of Plymouth colony.
But various events inspired the other
colonies to observe the festival and
previous to the revolution it had be
come an annual holiday. An historical
writer in giving an account of a
Thanksgiving celebration held in 1676.
to celebrate the victory over King Phil
lip states that there were those in
Church's expedition who had "much
doubt then, and afterwards seriously
considered, whether burning their ene
mies alive could be consistent with
humanity and the benevolent princi
ples of the gospel." Which goes to
prove that even if those early Puritans
lacked a sense of humor some of them
did have a sense of the eternal fitness
After the revolution Thanksgiving
day became an annual festival in New
York, the governor issuing the procla
mation. Finally, at the suggestion of
congress, President Washington issued
the first Thanksgiving proclamation
which made the festival an annual hol
George Wrote Long Sentence.
One of the noticeable things about
this proclamation was that it contained
one sentence of 269 words. But it was
devout in tone and coming as it did,
directly after the suppression of the
whisky insurrection in Pennsylvania,
had an excellent reason for being. Sub
sequent proclamations have been
briefer but all have breathed the re
ligious spirit that inspired Gov. Brad
ford when he beged the early colo
nists to rejoice and be thankful after
they had gathered the fruit of their
But "Thanksgiving day possesses for
each individual a personal as well as
a national significance. It is the day
of family reunions. Families who are
separated during the rest of the year
make an effort to be together on this
day and because of these reunions,
the festival has a peculiar sacredness
though it is marked by feasting and
fun. In her children's poem, "The
Thanksgiving Tree," Harriet Prescott
Spofford expresses something of the
good cheer that marks this day. Here
are three of the stanzas:
"Of all the lovely trees that grow
The Christmas tree is the best, you
But next to that you must agree
Comes, really, thhe Thanksgiving tree.
You never heard of it? Why, dear,
It spreads its branches every year
And it must have a mighty root
To bear such quantities of fruit.
"What sort of fruit? Why, crisp and
It sends a fine roast turkey -down—
Wishbone for me. drumstick for you—
And raisins in the stufning, too.
And ducks with jelly cuddled close
In pastry; and along with these,
A ham all stuck with cloyes, and,
High with flaky crust, a chicken pie.
It's strange that you should never know
"How such a wonder came to grow.
Planted in your younger soil, indeed.
It sprung from the old roof tree seed;
And though it flourishes the best
In this great region of the West,
Yet one much like it over sea
They call the old Mohogany Tree."
Every child is familiar with the old
Thanksgiving poem that begins "Over
the river and through the woods," and
ends, "Hurrah for the fun, is the pud
ding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin
pie!" The New England poet who
wrote that appreciated the Thanks
giving spirit, and many children have
journeyed with him on imagination's
wings "to grandfather's house."
Tragic for the Turkey.
Of course, the turkey is the one
tragic figure in the midst of all this
rejoicing. He cannot be said to be
the skeleton at the feast, but he is
frequently a skeleton after the feast.
He is but here to make the nation's
Thanksgiving day. Had those first
early hunters who went out with their
fowling pieces brought in any other
game, the turkey, today, would not
have cause to regret Thanksgiving
day. It is to those colonial nimrods
that it owes its fate. Somebody has
recently attempted to present the tur
key's protest against Thanksgiving in
rhyme and this is what has resulted:
"I'm an unpretentious turkey
And do not seek to rise
Above my station to a place
Among the great and wise.
Rich dressing isn't to my taste;
I hate all grand display.
And I don't like the way, at all,
I'm served Thanksgiving day.
"I'm an unoffending turkey,
And never quite could see
Just why a horde of thanking souls
Should drive me up a tree.
If I were full of thanks, perhaps,
That might explain their way;
But I'm not and never was.
Gol darn Thanksgiving day."
The protest is not elegant, but it
appears to be heartfelt. It is not
probable, however, that it will disturb
anybody's enjoyment on Thanksgiving
Like Christmas day, Thanksgiving
day inspires most people with a desire
to make others happy. Here in St.
Paul it is not only thanks that are
"Worth It's Weigh! in Gold"
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which you will please send me one dozen
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Radway's PilLs. Your Ready Relief is
considered hereabouts to be worth its
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for some time, but I consider the R. R. R.
far superior to this, as it gives better sat
J. M. ALEXANDER, Hoxban, I. T.
Radway's Ready Relief cures the worst
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Headache (whether sick or nervous;,
Toothache, Neuralgia, Rheumatism, Lum
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of all kinds, the application of Radway's
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and its continued use for a few days ef
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BE SURE TO GET RADWAY'S.
Chicago and Beyond.
Have you ever tried our beautiful "Chicago Limited Ex
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convenient hour of 9 p. m., and lands you in the Union Depot.
Canal and Adams streets, Chicago, at 9 a. m. ' You -will have
had an elegant breakfast a la carte in one. of the famous
Burlington Route diners, and will be ready for business.
IfHfmmilfllm TICKET OFFICES: 400 Robert Slre«t and UnionlDepst.
gHljUjjJljJßMfj ; :
given on this day. The churches and
different philanthropic societies have
their proteges and they see that those
are welPprovided for on this festival
day. Individuals supplement the ef
forts of these organizations. This
thought for others envelopes the day
in an atmosphere of good cheer that
even a crusty Scrooge cannot resist.
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BlllrSll W Vi,VML*dit* declare tbeot
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Dr. ti. T. iiGAin. Kevcre, Boston, Hues.
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