And, together with our thanksgiving, earnest Supplication to God is hereby recommended for the forgiveness of our Sins which have rendered us unworthy of the least of his Mercies; and that by the sanctifying influence of his Spirit, our hearts and manners may be corrected, and we become a reformed and happy People—That he would direct and prosper the Administration of the Government of the United States, and of this and the other States in the Union. That he would still afford his Blessings on our Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries and all the labours of our hands. That he would smile upon our University, and all Seminaries of Learning—That Tyranny and Usurpation may everywhere come to an end—That the Nations who are contending for true liberty may still be succeeded by his Almighty aid—That every Nation and Society of Men may be inspired with the knowledge and feeling of their natural and just rights, and enabled to form such systems of Civil Government as shall be fully adopted to promote and establish their Social Security and Happiness—And, finally, that in the course of God’s Holy Providence, the great Family of Mankind may bow to the sceptre of the Prince of Peace so that mutual Friendship and Harmony may universally prevail.
And I do recommend to the People of this Commonwealth to abstain from all such Labours and Recreations as may not be consistent with the Solemnity of the said Day.
Given at the Council Chamber in Boston, this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one Thousand seven Hundred and Ninety-six, and in the twenty-first Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
John Avery, Sec’ry
God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!
[Independent Chronicle, November 21, 1796; two texts are in the Massachusetts Archives.]
You are sensible, Fellow Citizens, that the principal motive which induced your adjournment to the 16th current, was to transact the business prescribed by law, respecting the Electors of a President and Vice-President of the United States of America.
Not being able to determine in my own mind, whether you would probably be inclined to begin the business of a winter session at this season, or not, I did, by the advice of the Council, appoint a later day for a Public Thanksgiving, than has been usual; intending thereby, to afford you an opportunity to finish the business above mentioned, and, if you should then think it proper, keep the festival in your respective families. This matter, however, it becomes me to leave to your own discretion. Which ever, you may determine upon, while you continue this session, I will endeavour to finish the business which you may lay before me, with all convenient dispatch, always considering, that harmony and union among the several branches and governmental powers, consistent with their respective Constitutional rights and duties, to be essential to the security and welfare of our constituents at large.