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Delaware Governor Robert J. Reynolds issued this Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1893. The Proclamation notes that many Americans had started to regard the holiday as “a day for indulgence in riotous living and worldly sports.”
The tradition of Thanksgiving in the United States goes back farther than many know. People have come together to give thanks for a bountiful harvest or triumph over difficulties before the most famous Thanksgiving in 1621, when the Pilgrims and Indians were together for a three day feast to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Starting in 1777 and intermittently into the 20th century, a day of Thanksgiving would be set aside usually after a national crisis or significant event. It was not until 1941, when President Roosevelt signed legislation into law, did Thanksgiving become an official holiday. Although, many state Governors issued Thanksgiving Proclamations on a regular basis as did Governor Reynolds in 1893.
This letter is part of the Executive Papers Collection which date from 1776 to 1900. This collection includes files maintained by the Governor’s office such as; finances, the military, commissions, correspondence and petitions. The collection also includes records of activities of the state’s chief executive and appointed and elected cabinet officials. The Governor’s Papers Collection is the repository after 1874.