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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Thanksgiving Day

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The day appointed by the Civil Authority for the rendering of thanks to God for the blessings bestowed on this land and nation during the year. It usually partakes of the nature of a Harvest Home Festival, prompted no doubt by the character of the service set forth in the Prayer-book to be used on this day, entitled, "A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the Fruits of the earth and all other Blessings of His Merciful Providence." It is interesting to note that the first Thanksgiving Day in America was appointed, not by the Pilgrims, as many persons mistakenly believe, but by members of the Church of England. It was celebrated at Monhegan, off the Maine coast, near the mouth of the Kennebec river, as far back as 1607—thirteen years prior to the arrival of the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor—and Chaplain Seymore preached a sermon "gyving God thankes for our happy metynge and saffe aryvall into ye countrie." The earliest Thanksgiving Day of the Plymouth colonists was in 1621.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Thanksgiving Day'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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