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Thanksgiving: A Proclamation (1866)

A PROCLAMATION, by the President of the United States .

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, has been pleased to vouchsafe to us, as a people, another year of that national life which is an indispensable condition of peace, security and progress. That year, moreover, has been crowned with many peculiar blessings. The civil war that has so recently raged among us has not been anywhere reopened; foreign intervention has ceased to excite alarm or apprehension; intrusive pestilence has been benignly mitigated; domestic tranquility has improved; sentiments of conciliation have largely prevailed, and affections of loyalty and patriotism have been widely renewed. Our fields have yielded quite abundantly; our mining industry has been richly rewarded, and we have been allowed to extend our railroad system far into the interior recesses of the country, while our commerce has resumed its customary activity in foreign seas. These great national blessings demand a national acknowledgment.

Now, therefore, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do hereby recommend that Thursday, the 29th day of November next, be set apart and be observed everywhere in the several States and Territories of the United States, by the people thereof, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, with due remembrance that in His temple doth every man speak of His honor.

I recommend also that, on the same solemn occasion we do humbly and devotedly implore Him to grant to our national councils and to our whole people that divine wisdom which alone can lead any nation into the ways of all good. In offering these national thanksgivings , praises and supplications, we have the Divine assurance that the Lord remaineth a King forever; those that are meek shall He guide in judgment, and such as are gentle shall He teach his way. The Lord shall give strength to His people, and the Lord shall give to His people the blessings of peace.

In witness where of, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and of the independence of the United States the ninety first.


Frank Leslie’s Weekly, founded in 1855 and continued until 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.


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Inside the Archives

Inside the Archives – November 2014 – Volume III Number 4

Volume III. Number 4.


As we move toward the close of 2014, with Thanksgiving on the horizon and Christmas just a few weeks away, Accessible Archives’ END-OF-YEAR SALE still is going strong. From The Revolution through the African American Experience and Civil War to Women’s History and beyond, individual and packaged collections are available at very special prices.  Whether you’re looking at individual permanent access or prefer an annual subscription to our complete collections, please contact us with your interests and we will be happy to review all options with you.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly — We continue to load keyed content onto the website, with a completion goal of early 2015.  As we remain in pre-publication mode, special pricing still is available.  Whether your interest lies with the complete collection or just in specific areas – The Civil War or World War I, for example – we are offering extremely favorable terms.

National Anti-Slavery Standard — While complete page images are already on the website, as are those for Frank Leslie’s weekly, the number of keyed issues increases on a regular basis.  Again, pre-publication pricing is in effect, with a very special offer for those who own the Standard’s sister publication, The Liberator from any source.  Please contact us and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and we’re  “talking turkey”! 


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The New System of Reclaiming Lands (1867)

This article appeared in the November 16, 1867 issue of Frank Leslie’s Weekly.


Operations on Newark Meadows, N. J., by the Iron Dike and Land Reclamation Company of New York.

SWAMP-LANDS are blurs upon the fair face of Nature; they are fever-breeding places; scourges of humanity; which, instead of yielding the fruits of the earth and adding wealth to the general community, only supply to the neighboring places poisonous exhalations and torturing musquitos. They are, for all practical purposes, worthless; and the imperative necessity for their reclamation is obvious to all, and is universally conceded.




We are not dealing now with the vast, wild and desoate swamps which infest certain portions of our country, but of those marshes in the immediate vicinity of civilization—marshes, in fact, which stand in the way of civilization, keeping hundreds of millions of dollars locked up in their oozy, muddy, worthless bosoms. Jersey City and Hoboken would long since have become one continuous city but for the unsightly marsh which spreads out, barren, between; and thousands of families could find homesteads, where the waters of the East River overflow at 103d street. Many attempts have been made to reclaim similar marshes, but the enormous expense attending the only certain method of reclamation then known has always proved an effectual bar to the completion of the work. These marshes, as a general thing, are divided among numberless owners in parcels, from the sixteenth of an acre to five and ten acre lots. The conflicting interests of these parties, and the impossibility of inclining them to a united action, are found to be the most formidable barriers to the great work of reclamation. It is true that stupendous works of drainage have been accomplished in Europe, such as the Harlem Lake, the wonderful Dikes of Holland, the Fens of Lincolnshire, and the Bedford Level; but these were accomplished by Governmenta action or liberal subsidy. The results in each case have proven truly gigantic. Harlem Lake, formerly presenting an area of seventy square miles of water, is now a land teeming with the richest productions of the earth; Holland bids defiance to the ever-threatening tides: while the Bedford Level, a vast tract of thousands of acres, is now a fertile corn-field, and was not long since made into a county, and added to the domains of her Majesty, being declared the finest agricultural district in the country.


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The Association for the Advancement of Women in 1896

Among the hundreds upon hundreds of women’s organizations, of whose making there is no end and into whose many forms the much-talked of “woman movement” has crystallized itself, there is one unique and interesting society of which little is heard, though it is of ripe age–twenty-two years–and counts its membership in every section of the country.

From Canada to Florida, from Maine to California, are women to whom the initials “A.A.W.” stand for a new inspiration in their lives, and among its hundreds of members are included women of world-wide fame, from its president, Julia Ward Howe , author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” down. From the fact that its working methods are somewhat unlike those of most women’s clubs, the only time when the Association for the Advancement of Women challenges universal attention, is when it calls its members from the East and the North, the South and the West, to its annual convention in some representative city. For the rest of the year it works so quietly–though none the less effectively –that to many of the outside world a brief account of the Association, its membership, and its work, will come as interesting news.


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Battle of Shiloh

A Look Inside: Maine in the War for the Union

The full title of this book is Maine in the War for the Union: A History of the Part Borne by Maine Troops in the Suppression of the American Rebellion. This volume was compiled by William E. S. Whitman and Charles H. True of Lewistion, Maine.

Accessible Archives subscribers can find the full text searchable version of this book within the The Civil War Collection Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective.

From the Preface

When it was decided to commence the undertaking of preparing a volume in which should be recorded what Maine had done through her noble sons as her share in maintaining the honor, integrity and unity of the Republic, for the purpose of having the work as truthful and as complete as it could be made, the editors immediately opened a correspondence with officers and men in the service in whose statements they had implicit confidence, setting forth their design and soliciting of such parties their co-operation by furnishing us, at the earliest moment, such information as it was in their power to give. Adverting to the honor and reputation of the State and of the organizations with which they were connected, we enjoined upon them the importance of not disregarding our request, which we are happy to state was quite satisfactorily complied with.

With such material as was furnished, in addition to that obtained from official sources, we have been able to perform the task assigned us. Those from whom we have derived such private assistance, were all actors in the scenes narrated. The accuracy of the work ought, therefore, to be reasonably satisfactory, as great pains have been taken to make it of incalculable value in this respect, although it is not impossible but that a few errors have crept in unwarily, escaping our scrutiny in the work of preparation.


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