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    For Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation

    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) President, important partly-printed Document Signed "Abraham Lincoln" one page, 7.75" x 10", Washington, October 3, 1863, authorizing the Secretary of State to affix the Seal of the United States to the first Presidential Proclamation designating the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. The document reads in full:

    "I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of State to affix the seal of the United States to a Proclamation, dated this day, and signed by me: and for so doing this shall be his warrant."

    Abraham Lincoln issued Thanksgiving Proclamations in the spring of 1862 and the spring of 1863; both proclamations gave thanks for victories in battle. Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation in the autumn of 1863 - the second Thanksgiving Proclamation in that year - gave thanks for the general blessings of the year. This second 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, the first in the unbroken string of annual Thanksgiving proclamations, is regarded as the true beginning of the national Thanksgiving holiday.

    The original proclamation is housed at the National Archives in Washington. The original manuscript of the proclamation, in the hand of Secretary of State William Seward, was sold to benefit troops at an 1864 Sanitary Fair during the Civil War and its location remains unknown. Mounting traces on integral blank leaf, partial clean fold separation and one small tear into text that lies flat, else Fine. This order to affix the seal to the Thanksgiving Proclamation, boldly signed by the President, set forth a tradition observed every year and remains the favorite holiday of just about every American family. A truly evocative piece of Lincolniana that touches us all. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
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    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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