A Lively Experiment

Notes on collections at the RIHS

“to render Sincere THANKS”

A Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1763. RIHS   G1157 Broadsides 1763 No.7

A Proclamation of Thanksgiving, 1763. RIHS G1157 Broadsides 1763 No.7

Three hundred and fifty years ago, Great Britain, France and Spain concluded a world war with a Treaty signed on the 10th of February, 1763. The end of the Seven Years’ or French and Indian War was as gratefully received in the colonies as it was in Europe, even if the news came months later.

In August, Stephen Hopkins issued this proclamation declaring Thursday, August 25, a day of public thanksgiving. Hopkins also declared, “I DO also hereby strictly forbid and prohibit all servile Labor, and All Sports and Pastimes to be used or practiced on said Day, as all who offend herein shall answer their Contempt at their Peril.”

This would be shocking news to us today, accustomed to celebrating the day with parades and football games, strictly forbidden in 1763. May you enjoy your day, and have much to give thanks for. At the RIHS Library, we are thankful for our collections, of which this broadside is a part, but most especially we are thankful for all our patrons and members. Your research and support make our work not just worthwhile, but possible.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the RIHS!

~Kirsten Hammerstrom, Director of Collections


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