Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Thanksgiving Quiz {Test Your Knowledge}
Probe Ministries ^ | Nov. 24, 2004 | Kerby Anderson

Posted on 11/24/2004 4:44:34 AM PST by Lindykim

Thanksgiving Quiz Kerby Anderson

This nation was founded by Christians, and Thanksgiving is a time when we can reflect upon this rich, Christian heritage. But many of us are often ignorant of our country's origins, so we have put together a Thanksgiving quiz to test your knowledge about this nation's biblical foundations. We hope that you will not only take this test and pass it on to others, but we also hope that you will be encouraged to study more about the Christian foundations of this country.

1. What group began the tradition of Thanksgiving?

A day of thanksgiving was set aside by the Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony. This colony was the first permanent settlement in New England. The Pilgrims were originally known as the Forefathers or Founders. The term Pilgrim was first used in the writings of colonist William Bradford and is now used to designate them.

2. Why did they celebrate Thanksgiving?

Life was hard in the New World. Out of 103 Pilgrims, 51 of these died in the first terrible winter. After the first harvest was completed, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer. By 1623, a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during their prayers. The custom prevailed in New England and eventually became a national holiday.

3. When did Thanksgiving become a national holiday?

The state of New York adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom in 1817. By the time of the Civil War, many other states had done the same. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation for the fourth Thursday of November.

4. Why did the Pilgrims leave Europe?

Among the early Pilgrims was a group of Separatists who were members of a religious movement that broke from the Church of England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1606 William Brewster led a group of Separatists to Leiden (in the Netherlands) to escape religious persecution in England. After living in Leiden for more than ten years, some members of the group voted to emigrate to America. The voyage was financed by a group of London investors who were promised produce from America in exchange for their assistance.

5. How did the Pilgrims emigrate to the New World?

On September 16, 1620, a group numbering 102 men, women, and children left Plymouth, England, for America on the Mayflower. Having been blown off course from their intended landing in Virginia bya terrible storm, the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod on November 11. On December 21, they landed on the site of Plymouth Colony. While still on the ship, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact.

6. What is the Mayflower Compact?

On November 11, 1620, Governor William Bradford and the leaders on the Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact before setting foot on land. They wanted to acknowledge God's sovereignty in their lives and their need to obey Him. The Mayflower Compact was America's first great constitutional document and is often called "The American Covenant."

7. What is the significance of the Mayflower Compact?

After suffering years of persecution in England and spending difficult years of exile in the Netherlands, the Pilgrims wanted to establish their colony on the biblical principles they suffered for in Europe. Before they set foot on land, they drew up this covenant with God. They feared launching their colony until there was a recognition of God's sovereignty and their collective need to obey Him.

8. What does the Mayflower Compact say?

"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign Lord, King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland king, defender of the faith, etc., Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these present solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends foresaid, and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our sovereign Lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland."

9. Why didn't the pilgrims sail to the original destination in Virginia?

The Pilgrims were blown off course and landed at Cape Cod in what now appears to be God's providence. Because their patent did not include this territory, they consulted with the Captain of the Mayflower and resolved to sail southward. But the weather and geography did not allow them to do so. They encountered "dangerous shoals and roaring breakers" and were quickly forced to return to Cape Cod. From there they began scouting expeditions and finally discovered what is now Plymouth. Had they arrived just a few years earlier, they would have been attacked and destroyed by one of the fiercest tribes in the region. However, three years earlier (in 1617), the Patuxet tribe had been wiped out by a plague. The Pilgrims thus landed in one of the few places where they could survive.

10. What role did the lone surviving Indian play in the lives of the Pilgrims?

There was one survivor of the Patuxet tribe: Squanto. He was kidnapped in 1605 by Captain Weymouth and taken to England where he learned English and was eventually able to return to New England. When he found his tribe had been wiped out by the plague, he lived with a neighboring tribe. When Squanto learned that the Pilgrims were at Plymouth, he came to them and showed them how to plant corn and fertilize with fish. He later converted to Christianity. William Bradford said that Squanto "was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation."

11. What was William Bradford's proclamation for Thanksgiving?

Three years after their arrival, and two years after the first Thanksgiving, Governor Bradford made an official proclamation of a day of Thanksgiving: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at the meeting house, on the hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November the 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to the pastor and render thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings.

12. Were the colonists dedicated to Christian principles in their lives on days other than Thanksgiving?

The Pilgrims were, and so were the other colonists. Consider this sermon by John Winthrop given while aboard the Arabella in 1630. This is what he said about the Puritans who formed the Massachusetts Bay Colony: "For the persons, we are a Company professing ourselves fellow members of Christ. . . . For the work we have in hand, it is by a mutual consent through a special overruling providence, and a more than an ordinary approbation of the Churches of Christ to seek out a place of Cohabitation and Consortship under a due form of Government both civil and ecclesiastical." They established a Christian Commonwealth in which every area of their lives both civil and ecclesiastical fell under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

13. How did the Puritans organize their economic activities?

After the first year, the colony foundered because of the collective economic system forced upon them by the merchants in London. All the settlers worked only for the joint partnership and were fed out of the common stores. The land and the houses built on it were the joint property of the merchants and colonists for seven years and then divided equally. When Deacon Carver died, William Bradford became governor. Seeing the failure of communal farming, he instituted what today would be called free enterprise innovations. Bradford assigned plots of land to each family to work, and the colony began to flourish. Each colonist was challenged to better themselves and their land by working to their fullest capacity. Many Christian historians and economists today point to this fundamental economic change as one of the key reasons for the success of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

14. What has been the significance of the Pilgrims and their legacy of Thanksgiving?

On the bicentennial celebration of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, Daniel Webster on December 22, 1820, declared the following: "Let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary." The legacy of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving is the legacy of godly men and women who sought to bring Christian principles to this nation. These spread throughout the nation for centuries.

15. How were Christian principles brought to the founding of this republic?

Most historians will acknowledge that America was born in the midst of a revival. This occurred from approximately 1740-1770 and was known as the First Great Awakening. Two prominent preachers during that time were Jonathan Edwards (best known for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God") and George Whitfield. They preached up and down the East Coast and saw revival break out. Churches were planted, schools were built, and lives were changed.

16. How influential were Christian ideas in the Constitution?

While the Constitution does not specifically mention God or the Bible, the influence of Christianity can plainly be seen. Professor M.E. Bradford shows in his book A Worthy Company, that fifty of the fifty-five men who signed the Constitution were church members who endorsed the Christian faith.

17. Weren't many of the founders non-Christians? Yes, some were. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin

Franklin are good examples of men involved in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence who were influenced by ideas from the Enlightenment. Yet revisionists have attempted to make these men more secular than they really were. Jefferson, for example, wrote to Benjamin Rush that "I am a Christian . . . sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others." Franklin called for prayer at the Constitutional Convention saying, "God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his notice?" While they were hardly examples of biblical Christianity, they nevertheless believed in God and believed in absolute standards which should be a part of the civil order.

18. How important was Christianity in colonial education in America?

Young colonists' education usually came from the Bible, the Hornbook, and the New England Primer. The Hornbook consisted of a single piece of parchment attached to a paddle of wood. Usually the alphabet, the Lord's Prayer, and religious doctrines were written on it. The New England Primer taught a number of lessons and included such things as the names of the Old and New Testament books, the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and John Cotton's "Spiritual Milk for American Babies." Even when teaching the alphabet, biblical themes were used: "A is for Adam's fall, we sinned all. B is for Heaven to find, the Bible mind. C is for Christ crucified, for sinners died."

19. How important was Christianity in colonial higher education?

Most of the major universities were established by Christian denominations. Harvard was a Puritan school. William and Mary was an Anglican school. Yale was Congregational, Princeton was Presbyterian, and Brown was Baptist. The first motto for Harvard was Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae (Truth for Christ and the Church). Students gathered for prayer and readings from the Scriptures every day. Yale was established by Increase Mather and Cotton Mather because Harvard was moving away from its original Calvinist philosophy and eventually drifted to Unitarianism. The founders of Yale said that "every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a Godly, sober life."

20. If Christianity was so important in colonial America, why does the Constitution establish a wall of separation between church and state?

Contrary to what many Americans may think, the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, there is no mention of the words church, state, or separation in the First Amendment or anywhere within the Constitution. The First Amendment does guarantee freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. The phrase is found in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to Baptist pastors in Danbry, Connecticut in 1802 in which he gave his opinion of the establishment clause of the First Amendment and then felt that this was "building a wall of separation between church and state." At best this was a commentary on the First Amendment, from an individual who was in France when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted. © 2001 Probe Ministries

About the Author Kerby Anderson is the president of Probe Ministries International. He received his B.S. from Oregon State University, M.F.S. from Yale University, and M.A. from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books, including Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Living Ethically in the 90s, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope, and Moral Dilemmas. He also served as general editor for Marriage, Family and Sexuality.

He is a nationally syndicated columnist whose editorials have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.

He is the host of "Probe," and frequently serves as guest host on "Point of View" (USA Radio Network). He can be reached via e-mail at

What is Probe? Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by writing to: Probe Ministries 1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100 Richardson, TX 75081 (972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664 Copyright (C) 1996-2004 Probe Ministries

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: quiz; thanksgiving
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

1 posted on 11/24/2004 4:44:34 AM PST by Lindykim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lindykim
I hate to the a fly in the ointment, but #3 is incorrect. The true credit for the first Thanksgiving holiday and proclamation belongs to the greatest American ever, George Washington:

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789.

(signed) G. Washington

link to proclamation

2 posted on 11/24/2004 4:55:36 AM PST by Huck (The day will come when liberals will complain that chess is too violent .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim

A great find and short enough for many to actually read it without being bored! :)

3 posted on 11/24/2004 4:56:12 AM PST by RaceBannon (Arab Media pulled out of Fallujah; Could we get the MSM to pull out of America??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

George Washington may have created a national thaksgivving day, but the first THANKSGIVING came from The Pilgrims, and they gave thanks to God!

Not nitpicking, either, it is from the Pilgrims we get thanksgiving, it is from George Washington that we get the date to celebrate it.

Quite a distinction between the two.

4 posted on 11/24/2004 4:57:52 AM PST by RaceBannon (Arab Media pulled out of Fallujah; Could we get the MSM to pull out of America??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Huck
The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

June 20, 1676

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being perswaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and soulds as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ."

George Washington, November 18, 1775, General Orders

Head Quarters, Cambridge, November 18, 1775.

Parole Amboy. Countersign Bristol.

There was a mistake in the Entry of the General Orders of yesterday. The Hon: the Continental Congress have thought proper to allow the first and second Lieutenants, the same pay, viz: Eighteen Dollars a month to each and the Ensigns thirteen Dollars and 1/3 of a dollar.

The Commissary General to order all the Horns of the Bullocks, that are killed for the Use of the Army, to be saved and sent to the Qr Mr General, who is also to provide as many as he can get, and have the whole made into good powder horns, for the Use of the troops.

The Honorable the Legislature of this Colony having thought fit to set apart Thursday the 23d of November Instant, as a day of public thanksgiving "to offer up our praises, and prayers to Almighty God, the Source and Benevolent Bestower of all good; That he would be pleased graciously to continue, to smile upon our Endeavours, to restore peace, preserve our Rights, and Privileges, to the latest posterity; prosper the American Arms, preserve and strengthen the Harmony of the United Colonies, and avert the Calamities of a civil war." The General therefore commands that day to be observed with all the Solemnity directed by the Legislative Proclamation, and all Officers, Soldiers and others, are hereby directed, with the most unfeigned Devotion, to obey the same.

Any Non Commissioned Officers, or Soldiers, confin'd on Account of leaving the Detachment, commanded by Col Arnold, in any of the main, or quarter Guards of the Army, are to be immediately released.

George Washington, November 30, 1777, General Orders

Head Quarters, White Marsh, November 30, 1777.

Parole Northampton. Countersigns Greenland, Portsmouth.

On the 25th of November instant, the Honorable Continental Congress passed the following resolve, vizt:

Resolved. That General Washington be directed to publish in General orders, that Congress will speedily take into consideration the merits of such officers as have distinguished themselves by their intrepidity and their attention to the health and discipline of their men; and adopt such regulations as shall tend to introduce order and good discipline into the army, and to render the situation of the officers and soldiery, with respect to cloathing and other necessaries, more eligible than it has hitherto been.

Forasmuch as it is the indispensible duty of all men, to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligations to him for benefits received, and to implore such further blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also, to smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defence of our unalienable rights and liberties.78

[Note 78: This preliminary statement was taken from the resolve of Congress of November 1 recommending the States to set apart a day of Thanksgiving. It was to Washington on November 7 and answered by him on November 10.]

It is therefore recommended by Congress, that Thursday the 18th. day of December next be set apart for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; that at one time, and with one voice, the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that, together with their sincere acknowledgements and offerings they may join the penitent confession of their sins; and supplications for such further blessings as they stand in need of. The Chaplains will properly notice this recommendation, that the day of thanksgiving may be duly observed in the army, agreeably to the intentions of Congress.


The whole army are to be under arms to morrow morning, at five o'clock, if it should not rain or snow. Lord Stirling's division are to lay upon their arms and be ready to turn out at a minute's warning.

George Washington, December 17, 1777, General Orders

Head Quarters, at the Gulph, December 17, 1777.

Parole Warwick. Countersigns Woodbridge, Winchester.

The Commander in Chief with the highest satisfaction expresses his thanks to the officers and soldiers for the fortitude and patience with which they have sustained the fatigues of the Campaign. Altho' in some instances we unfortunately failed, yet upon the whole Heaven hath smiled on our Arms and crowned them with signal success; and we may upon the best grounds conclude, that by a spirited continuance of the measures necessary for our defence we shall finally obtain the end of our Warfare, Independence, Liberty and Peace. These axe blessings worth contending for at every hazard. But we hazard nothing. The power of America alone, duly exerted, would have nothing to dread from the force of Britain. Yet we stand not wholly upon our ground. France yields us every aid we ask, and there are reasons to believe the period is not very distant, when she will take a more active part, by declaring war against the British Crown. Every motive therefore, irresistably urges us, nay commands us, to a firm and manly perseverance in our opposition to our cruel oppressors, to slight difficulties, endure hardships, and contemn every danger. The General ardently wishes it were now in his power, to conduct the troops into the best winter quarters. But where are these to be found ? Should we retire to the interior parts of the State, we should find them crowded with virtuous citizens, who, sacrificing their all, have left Philadelphia, and fled thither for protection. To their distresses humanity forbids us to add. This is not all, we should leave a vast extent of fertile country to be despoiled and ravaged by the enemy, from which they would draw vast supplies, and where many of our firm friends would be exposed to all the miseries of the most insulting and wanton depredation. A train of evils might be enumerated, but these will suffice. These considerations make it indispensibly necessary for the army to take such a position, as will enable it most effectually to prevent distress and to give the most extensive security; and in that position we must make ourselves the best shelter in our power. With activity and diligence Huts may be erected that will be warm and dry. In these the troops will be compact, more secure against surprises than if in a divided state and at hand to protect the country. These cogent reasons have determined the General to take post in the neighbourhood of this camp; and influenced by them, he persuades himself, that the officers and soldiers, with one heart, and one mind, will resolve to surmount every difficulty, with a fortitude and patience, be coming their profession, and the sacred cause in which they are engaged. He himself will share in the hardship, and partake of every inconvenience.

To morrow being the day set apart by the Honorable Congress for public Thanksgiving and Praise; and duty calling us devoutely to express our grateful acknowledgements to God for the manifold blessings he has granted us. The General directs that the army remain in it's present quarters, and that the Chaplains perform divine service with their several Corps and brigades. And earnestly exhorts, all officers and soldiers, whose absence is not indispensibly necessary, to attend with reverence the solemnities of the day.

George Washington, December 22, 1778, General Orders

Head Quarters, Middle Brook, Tuesday, December 22, 1778.

Parole Narraganset. Countersigns Otis, Portsmouth.

At a General Court Martial whereof Majr. Genl. Lord Stirling was President, held the 4th. of July last at Brunswick and at other times and places afterwards by Adjournment for the trial of Majr. Genl. Lee on the following charges:

First: For disobedience of orders in not attacking the Enemy on the 28th. of June agreeable to repeated instructions.

Secondly: For Misbehaviour before the Enemy on the same day by making an unnecessary, disorderly and shameful Retreat.

Thirdly: For disrespect to the Commander in Chief in two Letters dated the 1st. of July and the 28th. of June.

The Court passed sentence on the Case in the following Words: "The Court having considered the first Charge against Major General Lee, the Evidence and his defence, are of opinion that he is guilty of disobedience of Orders in not attacking the Enemy on the 28th. of June agreeable to repeated instructions; being a breach of the latter part of Article 5th. section 2nd. of the Articles of War.

The Court having considered the second Charge against Major General Lee, the Evidence and his defence, are of opinion he is guilty of Misbehaviour before the Enemy on the 28th. of June by making an unnecessary, and in some few instances a disorderly retreat, being a breach of the 13th. Article of the 13th. Section of the Articles of War.

The Court having considered the third charge against Major General Lee, are of opinion that he is guilty of disrespect to the Commander in Chief in two letters dated the 1st of July and 28th. of June, being a breach of the 2nd. Article, section 2nd. of the Articles of War.

The Court do sentence Major General Lee to be suspended from any command in the Armies of The United States of North America for the term of twelve Months.

The Honorable the Congress have been pleased to confirm the foregoing sentence as follows:

In Congress, December 5, 1778.

Resolved, "That the sentence of the general court martial upon Major General Lee, be carried into execution."

At a General Court Martial whereof Majr. General Lincoln was President held at White Plains the 23rd. of August last for the trial of Majr. Genl. St. Clair on the following charges:

First: With Neglect of duty under the 5th. Article of the 18th. section of the rules and Articles of War.

Second: With Cowardice, with Treachery, with Incapacity as a General, respectively, under the 5th. Article of the 18th. section of the rules and articles of War.

Third: With Treachery, under the 5th. Article of the 18th. section of the rules and articles of War.

Fourth: With inattention to the Progress of the Enemy, with Treachery, with Incapacity as a General respectively, under the 5th. Article of the 18th. section of the Rules and Articles of War.

Fifth: With shamefully abandoning the Post of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence in his charge, under the 12th. Article of the 13th. section of the rules and articles of War.

The Court passed sentence on this case in the following words: "The Court having duly considered the charges against Major General St. Clair and the evidence, are unanimously of opinion that he is not guilty of either of the charges against him and do unanimously acquit him of all and every of them with the highest Honor."

The Honorable, The Congress have been pleased to confirm the above sentence as follows:

In Congress, December 16, 1778.

Resolved, "That the sentence of the general court martial, acquitting Major General St. Clair, with the highest honor, of the charges exhibited against him, be, and is hereby confirmed."

At a General Court Martial held at the White Plains whereof Major General Lincoln was President for the trial of Major General Schuyler:

The Court having considered the charge against Major General Schuyler, the evidence and his defence, are unanimously of opinion that he is not guilty of "Any Neglect of duty in not being at Ticonderoga as charged," and the Court do acquit him with the highest Honor.

The Honorable, The Congress have been pleased to confirm the above sentence as follows:

In Congress, December 3, 1778.

Congress took into consideration the proceedings of the court martial in the trial of Major General Schuyler; Whereupon,

Resolved, That the sentence of the general court martial acquitting Major General Schuyler, with the highest honor, of the charges exhibited against him, be, and is hereby, confirmed.

The Honorable The Congress having been pleased by their Proclamation of the 21st. of November last to appoint Wednesday the 30th. instant as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise for the great and numerous Providential Mercies experienced by the People of These States in the course of the present War, the same is to be religiously observed throughout the Army in the manner therein directed, and the different Chaplains will prepare discourses suited to the Occasion.

In consideration of the exhausted State of the Country on this communication with respect to Forage, the necessary supplies of which will be with the greatest difficulty procured, after all the care, industry and oeconomy that can be used; The Commander in Chief has directed the Quarter Master General to send away from camp all the public horses that in his opinion can possibly be spared from the ordinary service of the Army. In addition to this precaution as in a stationary Camp much fewer horses will be wanted by the officers of the line in execution of the duties of their respective stations than at other times, the General particularly requests, that the General Officers will retain no more horses in camp for the use of themselves and their suites than are absolutely necessary, and that the Field Officers do endeavour to make one horse a piece suffice; The other regimental officers who are entitled to keep horses will be able to dispense with them during the Winter.

The same recommendation extends to all the staff officers entitled to keep horses, to which the General requests the attention of the heads of the several departments. The Commissary of Forage will receive the supernumerary horses and have them well provided for at a convenient place at some distance from Camp.

A Brigadier and Field Officers for the day are to be appointed. They will see the Pickets properly posted, visited and superintend the police and discipline of the camp as usual.

A Captain, two Subs, three Serjeants, a Drum and Fife and Fifty Rank and File to be sent to Bonam Town as an advanced Picket to be reliev'd every Monday 'till further orders. The Officer commanding it will receive his instructions from the Adjutant General.

George Washington, November 27, 1779, General Orders

Head Quarters, Moore's House, Saturday, November 27, 1779.

Parole Landaft. Countersigns Lexington, Leeds.

The Honorable the Congress has been pleased to pass the following proclamation.

Whereas it becomes us humbly to approach the throne of Almighty God, with gratitude and praise for the wonders which his goodness has wrought in conducting our fore-fathers to this western world; for his protection to them and to their posterity amid difficulties and dangers; for raising us, their children, from deep distress to be numbered among the nations of the earth; and for arming the hands of just and mighty princes in our deliverance; and especially for that he hath been pleased to grant us the enjoyment of health, and so to order the revolving seasons, that the earth hath produced her increase in abundance, blessing the labors of the husbandmen, and spreading plenty through the land; that he hath prospered our arms and those of our ally; been a shield to our troops in the hour of danger, pointed their swords to victory and led them in triumph over the bulwarks of the foe; that he hath gone with those who went out into the wilderness against the savage tribes; that he hath stayed the hand of the spoiler, and turned back his meditated destruction; that he hath prospered our commerce, and given success to those who sought the enemy on the face of the deep; and above all, that he hath diffused the glorious light of the gospel, whereby, through the merits of our gracious Redeemer, we may become the heirs of his eternal glory: therefore,

RESOLVED, That it be recommended to the several states, to appoint Thursday, the 9th of December next, to be a day of public and solemn thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercies, and of prayer for the continuance of his favor and protection to these United States; to beseech him that he would be graciously pleased to influence our public councils, and bless them with wisdom from on high, with unanimity, firmness, and success; that he would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that he would grant to his church the plentiful effusions of divine grace, and pour out his holy spirit on all ministers of the gospel; that he would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; that he would smile upon the labours of his people and cause the earth to bring forth her fruits in abundance; that we may with gratitude and gladness enjoy them; that he would take into his holy protection our illustrious ally, give him victory over his enemies, and render him signally great, as the father of his people and the protector of the rights of mankind; that he would graciously be pleased to turn the hearts of our enemies, and to dispense the blessings of peace to contending nations; that he would in mercy look down upon us, pardon our sins and receive us into his favor, and finally, that he would establish the independence of these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue, and support and protect them in the enjoyment of peace, liberty and safety.33

[Note 33: In the General Orders this resolve was condensed by sundry omissions.]

A strict observance to be paid by the Army to this proclamation and the Chaplains are to prepare and deliver discourses suitable to it.34

[Note 34: The Varick Transcripts of Washington's General Orders in the Library of Congress has the following note at this point: "The Army marching by Divisions and Brigades into Winter Quarters."]

Continental Congress, October 11, 1782, Proclamation on Thanksgiving Observation

By the United States in Congress assembled.


IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf: Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States:----- Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.

Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.

JOHN HANSON, President.

Charles Thomson, Secretary.

George Washington, November 14, 1782, General Orders

Head Quarters, Newburgh, Thursday, November 14, 1782.

Parole Quebec. Countersigns Rockingham, Shrewsbury.

For duty tomorrow the v.d. Massachusetts regret.

The enormities which have been committed, and daily committing by the soldiery since we have quitted the Field are scandalous beyond description and a disgrace to any army; they must and shall be corrected, or the greatest severity take place. To effect this purpose the commander in chief desires that Major General Gates, the other General officers and commanding officers of brigades, in this Cantonment, will meet at General Gates's quarters tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock and having examined the situation of the camps they will establish such Picquets and Guards, and order such patrols as in their Judgment shall be sufficient to restrain the Soldiers within proper bounds, and every officer from the Major General, to the lowest grade is hereby called upon, for his own credit, as well as the reputation of the service to exert all his abilities to check an evil which is not less dishonorable to tile troops than oppressive to the Inhabitants.

The disorderly custom of suffering soldiers for whose conduct the officers cannot be responsible, to ramble about the country contrary to tile practice of all well regulated Armies, must be abolished; and the mode of giving passes restricted and put upon a proper footing. none are to be from Camp after retreat beating.

The rolls are frequently to be called at irregular hours during the night.

A Grand provost will be appointed by the General and there will be two field officers of the day to superintend the police of this army, who will see that the duties here enjoyned are regularly performed and that summary and exemplary punishments shall be inflicted on offenders. This order is to be read at three several evening roll callgs, and the Colonels or Commanding officers of regiments will be responsible that every soldier under their orders, is made acquainted with it that none may plead ignorance. It was much the Generals wish to have made the duty, not only while the hurts were in building but through the winter as easy and light as possible to the troops; they must therefore consider that this depends entirely upon their own behavior, for they alone must abide the consequencies, if their irregular conduct shall render an increase of duty and rigour indispensable.

Congress having been pleased to set a part Thursday the 28th. instant as a day of Solemn thanksgiving to god for all his Mercies, The General desires it may be most religiously observed by the army; and that the Chaplains will prepare discourses suitable to the occasion.

The regimental Surgeons are desired to make weekly returns of their sick, to Doctr. Townsend1 at the flying hospital, New Windsor on Saturdays.

[Note 1: David Townsend, Hospital Physician and Surgeon of the Continental Army. He served to the dose of the war.]

George Washington, November 27, 1782, General Orders

Head Quarters, Newburgh, Wednesday, November 17, 1782.

Parole Gibraltar. Countersigns Hannover, Ilchester.

For the day tomorrow Lt. Colonel Hull, and Major Morrill.

For duty the 2d. Newhampshire regiment.

The honorable the Congress have been pleased to pass the following Resolve.

By the United States in Congress assembled November 12th. 1782.

Whereas no provision has been made by Congress for the geographers to the armies of the United States; therefore,

Resolved, That the geographer to the main army and the geographer to the southern department, be each of them allowed sixty dollars per month, three rations per day, forage for two saddle horses, one two-horse covered waggon, six dollars and two-thirds of a dollar per month for a servant, for whom they shall be entitled to draw one ration per day, and the cloathing allowed to a private soldier.

That the assistant geographers if such officer shall be judged necessary by the Commander in Chief, be allowed thirty dollars per month, one ration per day, and forage for one saddle horse.

That when chain-bearers shall be employed, not being soldiers, they shall each be allowed half a dollar per day.

The Cloathier general having reported that he can make a distribution of shoes, stockings, and a few blankets to the troops, the regimental Paymasters are directed to call for their respective proportions.

The Commander in Chief has the pleasure of announcing that a delivery of two shirts per man will shortly be made to the whole Army.

Tomorrow being thanksgiving day a Gill of West India rum per man is to be delivered to the troops.

The Fatigue party from the 10th. Massa. regimt. employed in removing Military Stores from Fishkill landing and Fishkill are to be relieved this afternoon by a like number from the 9th. The 10th. regiment being to march to Verplanks point tomorrow to assist in repairing the Fortifications at that post. Colonel Tupper will please to apply at Head Quarters this evening for instructions.

6 posted on 11/24/2004 5:06:12 AM PST by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim

Thank you for today's homeschool lesson!
I need to make Fudge for my pastor and now I do not have to prep for school today!

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

7 posted on 11/24/2004 5:06:48 AM PST by netmilsmom (Zell on DEM Christianity, "They can hum the tune, but can't sing the song.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

Yes, I should have said first National holiday. That's what qustion 3 addresses, and my remarks were directed just to that question, not the first thanksgiving ever.

8 posted on 11/24/2004 5:20:52 AM PST by Huck (The day will come when liberals will complain that chess is too violent .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: michigander

Good stuff. As I said to racebannon, my post was directed solely at question 3, which pertains to the first "national" holiday, and credits Lincoln. I was simply pointing out that our national gubmint's first proclamation was actually by Washington. But of course our national government's roots are deep, and the documentation you provided is fascinating.

9 posted on 11/24/2004 5:23:22 AM PST by Huck (The day will come when liberals will complain that chess is too violent .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Huck
You will be tested over this material. Excellent read!
10 posted on 11/24/2004 5:25:13 AM PST by Uncle Vlad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim

Thanks, a great and timely history lesson for all ages - sent on to family.

11 posted on 11/24/2004 5:27:36 AM PST by yoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Huck

I thought that was what you meant! :)

12 posted on 11/24/2004 5:34:34 AM PST by RaceBannon (Arab Media pulled out of Fallujah; Could we get the MSM to pull out of America??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Huck
But of course our national government's roots are deep,

Isn't that the truth! :-)

Wishes of a glorious Thanksgiving to you and all.

13 posted on 11/24/2004 5:37:19 AM PST by michigander (The Constitution only guarantees the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim

Gobble Gobble

14 posted on 11/24/2004 5:38:14 AM PST by Jackknife (.......Land of the Free,because of the Brave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim

Great stuff for the kids to read. They sure don't get any of this in school!!!

15 posted on 11/24/2004 5:45:38 AM PST by wouldilie (Texas Brisket Bump)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: michigander
Thanks for sharing this helpful and inspiring glimpse of the ghosts of Thanksgiving.

Still chasing...
16 posted on 11/24/2004 5:51:11 AM PST by kc2theline (Support our troops and the CIC that sends them to defend us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim


17 posted on 11/24/2004 6:04:34 AM PST by Kerfuffle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Vlad

You will be tested over this material. Excellent read!

There will be a pop quiz on this at our house, after we eat the turkey, but before we have dessert.

18 posted on 11/24/2004 6:46:11 AM PST by Big Digger (If you can keep your head when others are losing theirs, you must be a Republican)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Lindykim


19 posted on 11/24/2004 6:53:02 AM PST by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Big Digger
You will be tested over this material. Excellent read!

There will be a pop quiz on this at our house, after we eat the turkey, but before we have dessert.

Those who fail the quiz will not get pie.

20 posted on 11/24/2004 7:06:41 AM PST by Uncle Vlad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson