An all-wise Providence rules the destinies of men and nations. To the God of our fathers are we indebted for the blessings which surround us on every hand, for our abundant harvest and prospered industry, and for the wide diffusion of religion, education, the arts and sciences, which we enjoy in a higher degree than any other nation.
And, though the blessings of peace and national joy have given place to the sad realities of civil war, yet with unshaken faith in His wisdom and goodness, we will trust with firm confidence that our civil and religious liberties will be preserved to us, that treason to constitutional freedom will be crushed out, and that victory, union and liberty will stream from all our national banners.
That meet expression of gratitude may be given for all the manifold blessings enjoyed by the people of Illinois, I do designate Thursday, the 28th day of November, instant, to be observed as a day of Thanksgiving, Praise and Prayer. On that day let all our people abstain from all their secular employments, and assemble in the usual places of public worship.
Deeply sensible that it is of the mercy and goodness of God that we remain a loyal people, favored with good government and free institutions, and so many blessings, let us, with devout gratitude, pray that his favor may be continued to us and to our whole country, and that peace may soon be restored throughout the republic, and plenty prevail throughout its borders.
And in our devotions let us remember the absent ones, who are bearing arms in defense of our beloved county; renewing our pledges and repeating our solemn vows that their sufferings in camp and field, and of the needy at home, shall receive our paternal care, and that whatever of worldly blessings we possess shall, if necessary, be devoted to their care, comfort and protection.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the great seal of the State of Illinois to be affixed, this the 8th day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one.
RICHARD YATES, GOVERNOR.
O. M. Hatch, Secretary of State.