ISAIAH THOMAS' ANNOTATED COPY OF THE THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. [WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799.] Gazette of the United States. New York: Published by John Fenno, October 7, 1789.
Lot 109
ISAIAH THOMAS' ANNOTATED COPY OF THE THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION.
[WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799.]
Gazette of the United States. New York: Published by John Fenno, October 7, 1789.
Sold for US$ 31,250 inc. premium

Lot Details
ISAIAH THOMAS' ANNOTATED COPY OF THE THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION.
[WASHINGTON, GEORGE. 1732-1799.] Gazette of the United States. New York: Published by John Fenno, October 7, 1789.
Bifolium (412 x 249 mm). A little smudging, small loss to lower right corner of second leaf not affecting text; excellent.
Provenance: ISAIAH THOMAS, 1749-1831 (subscriber's name in top margin).

IMPORTANT AND RARE NEWSPAPER WITH FRONT-PAGE PRINTING OF THE BEGINNING OF THANKSGIVING with Thomas's subscription name ("I. T. Thomas / Worcester") in upper left, textual annotations to the proclamation and throughout the paper, and ink smudging evocative of the printing shop. George Washington issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789, setting aside a national day of prayer and thanks for the establishment of the United States' constitution. The day did not become a federal holiday, however, until Abraham Lincoln made it so during the Civil War. This newspaper is dated just four days after the Proclamation in the quasi-official federalist newspaper. It is very rare in its own right, the only other copy we see in the auction records also coming from The Caren Archive.
This issue in particular is of tremendous importance as it was owned by Isaiah Thomas, the Revolutionary War-era publisher and author most famous for performing the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, as well as the founding of what today is the American Antiquarian Society. This copy of the Gazette would have come to him in the course of his role as publisher of the New England Almanac, and it bears the printer's marks and corrections of an experienced editor. Interestingly, Thomas, or an employee, corrected an error in the printing of the Proclamation (a transposition of two words) that was made in Fenno's shop. John Fenno established his newspaper just a few blocks from Federal Hall and was the printer of choice of the federalist party. It is highly interesting that an error was made in the paper of record for Washington and the Federalist party on this most important of proclamations. Also intriguing are the large "x" marks before and after the Proclamation, as if planned for a separate broadside printing. Altogether this is a most attractive document.
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowlege the Providence for of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful of 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...."

Footnotes

  • "NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign Thursday the twenty-sixth 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...."
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $150,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $150,001 to $3,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services & Bids (Los Angeles)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 323 850 7500
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 6090
  2. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  3. Customer Services & Bids (San Francisco)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
  4. Books (US)
    General enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 710 1308
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9007
Similar Items