Lincoln's Day of Thanksgiving

posted May 12, 2015, 6:43 AM by Erin C. Alghandoor   [ updated Sep 4, 2018, 6:29 AM ]

As the nation wraps up commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the Kean University Archives and Special Collections takes a look at a special service of thanksgiving celebrated in the Second Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth during the war. 

President Lincoln called for a day of prayer and thanksgiving on August 6, 1863, in the aftermath of Union victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and on the Mississippi River. To read his proclamation click hereOn that day of reflection, the Rev. David Magie of Second Presbyterian delivered a sermon which so impressed listeners that they published it in booklet form. Rev. Magie noted that the war had shown Americans the true nature of slavery, and he predicted with confidence that a “repentant” South would soon return to the Union. 

The booklet can be found in the University’s newly rediscovered New Jersey Historical Documents Collection.