Keno Auctions is selling a copy of the Thanksgiving Proclamation, signed by George Washington, for $8.4 million. The document, which is the only one of its kind in private hands (another Washington-signed copy has been in the collection of the Library of Congress since 1921), was issued in October 1789, and in it, Washington announces:
“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 which we experienced 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 enabled 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 hath been pleased to confer upon us.”
A little wordy, Mr. President! I for one offer my sincere and humble thanks to short, declarative sentences, but hey, this’ll work too. The document is on view at the auction house’s Upper East Side headquarters until November 26.