Joseph Gurney Cannon
Joseph Gurney Cannon was a United States politician from Illinois and leader of the Republican Party. Cannon served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1903 to 1911, many consider him to be the most dominant Speaker in United States history, with such control over the House that he could control debate. Cannon is the second-longest continuously serving Republican Speaker in history, having been surpassed by fellow Illinoisan Dennis Hastert, who passed him on June 1, 2006. Cannon is the second longest serving Republican Representative only surpassed by Alaska congressman Don Young, as well as first member of Congress, of either party to surpass 40 years of service. Cannon's congressional career spanned 46 years of cumulative service—a record, not broken until 1959, he is the longest serving member of the House of Representatives in Illinois, although the longest continuous service belongs to Adolph J. Sabath. Cannon has the distinction of being the subject of the first Time cover dated March 3, 1923.
Cannon was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1840 moved with his parents to Annapolis, about 30 miles north of Terre Haute. He was the elder of Horace Franklin Cannon, a country doctor. Horace Cannon drowned on August 7, 1851 when Joseph was fifteen years old as he tried to reach a sick patient by crossing Sugar Creek. Young Cannon took charge of the family farm, his brother William would become a successful realtor. Asked by Terre Haute politician and lawyer John Palmer Usher, future Secretary of the Interior under President Abraham Lincoln, to testify in a slander case, Cannon became fascinated with the law, he asked Usher if he could study law under him and moved to Terre Haute. At age 19 he traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend a semester of law school at the University of Cincinnati law school. In 1858, he was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Terre Haute, Indiana but was disappointed when Usher refused to offer him a place in his office; that year he relocated to Illinois.
His choice of a new hometown was somewhat involuntary, taking place while he was travelling from Shelbyville, Illinois, to Chicago to find more clients for his law firm. During the trip, he ran out of money, he boarded a Chicago-bound train in Illinois. As Cannon did not have a ticket, he was removed from the train in Tuscola. There, he became State's attorney for the twenty-seventh judicial district of Illinois, holding the position from March 1861 to December 1868, he was one of the charter members of Tuscola's Masonic Lodge No. 332, founded on October 2, 1860. In 1876 Cannon moved to Danville, where he resided for the rest of his life, he and his wife Mary P. Reed, whom he married in 1862, had two daughters, he became a follower of Abraham Lincoln during the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. After Lincoln was elected President in 1860, Cannon received an appointment as a regional prosecutor. Cannon, a member of the Republican Party, was elected as to the United States House of Representatives from Illinois to the Forty-second and to the eight succeeding Congresses, was the chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Post Office Department and of the Committee on Appropriations.
Cannon was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress, but was elected to the Fifty-third and to the nine succeeding Congresses that sat between 1893 and 1913. He attempted to gain the Speakership four times before succeeding, his antic speaking style, diminutive stature and pugnacious manner were his trademarks. The newspapers lampooned him as a colorful rube. "Uncle Joe", as he was known clashed with fellow Republican Theodore Roosevelt, asserting that Roosevelt "has no more use for the Constitution than a tomcat has for a marriage license". Cannon was chairman to the Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Rules, Speaker of the House of Representatives, he received fifty-eight votes for the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1908. Cannon wielded the office of Speaker with unprecedented power. At the time of Cannon's election, the Speaker of the House concurrently held the chair of the Rules Committee, which determined under what rules and restrictions bills could be debated and voted on, and, in some cases, whether they would be allowed on the floor at all.
As such, Cannon controlled every aspect of the House's agenda: bills reached the floor of the house only if Cannon approved of them, in whatever form he determined — with Cannon himself deciding whether and to what extent the measures could be debated and amended. Cannon reserved to himself the right to appoint not only the chairs of the various House committees, but all of the committees' members, used that power to appoint his allies and proteges to leadership positions while punishing those who opposed his legislation. Crucially, Cannon exercised these powers to maintain discipline within the ranks of his own party: the Republicans were divided into the conservative "Old Guard," led by Cannon, the progressives, led by President Theodore Roosevelt, his committee assignment privileges ensured that the party's Progressive element had little influence in the House, his control over the legislative process obstructed progressive legislatio
Chris DeRose (author)
Christopher M. DeRose is a New York Times bestselling American author and former Clerk of the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, he was a law professor and Senior Litigation Counsel for the Arizona Attorney General. DeRose was born February 3, 1980 in Cicero, where he lived until moving to the nearby town of North Riverside, he attended Northern Illinois University from 1998 - 2001, graduated with a B. A. in political science from Grand Canyon University in 2002 and J. D. from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2004. DeRose volunteered on his first political campaign at the age of fifteen and during college interned on Capitol Hill for the Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives. Since he has served in a variety of roles for candidates in five different states, including serving as Director of Election Day Operations for Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell in 2009, managing the early efforts of Congressman Sean Duffy in 2010. In 2016, DeRose announced his candidacy for the Phoenix City Council.
He advanced to the runoff at the November 2016 election with 21 % of the vote in a four-way race. DeRose was defeated with 46 % of the vote in the March 2017 runoff. On March 22, 2018, DeRose was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court for Maricopa County by Governor Doug Ducey to fill an unexpired term. DeRose's first book, Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, the Election that Saved a Nation, was named by The Washington Post as one of the "Best Political Books of 2011" and by Human Events as a "Top Ten American History Book to Read this Summer."The New York Times featured "Founding Rivals" in an article on the Congressional Book Club as a book popular with members of Congress. Kirkus Reviews called Founding Rivals "A fresh, knowledgeable-of-minutia take on a well-known friendship and rivalry during the early establishment of the U. S. Constitution," with a "Compelling narrative throughout…A lively, clear-cut study of the myriad hurdles and uncertainty that characterized the first attempts to form the U.
S. government.” Publishers Weekly described it as "An engaging account of the Republic’s contentious founding.” His second book, Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America's Greatest President, released in 2013, was selected as a Washington Post "Political Book of the Year." It was cited in detail by House Speaker John Boehner in a memorandum to his colleagues on government debt. Publishers Weekly praised "The Presidents' War" as "a well-written and engaging look into a unique political situation in American history." Kirkus called "The Presidents' War" "an informative compendium of the political struggles leading to the Civil War," and praised it for the "revelation of eye-opening facts that are otherwise overlooked." The Christian Science Monitor called it "fascinating." Prior to his work in national politics and academia, DeRose was a full-time practicing attorney in Phoenix. Notable representations included the high-profile defense of a Police Chief threatened with termination for arresting a County Supervisor and for firing an unqualified employee, personal friends with the mayor.
DeRose was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Arizona Summit Law School where he taught Constitutional Law, International Law, Voting Rights/Election Law, Trade Law, Gaming Law. He was selected as "Professor of the Year" by students for the 2014-2015 school year. In 2014, the Phoenix Business Journal named DeRose among the "Top 40 Under 40" business leaders. DeRose is a fellow of the British-American Project, he lives in Phoenix, Arizona
The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain called a homestead. In all, more than 160 million acres of public land, or nearly 10 percent of the total area of the United States, was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders. An extension of the homestead principle in law, the Homestead Acts were an expression of the Free Soil policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave-owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white farmers; the first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the Federal government of the United States could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible; the 1866 Act explicitly included black Americans and encouraged them to participate, but rampant discrimination slowed black gains.
Historian Michael Lanza argues that while the 1866 law pack was not as beneficial as it might have been, it was part of the reason that by 1900 one fourth of all Southern black farmers owned their own farms. Several additional laws were enacted in the latter half of the early 20th centuries; the Southern Homestead Act of 1866 sought to address land ownership inequalities in the south during Reconstruction. The Timber Culture Act of 1873 granted land to a claimant, required to plant trees—the tract could be added to an existing homestead claim and had no residency requirement; the Kinkaid Amendment of 1904 granted a full section—640 acres –to new homesteaders settling in western Nebraska. An amendment to the Homestead Act of 1862, the Enlarged Homestead Act, was passed in 1909 and doubled the allotted acreage from 160 to 320 acres. Another amended act, the national Stock-Raising Homestead Act, was passed in 1916 and again increased the land involved, this time to 640 acres. Land-grant laws similar to the Homestead Acts had been proposed by northern Republicans before the Civil War, but had been blocked in Congress by southern Democrats who wanted western lands open for purchase by slave-owners.
The Homestead Act of 1860 did pass in Congress, but it was vetoed by President James Buchanan, a Democrat. After the Southern states seceded from the Union in 1861, the bill passed and was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. Daniel Freeman became the first person to file a claim under the new act. Between 1862 and 1934, the federal government granted 1.6 million homesteads and distributed 270,000,000 acres of federal land for private ownership. This was a total of 10% of all land in the United States. Homesteading was discontinued in 1976, except in Alaska, where it continued until 1986. About 40% of the applicants who started the process were able to complete it and obtain title to their homesteaded land after paying a small fee in cash; the Donation Land Claim Act allowed settlers to claim land in the Oregon Territory including the modern states of Washington, Oregon and parts of Wyoming. Settlers were able to claim 320 or 640 acres of land for free between 1850 and 1854, at a cost of $1.25 per acres until the law expired in 1855.
The "yeoman farmer" ideal of Jeffersonian democracy was still a powerful influence in American politics during the 1840–1850s, with many politicians believing a homestead act would help increase the number of "virtuous yeomen". The Free Soil Party of 1848–52, the new Republican Party after 1854, demanded that the new lands opening up in the west be made available to independent farmers, rather than wealthy planters who would develop it with the use of slaves forcing the yeomen farmers onto marginal lands. Southern Democrats had continually fought previous homestead law proposals, as they feared free land would attract European immigrants and poor Southern whites to the west. After the South seceded and their delegates left Congress in 1861, the Republicans and other supporters from the upper South passed a homestead act; the intent of the first Homestead Act, passed in 1862, was to liberalize the homesteading requirements of the Preemption Act of 1841. Its leading advocates were George Henry Evans and Horace Greeley.
The homestead was an area of public land in the West granted to any US citizen willing to settle on and farm the land. The law required a three-step procedure: file an application, improve the land, file for the patent. Any citizen who had never taken up arms against the U. S. government and was at least 21 years old or the head of a household, could file an application to claim a federal land grant. Women were eligible; the occupant had to reside on the land for five years, show evidence of having made improvements. The process had to be complete within seven years. Enacted to allow poor tenant farmers and sharecroppers in the south become land owners in the southern United States during Reconstruction, it was not successful, as the low prices and fees were too much for the applicants to afford. The Timber Culture Act granted up to 160 acres of land to a homesteader who would plant at least 40 acres of trees over a period of several years; this quarter-section could be added to an existing homestead claim, offering a total of 320 acres to a settler.
This offered a cheap plot of land to homesteaders. Recognizing that the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, required
The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the designated areas of the South from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the former slave became free; the rebel surrender liberated and resulted in the proclamation's application to all of the designated former slaves. It did not cover slaves in Union areas, it was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch of the United States. The Proclamation ordered the freedom of all slaves in ten states; because it was issued under the president's authority to suppress rebellion, it excluded areas not in rebellion, but still applied to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million slaves.
The Proclamation was based on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces. The Proclamation was issued in January 1863 after U. S government issued a series of warnings in the summer of 1862 under the Second Confiscation Act, allowing Southern Confederate supporters 60 days to surrender, or face confiscation of land and slaves; the Proclamation ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, ordered the Union Army to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves, it made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union. Around 25,000 to 75,000 slaves in regions where the US Army was active were emancipated, it could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but, as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than three and a half million slaves in those regions.
Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands. Excluded were some regions controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions or the December 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, Lincoln's order was signed and took effect on January 1, 1863; the Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners. It angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, undermined elements in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy.
The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, to join the Union Army; the Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to maintain the Union; the Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France; the Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U. S. Lincoln pushed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, insisted that Reconstruction plans for Southern states require abolition in new state constitutions. Congress passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, it was ratified by the states on December 6, 1865, ending legal slavery.
The United States Constitution of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons". Under the Fugitive Slave Clause, "o person held to service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford. So
John Whitfield Bunn and Jacob Bunn
This article concerns John Whitfield Bunn, Jacob Bunn, the entrepreneurs who were interconnected with the Bunn brothers through association or familial and genealogical connection. John Whitfield Bunn was an American corporate leader, financier and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, whose work and leadership involved a broad range of institutions ranging from Midwestern railroads, international finance, Republican Party politics, to corporate consultation, globally significant manufacturing, the various American stock exchanges, he was of great historical importance in the commercial, civic and industrial development and growth of the state of Illinois and the American Midwest, during both the nineteenth century and the twentieth century. John Whitfield Bunn was born June 1831, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Although every one of the business institutions co-founded or built by the Bunn Brothers has ceased to exist, fallen purely into the realm of history, each of these businesses left an important legacy of honorable industrial and civic vision for Illinois, the Midwest, the United States.
Jacob Bunn, an older brother of John Whitfield Bunn, was an important Illinois industrialist and close friend of Abraham Lincoln. John W. Bunn was the third son of Henry Bunn and Mary Bunn, both of New Jersey; the Bunn family was Presbyterian, they recorded the baptisms of several children in a Presbyterian Church located at one time in Alexandria, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. There exists evidence that the Bunn family ancestors had purchased property from the heirs of William Penn. Henry Bunn was born October 1772, in Alexandria Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Henry Bunn was the son of Maria Elizabetha. Henry Bunn married Mary Sigler. Henry Bunn and Mary Bunn owned a prosperous farm in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, at the time of Henry Bunn's death in 1859 he left an estate valued at a quantity in excess of $34,000. There exists evidence that Henry Bunn, the father of Jacob Bunn, John Whitfield Bunn, George Whitfield Bunn, engaged in the banking business in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
Jacob Bunn married Elizabeth Jane Ferguson, daughter of Benjamin Ferguson and Sarah Ferguson, both natives of Washington County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Ferguson was a building contractor who contributed to the construction of the old Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Sarah Irwin was the sister of merchants Robert Irwin and John Irwin. Robert Irwin acted as the personal debt collector for Abraham Lincoln, served as a member of the board of directors of the State Bank of Illinois; the Irwins were all natives of Monongahela City, were Presbyterian, were of Scottish origin. A daughter of Robert Irwin married William Marston, a Wall Street speculator and financier who worked in partnership with Cornelius Vanderbilt, and, responsible for the nearly $7 million stock price rally of the Michigan & Prairie du Chien Railroad Company in 1865. William Marston gained a personal profit of between $1 and $2 million, in 1865, from the artificial rally, which he manipulated and caused when he purchased nearly 22,000 shares of stock in the Michigan & Prairie du Chien Railroad Company.
The Irwin family was interconnected with the Holden Family of Cleveland, which owned the Island Creek Coal Company, the Pond Creek Coal Company, the Forest City Publishing Company, publisher of The Plain Dealer newspaper, the Hollenden Hotel. John Bunn spent his childhood and early adulthood on the family farm located near Milford, New Jersey. In 1847, at the age of 16, John W. Bunn left New Jersey to join his older brother Jacob Bunn in the wholesale grocery trade in Springfield, Sangamon County, having been induced to make the migration to Illinois by the positive and promising description that Jacob Bunn had furnished during a return visit to the New Jersey farm where both men had been raised. In 1858, John W. Bunn achieved the status of partner in the wholesale grocery firm of "J. Bunn Company."The Springfield, grocery enterprise altered its corporate name to reflect the new change in partnership, changing its official name to "J. & J. W. Bunn Company."Coming to adulthood in the developing state of Illinois, achieving an prominent status among the commercial leadership of Illinois, John W. Bunn developed a close friendship with statesman and lawyer Abraham Lincoln.
John W. Bunn was a principal member within, one of the most important members and operators of, the Abraham Lincoln political network of friendship and political support, having once earned from Illinois historian and scholar George A. Lawrence the honorable description of having been one of the closest personal and political friends of Abraham Lincoln himself. Abraham Lincoln acted as the attorney for Jacob Bunn, the older brother of John W. Bunn. In his own words, in the relation of an interview concerning his personal memoirs and acquaintanceship with Abraham Lincoln, John Bunn stated that he and Lincoln had been close friends and political allies. Abraham Lincoln served on the committee for the formation of the Alton & Springfield Railroad Company along with Jacob Bunn, leading Springfield merchant and banker John Williams, John Todd Stuart, John Calhoun, B. C. Webster, J. N. Brown, Pascal P. Enos, William Pickrell, S. B. Opdycke. Jacob Bunn and John Whitfield Bunn, along with many of their co
Adlai Stevenson I
Adlai Ewing Stevenson served as the 23rd vice president of the United States from 1893 to 1897. He served as a representative from Illinois in the late 1870s and early 1880s. After his subsequent appointment as assistant postmaster general of the United States during Grover Cleveland's first administration, he fired many Republican postal workers and replaced them with Southern Democrats; this earned him the enmity of the Republican-controlled Congress, but made him a favorite as Grover Cleveland's running mate in 1892, he duly became vice president of the United States. In office, he supported the free-silver lobby against the gold-standard men like Cleveland, but was praised for ruling in a dignified, non-partisan manner. In 1900, he ran for vice president with William Jennings Bryan. In doing so, he became the fourth vice president or former vice president to run for that post with two different presidential candidates. Stevenson was the grandfather of Adlai Stevenson II, a Governor of Illinois and the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate in both 1952 and 1956.
Adlai Ewing Stevenson was born in Christian County, Kentucky, on October 23, 1835, to John Turner and Eliza Ewing Stevenson, Wesleyans of Scots-Irish descent. The Stevenson family is first recorded in Scotland, in the early 18th century; the family appears to have been of some wealth, as a private chapel in the Archdiocese of St Andrews bears their name. At some point shortly after the Jacobite rising of 1715, the family migrated to County Antrim, near Belfast. At least one Stephenson was a police officer. William Stephenson, the great-grandfather of Adlai, was a tailor. After William's father died in the 1730s, his family moved to Lancaster County, Province of Pennsylvania. In 1762, the family moved to North Carolina in. Including lands given to his children, William Stephenson had amassed 3,400 acres of land by the time of his death. One branch of the family, including Adlai Stevenson's father moved to Kentucky in 1813. Stevenson was born on the family farm in Christian County, he attended a public school in Kentucky.
In 1850, when he was 14, frost killed the family's tobacco crop. Two years his father set free their few slaves and the family moved to Bloomington, where his father operated a sawmill. Stevenson attended Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington and graduated from Centre College, in Danville, Kentucky, his father's death prompted Stevenson to return from Kentucky to Illinois to run the sawmill. Stevenson studied law with Bloomington attorney Robert E. Williams, he was admitted to the bar in 1858, commenced practice in Metamora. As a young lawyer, Stevenson encountered such celebrated Illinois attorneys as Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, he campaigned for Douglas in his 1858 Senate race against Lincoln. Stevenson's dislike of Lincoln might have been prompted by a contentious meeting between the two, at which Lincoln made several witty quips disparaging Stevenson. Stevenson made speeches against the "Know-Nothing" movement, a nativist group opposed to immigrants and Catholics; that stand helped cement his support in Illinois' large Irish communities.
In a predominantly Republican area, the Democratic Stevenson won friends through his storytelling and his warm and engaging personality. Stevenson was appointed master in chancery, his first public office, which he held during the Civil War. In 1864 Stevenson was a presidential elector for the Democratic ticket. In 1866, he married Letitia Green, they had three daughters, Mary and Letitia, a son, Lewis Stevenson. Letitia helped establish the Daughters of the American Revolution as a way of healing the divisions between the North and South after the Civil War, succeeded the wife of Benjamin Harrison as the DAR's second president-general. In 1868, at the end of his term as district attorney, he entered law practice with his cousin, James S. Ewing, moving with his wife back to Bloomington and settling in a large house on Franklin Square. Stevenson & Ewing would become one of the state's most prominent law firms. Ewing would become the U. S. ambassador to Belgium. The Democratic Party nominated Stevenson for the United States Congress in 1874.
Stevenson levied influence in the local Masonic lodge. Stevenson received the nomination of the Independent Reform Party, a state party that fought monopolies following the Panic of 1873. Stevenson campaigned against Republican incumbent John McNulta, he attacked McNulta's support for high tariffs and what became known as the Salary Grab Act, where congressmen increased their salaries by 50%. He spoke little of his own positions other than railroad regulation. McNulta attacked back. Thanks to the votes siphoned away from the Republican Base by the Independent Reform Party, Stevenson won the election with 52% of the vote, though he did not carry his hometown of Bloomington, he was elevated to the 44th United States Congress, the first under Democratic control since the Civil War. In 1876, Stevenson was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection; the Republican presidential ticket, headed by Rutherford B. Hayes carried his district, Stevenson was narrowly defeated, getting 49.6 percent of the vote.
In 1878, he ran on both the Democratic
Thanksgiving (United States)
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated as a harvest festival. Thanksgiving has been celebrated nationally on and off since 1789, with a proclamation by George Washington after a request by Congress. Thomas Jefferson chose not to observe the holiday, its celebration was intermittent until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War. Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the date was changed to the fourth Thursday in November, an innovation that endures to this day. Together with Christmas and the New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader fall–winter holiday season in the U. S; the event that Americans call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621.
This feast lasted three days, and—as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow—it was attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. Setting aside time to give thanks for one's blessings, along with holding feasts to celebrate a harvest, are both practices that long predate the European settlement of North America; the first documented thanksgiving services in territory belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards and the French in the 16th century. Wisdom practices such as expressing gratitude and giving away, are integral to many indigenous cultures and communities.. Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as 1607, with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in 1610. In 1619, 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia.
The group's London Company charter required "that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned... in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God." Three years after the Indian massacre of 1622, the Berkeley Hundred site and other outlying locations were abandoned and colonists moved their celebration to Jamestown and other more secure spots. The most prominent historic thanksgiving event in American popular culture is the 1621 celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in years, first as an impromptu religious observance and as a civil tradition; the Plymouth settlers, known as Pilgrims, had settled in land abandoned when all but one of the Patuxet Indians died in a plague. After a harsh winter killed half of the Plymouth settlers, the last surviving Patuxet, came in at the request of Samoset, the first native American to encounter the Pilgrims.
Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them until he too succumbed to plague a year later. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit gave food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient; the Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in 1621. The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in 1996, "The event occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11, 1621, with the most time being around Michaelmas, the traditional time." Seventeenth-century accounts do not identify this as a Thanksgiving observance, rather it followed the harvest. It included 50 people who were on 90 Native Americans; the feast was cooked by the four adult Pilgrim women who survived their first winter in the New World, along with young daughters and male and female servants. Two colonists gave personal accounts of the 1621 feast in Plymouth; the Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists, are not to be confused with Puritans, who established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630.
Both groups were strict Calvinists. Puritans wished to remain in the Anglican Church and reform it, while the Pilgrims wanted complete separation from the church. William Bradford, in Of Plymouth Plantation wrote: They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want, and besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports. Edward Winslow, in Mourt's Relation wrote: Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a specia