No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
And that's about all I have to say about that. The above painting isn't quite finished yet, but I figured I'd post it anyway, as a tribute to tenacity. On several occasions over the last 3 nights I've been strongly tempted to throw it away and start over, but a certain bull-headedness and stinginess kept me plugging away for the sake of practice, if nothing else. Now though, some of the things I most disliked have leant themselves, in my efforts to correct them, to taking the painting in directions I would not otherwise have considered, and I'm beginning to like it quite a bit.