Christie’s New York is honored to offer a proclamation signed by George Washington on November 14, in a special single-lot evening sale. The proclamation signed by George Washington is expected to reach the price of $8-12Million. The National Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first formal proclamation of Thanksgiving in America. George Washington, the first President of the United Statesunder the Constitution of 1787, made this proclamation on October 3, 1789, in New York City.
The initiative for the proclamation originally came from the House of Representatives, though support for the proclamation was hardly unanimous. Some representatives objected that such imitations of European practices would make a mockery of genuine expressions of prayer and thanksgiving, while others objected that expressions of gratitude are private matters that the federal government has no business mandating.
Nevertheless, a majority favoring a presidential proclamation prevailed, and President Washington, noting that “both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer,'” formally declared November 26 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.” This sale, which follows a national tour, offers a unique opportunity to acquire a foundational document in the history of our great national tradition of Thanksgiving.