Thanksgiving Proclamation Signed By Washington On Display in Chicago

Document will be displayed Thursday at the Christie's auction house office in the John Hancock Center

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A rare piece of American history spends a few hours in Chicago before it goes up on the auction block. LeeAnn Trotter reports (Published Friday, Oct 25, 2013)

    A Thanksgiving Day proclamation signed by President George Washington is coming to Chicago.

    Christie's, the auction house, announced it will display the proclamation Thursday at its office in the John Hancock Center on Michigan Avenue. In the proclamation dated Oct. 3, 1789, Washington recommends Nov. 26 be a "day of public thanksgiving and prayer."

    "Now therefore do I 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…That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--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..."

    Christie's spokeswoman Sung-Hee Park says there is only one other known copy of the proclamation, and it's housed in the Library of Congress.

    She says the proclamation on display was sold at auction by Christie's in 1977 for $3,800. That is a fraction of the $8 million to $12 million it is expected to sell for when it is auctioned next month in New York.

    The proclamation will be displayed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

    Image credit: Christie's Images Ltd. 2013