Proclamation for a Fast
W Livingston calls for a day of fasting, prayer, and repentance to ask for the Lord's help against the British.
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Transcription of 1st Page of the Proclamation
May 17th, 1776
In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the surest machinations & open assaults of an insidious & vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies with true penitence of heart and the most reverent devotion publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God to confess and deplore our offences against him and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom virtue and posterity.The Congress therefore considering the warlike preparations of the British Ministry to subvert our invaluable rights and privileges & to reduce us by fire of word by the savages of the wilderness and our own domestics to the most abject & ignominious bondage: Desirous, at the same time to have people[%u2026continued on next document]
Transcription of the 2nd Page of the Proclamation
17 May 1776
of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God's super intending providence and of their duty devoutly to rely in all their lawful enterprises on his aid and direction, Do earnestly recommend that Friday the seventeenth day of May next be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, prayer; that we may with united hearts, confess & bewail our manifold sins and transgressions and by a sincere repentance & amendment of life appease his righteous displeasure and through the merits & mediation of Jesus Christ obtain his pardon & forgiveness humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies; and by inclining their hearts to justice and benevolence prevent the further effusion of kindred blood. But if continuing deaf to the voice of reaform and humanity & infeasible bent on desolation and war they constrain us to repel their hostile invasions by open resistance, that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies to animate our officers & soldiers with invincible fortitude to guard & protect them in the day of battle and to crown the continental armies by sea and land with victory and success: Earnesstly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers and the representatives of the people in their several assemblies & conventions; to preserve strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom [%u2026continued on next document]
Transcription of the 3rd Page of the Proclamation
17 May 1776
and stability to their counsels; and direct them to their most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis _ That he would be graciously please to bless all his people in these colonies with health and plenty and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism and of pure undefiled religion may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace & liberty and enabled to transmit their inviolate to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and abstain from survile labour on the said day.
Resolve that the forgoing resolve be published.
Who Was W. Livingston?
One of the wonderful things about the social network on Footnote is that researchers can collaborate and share their ideas. As you will see from the comments attached to the first entry of this story page Blake, a fellow member of footnote, suggested that W. Livingston could possibly be Walter Livingston as found on Wikipedia. After further research I believe that W. Livingston was most likely a man named William Livingston and not Walter Livingston. While I do not have conclusive proof W. Livingston's identity, I feel that at this time my research points to William Livingston. Walter Livingston is still a viable candidate. I welcome any input on this issue.
William Livingston was born in 1723 in Albany, NY. Livingston studied law and three years after his marriage to Susanna French in 1745, Livingston was admitted to the New York bar. Livingston aligned himself with the Calvinists and actively opposed the Anglican leaders' attempts to charter and control King's College (later Columbia). Tired of the practice of law Livingston moved to Elizabethtown NJ and built his Liberty Hall estate. In 1774 Livingston was a representative in the First Continental Congress; and a delegate to the Second Continental Congress from 1775-76. In June 1776 Livingston became the brigadier general of the New Jersey militia. In 1777 Livingston was elected the first governor of New Jersey and held the position for 14 consecutive years. In 1787 Livingston was selected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Although his responsibilities as governor kept him from attending all of the convention he was the chairman of the committee that reached a compromise on the issue of slavery. In addition, Livingston spurred New Jersey's rapid ratification of the Constitution in 1787. Livingston died in 1790.