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It was the middle of the American Revolution. Thomas Chittenden, governor and commander in chief of the recently formed State of Vermont (really more a republic, separate from the 13 colonies, but fighting alongside them in the Revolution), issued a proclamation of Thanksgiving.
The proclamation directed the people of Vermont to lay down all labor on Thursday, Nov. 26, 1778, and embrace a day of thanksgiving for all the good that had arisen “amid the many private and public Distresses of a temporal Nature.”
Chittenden issued the proclamation in Windsor, Vt., but it was printed here at Dartmouth by Alden Spooner, during the brief period when Hanover flipped its allegiance to Vermont and called itself “Dresden, Vermont.”