Skip to main content

First Thanksgiving Resolution Prompted Federalism Objection

During the first session of Congress in 1789, a Federalist member proposed that the president proclaim a day of thanksgiving to acknowledge the “opportunity peaceably to establish a Constitution of government for their safety and happiness.” The proposed resolution, however, drew an objection from Thomas Tucker, an Anti-Federalist member from South Carolina. Tucker argued that the federal government had no business issuing such a proclamation: “If a day of thanksgiving must take place, let it be done by the authority of the several States; they know best what reason their constituents have to be pleased with the establishment of this Constitution.” In the end, the resolution passed, paving the way for George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation. Read more here.