By Elizabeth A. Mullen and Jeffrey S. Reznick ~
In the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, we have a lot to be thankful for this season. During the past year, we have completed a number of great projects, many of which have been featured here on Circulating Now. And the blog is itself one of the great projects we have achieved in 2013…thanks to you! Thank you for reading Circulating Now, and sharing our posts with others.
The subject of giving thanks for health and well-being is a recurring theme in the history of medicine. The experience of injury and disease fuels powerful offerings of gratitude for health and family. Here, from our collection, is a thanksgiving discourse from 1795, when our nation was still very young, long before Abraham Lincoln established an annual national Thanksgiving holiday 150 years ago in 1863.
In the colonial period it was common for authorities to designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a particular instance of good fortune. And this practice continued throughout the early years of the nation. In this discourse the speaker renders thanks for peace and for fruitful seasons and ends with special gratitude for the swift end of an epidemic fever:
So as November draws to a close and the busy holiday season is upon us, take time to remember what you’re thankful for, and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.