Saturday, September 17, 2011

John Langdon (1741 – 1819)

John Langdon was one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States. He also became a United States Senator and President (Governor) of New Hampshire.

This sixth generation American of considerable wealth was the first patriot to put his fortune in jeopardy during the American Revolution. He supplied arms and money to the Continental Army and fought as a colonel in the militia.

Langdon proclaimed before Congress his belief that slothfulness was as infidelity.

“There was evidence in New Hampshire of an 'infidel age' in which the indolent, extravagant and wicked may divide the blessings of life with the industrious, the prudent and the virtuous.”

As President (Governor) of New Hampshire, he made this official Proclamation for a General Thanksgiving on October 21, 1785 to the his state.

A Proclamation For A General Thanksgiving

“THE munificent Father of Mercies, and Sovereign Disposer of Events, having been graciously pleased to relieve the UNITED STATES of AMERICA from the Calamities of a long and dangerous war; through the whole course of which, he continued to smile on the Labours of our Husbandmen, thereby preventing Famine (the almost inseparable Companion of War) from entering our Borders; -eventually restored to us the blessings of Peace, on Terms advantageous and honorable.”
“And since the happy Period, when he silenced the Noise of contending Armies, has graciously smiled on the Labours of our Hands, caused the Earth to bring forth her increase in plentifully Harvests, and crowned the present Year with new additional Marks of his unlimited Goodness:”
“It therefore becomes our indefensible Duty, not only to acknowledge, in general with the rest of Mankind, our dependence on the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, but as a People peculiarly favored, to testify our Gratitude to the Author of all our Mercies, in the most solemn and public manner.”
I DO therefore, agreeably to a Vote of the General Court, appointing Thursday the 24th Day of November next, to be observed and kept as a Day of GENERAL THANKSGIVING throughout the State, by and with the Advice of Council, issue this Proclamation, recommending to the religious Societies of every Denomination, to assemble on that Day, to celebrate the Praise of our divine Benefactor;”
“to acknowledge our own Unworthiness, confess our manifold Transgressions, implore his Forgiveness, and intreat the continuance of those Favours which he had been graciously pleased to bestow upon us;”
“that he would inspire our Rulers with Wisdom, prosper our Trade and Commerce, smile upon our Husbandry, bless our Seminaries of Learning, and spread the Gospel of his Grace over all the Earth..
“And all servile Labour is forbidden on said Day.”
“GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Concord, this Twenty-first Day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five, and in the Tenth Year of the Independence of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.”

On February 21, 1786 President (Governor of New Hampshire) Langdon issues “A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer”

“A Proclamation For A Day of Public FASTING and PRAYER Throughout this State [1786]”

“Vain is the acknowledgment of a Supreme Ruler of the Universe, unless such acknowledgments influence our practice, and call forth those expressions of homage and adoration that are due to his character and providential government, agreeably to the light of nature, enforced by revelation, and countenanced by the practice of civilized nations, in humble and fervent application to the throne for needed mercies, and gratitude for favors received.”
“In having been the laudable practice of this State, at the opening of the Spring, to set apart a day for such denomination, to assemble together on said day, in their respective places of public worship;”
“that the citizens of this State may with one heart and voice, penitently confess their manifold sins and transgressions, and fervently implore the divine benediction, that a true spirit of repentance and humiliation may be poured out upon all orders and degrees of men, and a compleat and universal reformation take place:”
“that he who gave wisdom and fortitude in the scenes of battle, would give prudence and direction to extricate us from succeeding embarrassments, build up, support and establish this rising Empire;”
“particularly, that he would be pleased to bless the great Council of the United States of America, and direct their deliberations to the wise and best determinations, succeed our embassies at foreign Courts, bless our Allies, and national Benefactors.”
“that he would always be pleased, to keep this State under his most holy protection: that all in the legislature, executive and judicial departments, may be guided and supported by wisdom, integrity and firmness, that all the people through this State, and through the land, may be animated by a true estimation of their privileges, and taught to secure, by their patriotism and virtue, what they have acquired by their valour:”
“that a spirit of emulation, industry, economy and frugality, may be diffused abroad, and that we may all be disposed to lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all goodness and honesty;”
“that he would be graciously pleased to bless us in the seasons of the year, and cause the earth to yield her increase, prosper our husbandry, merchandise, navigation and fishery, and all the labour of our hands, and give us to hear the voice of health in our habitations, and enjoy plenty of our borders:”
“that unanimity, peace and harmony, may be promoted and continue, and a spirit of universal philanthropy pervade the land that he would be pleased to smile upon the means of education, and bless every institution of useful knowledge;”
“and above all, that he would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion, and spread abroad the knowledge of the true GOD, the Saviour of man, throughout the world.”
“And all servile labour and recreations are forbidden on said day.”
GIVEN at the Council-Chamber in Portsmouth, this twenty-first day of February, in the year of our LORD, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, and in the tenth year of the Sovereignty and Independence of the United States of America.”

He was a founder and first President of the New Hampshire Bible Society; whose goal was to place a Bible in every New Hampshire home. President James Monroe visited Governor John Langdon in 1817 while on a tour through the New England states. The following article was recorded in a local newspaper:

“While at Portsmouth, the President spent that part of the Sabbath which was not devoted to public divine service, with that eminent patriot and Christian, John Langdon. His tarry at the mansion of Gov. L. was probably longer than the time devoted to any individual in New England. It is thus that the President has evinced his partiality to our most distinguished and illustrious citizen.”

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