Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

What Once Was: 1845—Washington’s First Thanksgiving – Resources

By Matthew B. Gilmore*


[Carl Anthony] Thanks to Presidents Giving Us Turkey Day & Pictures of First Family Thanksgivings  https://carlanthonyonline.com/ NOVEMBER 20, 2012.

Diana Karter Appelbaum. Thanksgiving: an American holiday, an American history. New York: Facts on File, 1984.

Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan. A history of the national capital from its foundation through the era of the adoption of the Organic Act. New York: McMillan, 1916. V.2.

Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan. Various forms of local government in the District of Columbia. 1898. Sketch of the Various forms of local government in the District of Columbia, with list of Washington City official appended.

Allen C. Clark. “Colonel William Winston Seaton and His Mayoralty.” Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Vol. 29/30,  (1928), pp. 1-102.

Matthew Dennis. Red, white, and blue letter days: an American calendar. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Paul Dickson. The book of Thanksgiving. New York: Berkley, 1999.

Constance M. Green. Washington: a history of the capital, 1800-1950. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962.

Sarah Josepha Hale. Northwood; or life North and South… New York: H. Long and Brother, 1852.

Lauri C. Hillstrom. The Thanksgiving book. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2008.

Melanie Kirkpatrick. Thanksgiving: the holiday at the heart of the American experience. New York: Encounter Books, 2016.

Theophilus Lindsey. An Historical View of the State of the Unitarian Doctrine and Worship: From the Reformation to Our Own Times. London, 1783.

Diana Muir. “Proclaiming Thanksgiving throughout the land: from local to national holiday” p. 194-212. in …. We are what we celebrate: understanding holidays and rituals. New York: New York University Press., 2004.

Niles’ Weekly Register; Containing Historical, Statistical, Geographical, And Scientifical, Biographical, Political, | Astronomical, Documents, Essays, And Facts; Together with Notices of The Arts and Manufactures, And A Record of The Events of The Times. From September, 1817, To March, 1818–Vol. Xiii. Or, Volume I.—New Series.

Elizabeth Pleck. “The making of the domestic occasion: the history of Thanksgiving in the United States.” Journal of Social History Summer 1999.

Proclamations for Thanksgiving, Issued by The Continental Congress, Pres’t Washington, By the National and State Governments on The Peace Of 1815, And by The Governors Of New York Since the Introduction of The Custom; With Those of The Governors of The Several States in 1858.  Albany: Munsell & Rowland,  1858.

John Clagett Proctor. “Capital’s celebration of Thanksgiving Day joined with spread in Nation.” Sunday Star Nov. 19, 1939.

Provisions and politics: recipes honoring First Lady Sarah Childress Polk from the James K. Polk Memorial Association. Columbia, TN: the Association 2003.

Jennie W. Scudder. “Historical Sketch of the Unitarian Church of Washington, D. C.”  Records of the Columbia Historical Society,  Vol. 13 (1910), pp.168-187.

Josephine Seaton. William Winston Seaton of the “National intelligencer.”  Boston, J.R. Osgood and company, 1871.

H.S.J. Sickel. Thanksgiving: its source, philosophy, and history with all national proclamations and analytical study thereof. Philadelphia, 1940. [Interesting compilation of presidential (and other) Thanksgiving proclamations up to 1939]

Esther Singleton. The story of the White House. New York: Blom, 1916. [Source of Polk White House Christmas myth.]

Stephen W. Stathis. “Federal Holidays: Evolution and Application.” Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1999.

Jacob R. Straus. “Federal Holidays: Evolution and Current Practices” Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, May 9, 2014.

White House Historical Association [WHHA]. Pardoning the Thanksgiving Turkey.

WHHA. Sourcing the White House Turkey. 








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