A collection of 490 nineteenth-century American Thanksgiving Day sermons has been digitized and is available online. These sermons reveal the interesting intersection of Christian reflection on what is a secular or civic holiday. Thanksgiving was made a national holiday by proclamation of Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Before 1863, however, many local politicians proclaimed similar holidays. These commentaries by church leaders provide a unique perspective on church-state relations during a formative time in American history.
This collection is the result of a collaboration among the three libraries that contributed sermons to this project: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Pitts Theology Library of Emory University, and the Speer Library at Princeton Theological Seminary. The project was funded by a grant from the Cooperative Digital Resource Initiative (CDRI) of the American Theological Library Association.
These sermons can be found in the CDRI database (along with many other types of digitized materials).