408

Why Illinois Gives Thanks.

You ask: "Will Illinois give thanks this year, and, if so, why?"

"Yes; Illinois will give thanks. She has enjoyed so many blessings this year, material and spiritual, intellectual and moral; she has taken such a forward stride in sight of all the world, and has been so loaded with honors and crowned with success, and she is feeling so grateful to all the earth, that if there were no God, she would create one, in order to have a being to whom she could pour out her soul in gratitude. She has been free from famine or pestilence; free from the scourges that destroy humanity; and, while she has felt the depression of the times, she has had bread for her children and habitations for her people. She has, during the year, created new temples of learning and has been introduced to all the nations. She has

409

entertained the children of all lands and has seen the best products of the industry, the genius and the intelligence of all peoples exhibited here within her borders. She has witnessed a great step forward of all the forces that tend to elevate and enlighten mankind. Here, for the first time in history, has woman stood on an absolutely independent basis, in carrying out a great work; and, here in Illinois, for the first time since man gazed at the sun, or appealed to a God, have the representatives of all religions met and offered each other friendly hands and given each other respectful hearing, and from her precincts has gone forth this year a new gospel of toleration and co-operation, a new gospel of peace among men and happiness upon earth. Yea, with uncovered head and with her face toward the morning, Illinois will give thanks to the Ruler of the Universe, for having placed her star in the brightest constellation and given her a year big with fate and great in results; a year breathing progress, glowing with inspiration and covered with glory; a year forever memorable in the annals of time."