Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541 - 2001
  April 13, 1815

President James Madison proclaimed a national day of prayer and thanksgiving after the end of the War of 1812. U.S. and British emissaries effectively ended the conflict with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, 1814 in Belgium. The treaty restored the prewar boundaries of the U.S. and Canada, but it did not address British violations on the high seas and the imprisonment of American seamen. A joint commission was appointed to address those other concerns.

During the war, President Madison proclaimed three days of fasting and prayer in response to Congressional requests (August 20, 1812, September 9, 1813, and January 12, 1815). He was the last president to call for a national thanksgiving until Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

Three-Quarter View of James Madison, Standing, With Hand on Document on Table
A Portrait of President James Madison.
 
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