In 1863, Sarah Josepha Hale rejoiced that after a decades-long campaign, Thanksgiving had become a national holiday. Hale was not alone in her desire to unite patriotism with spiritual devotion. In her personal correspondence with the president, Eliza Gurney also spoke of the blessings God had bestowed on the nation. Gurney, a devoted Quaker, had met with Lincoln in 1861 to give him spiritual comfort and had continued writing with him ever since. After his public proclamation of Thanksgiving, Gurney wrote to him to demonstrate her “cordial approval of thy late excellent proclamation appointing a day of thanksgiving” despite the fact that as a Quaker she did “not set apart especial seasons for returning thanks.” Gurney saw the holiday as an effective means of making less devout Americans conscious of their God-given blessings and thus supported the federal holiday even while she refused to celebrate it.