View Full Version : The Thanksgiving Stories

11-12-06, 08:47 PM
The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church (a Puritan sect). They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland (The Netherlands) to escape religious persecution. There, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life, thinking it ungodly. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America. Most of those making the trip aboard the Mayflower were non-Separatists, but were hired to protect the company's interests. Only about one-third of the original colonists were Separatists.
The Pilgrims set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. It is believed that the Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "thanksgiving" observance. It lasted three days.
Do you believe that this story is a myth? The trouble is, almost everything we've been taught about the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is a myth. The holiday has two distinct histories - the actual one and a romanticized portrayal.
This November 23rd, Americans will celebrate a holiday based largely on the latter, whose details of turkey and cranberry sauce decorating one long table stem from the creative musings of a magazine editor in the mid-1800s.
The true history has been a difficult one to uncover. Staff at Plimoth Plantation, which occupies several acres on the outskirts of the city of Plymouth, just north of Cape Cod, have been in the vanguard of researching the event. But a big obstacle remains: Everything historians know today is based on two passages written by colonists.

Participants' accounts
In a letter to a friend, dated December 1621, Edward Winslow wrote: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time, among other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."
Twenty years later, William Bradford wrote a book that provides a few more hints as to what might have been on that first Thanksgiving table. But his book was stolen by British looters during the Revolutionary War and therefore didn't have much influence on how Thanksgiving was celebrated until it turned up many years later.
No one is certain whether the Wampanoag and the colonists regularly sat together and shared their food, or if the three-day "thanksgiving" feast Mr. Winslow recorded for posterity was a one-time event.
In the culture of the Wampanoag Indians, who inhabited the area around Cape Cod, "thanksgiving" was an everyday activity.

What historians do know about Thanksgiving
There are many myths surrounding Thanksgiving. Here are nine things historians do know are true about the holiday.
1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.
2. The feast most likely occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.
3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists - the latter mostly women and children - participated.
4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.
5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes - white or sweet - and pies were not on the menu.
6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.
7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.
8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.
9. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863.

11-14-06, 03:12 PM
thanks for the story of Thanksgiving for me is just a reminder of a day off form work, my sis birthday and a lot of foods.

11-14-06, 03:50 PM
Ambrosia, I am looking forward also for all that food!!!, yummy, stomach here it comes. I guess I'll starve myself for two weeks after that to lose the extra weight that I will be gaining. Happy eating!

11-14-06, 04:14 PM
but you look so skinny in your avatar.

Comme si, se on cache peche?

miam miam, i wish you were my turkey

11-14-06, 04:38 PM
That is something I always wonder, the original thanksgiving was btwn Sept 21 and Nov 11, how did the American get it to be on the last week-end of Nov?

Kote'w soti tilezanj? Ki bagay you wish she was your turkey sa, that does not sound good at all, depui'w ou we avatar TiCam ou o zanj lol

Ambrosia, nice to have you with us.

Podiab ou TiCam, I do not have that problem, I can eat, eat, eat, and eat but nothing never happen! Vant mwen toujou pre pou thanksgiving.

11-14-06, 04:55 PM
I changed my mood for my turkey

11-14-06, 05:55 PM
Oh, oh! ki koze sa?

mwen dako ave'w tilezanj, se pou sa mood yo la...degaje'w!

11-14-06, 06:15 PM
but you look so skinny in your avatar.

Comme si, se on cache peche?

miam miam, i wish you were my turkey
I don't look skinny tilezanj, I look svelte and healthy. Not SKINNY. I hate skinny!

Epi, msie jouda si ou bezwen konin si se fotom, al mande boyfriend mwen se li ki te mete avatar la pou mwen.