|The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth by Jennie Augusta Browncome|
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The First Thanksgiving in America
The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration held by the pilgrims of Plymouth colony in the 17th century.
The 53 pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were the only colonists to survive the long journey on the Mayflower and the first winter in the New World. They included 22 men, four married women and more than 25 children and teenagers. These pilgrims made it through that first winter and, with the help of the local Wampanoag tribe, they had a hearty supply of food to sustain them through the next winter.
“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits 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 amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety 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. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”
One of these Indians, a young man named Squanto, spoke fluent English and had been appointed by Massasoit to serve as the pilgrim’s translator and guide. Squanto learned English prior to the pilgrim’s arrival after he was captured by English explorers and spent time in Europe as a slave.
The Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777, and then in 1789, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving as well.
I wish you all a wonderful time of gratitude, of being thankful for family, friends and for our country.