Pilgrims Set First Thanksgiving Day to Thank God (1621)
Posted by FactReal on November 22, 2012
|PILGRIMS DECLARE THEIR FIRST PUBLIC THANKSGIVING FESTIVAL IN 1621
From the Life and Time of William Brewster, ruling Elder of the Pilgrims who founded New Plymouth, the parent colony of New England, in 1620:
In 1621, from the month of May of their first year to November, the prospects of the Pilgrim colony became gradually more encouraging: The first summer’s provisions were gathered; summer breezes and health came to the enfeebled survivors; autumn advanced. Thus, the Pilgrims decide to declare a three-day feast at the end of 1621 to thank God and to celebrate America’s first Thanksgiving Festival.
At length, autumn being far advanced, and their first summer’s harvest of Indian corn being gathered in, they fitted their houses, and made their arrangements against the coming winter. And now, while some were employed in service abroad, and some in fishing, to furnish for each family a goodly supply, others again were engaged in hunting, procuring, among other game, water fowl, wild turkey, and venison. Of meal, or Indian corn, one peck a week for each person was the apportioned supply. Of other meal, or wheat, they had none; nor had they any mill for grinding; therefore their corn must be pounded or mashed by their own hands. Yet even this supply, being deemed sufficient for the present colonists, caused some of them to write home to their friends, in England, in more glowing terms than was prudent or warrantable. The effect was, that these descriptions of plenty induced subsequent emigrants to come without bringing with them their needful stores.
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