Thursday, November 28, 2013


Christal Cooper – 613 Words
Facebook @ Christal Ann Rice Cooper

Thanksgiving In Pictures

The Mayflower was a cargo ship about 106 feet long and 25 feet wide.  It traveled about two miles per hour and covered 3000 miles, two months worth of sailing. The passengers totaled 102 with 50 men, 20 women, and 32 children.

They were all coming to the New World (America) to begin new lives.  Some came to escape the religious persecution, and   others came to start a livelihood since England at the time was facing huge unemployment.

       Samoset was the first Native American Indian to greet the Colonists, and he greeted them in English, which he was fluent in.    Samoset learned the language from fisherman and other explorers who had come to the New World years before.  Samoset was described as very tall with long black hair.   He stayed with the Colonists for several days.

The third time Samoset visited the Colonists, Squanto was by his side.  Squanto had been kidnapped by an English seaman and was sold in Spain to be a slave.  Years later, when he was free, he made his way to England, where he lived and worked for five years.  When he returned back to his homeland, he found that his entire village, the Patuxet Tribe, was deserted.  Everyone had died or became members of other tribes in order to survive. 

Squanto taught the Colonists how to survive by planting corn and using dead fish as fertilizer. He was not always the romanticized, good Native American Indian.  Sometimes he would deliberately misinterpret conversations where it benefited him the most.  His goal was to be an important native leader.  In the end, when he died, he got his ultimate wish, and the colonists viewed him as “an instrument of God.”

Chief Massasoit was a powerful leader of the Wampanoag.  Chief Massasoit and the Colonists met, and were able to have a peaceful discussion, with the help of Squanto as interpreter.  Chief Massasoit and the Colonists signed a treaty together.  They promised to return anything that was stolen, and vowed to defend each other from enemy attacks.

Edward Winslow was the leader of the Mayflower.  He served as the governor of Plymouth Colony in 1633, 1636, and 1644.  His testimony in Mourt’s Relation is one of only two primary sources of the “first thanksgiving” in existence.  Below is an excerpt:

"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 among the rest their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three day 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."

       Thanksgiving never became a holiday until 1863 due to the efforts of editor and writer Sarah Hale trying to get Thanksgiving declared a holiday.  It took her twenty years, pleading of five presidents, before President Abraham Lincoln finally made the first Thanksgiving holiday in November of 1863.
In 1941, The United States Congress voted to have Thanksgiving holiday a yearly holiday, the fourth Thursday of the month of November.

Photo  Description and Copyright Info

Photo 1.
Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor.  Public Domain. 

Photo 2.
Samoset in the 1850s.  Attributed to Leeback.  Public Domain.

Photo 3.
Squanto.  Public Domain.

Photo 4.
Statue of Chief Massasoit.  Public Domain.

Photo 5.
Jacket cover of by Massasoit of the Wampanoags by Alivn G Weeks.

Photo 6.
Edward Winslow.  Public Domain.

Photo 7.
The First Thanksgiving.  Public Domain.

Photo 8.
Sarah Hale.  Public Domain.

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