Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving is More Than Turkey 2010

The first example of Thanksgiving in America as recorded by William Bradford Governor Of Plymouth Plantation. Not of a feast, but of thanksgiving out of gratitude because "instead of famine now God gave them plenty.."P132 (1)
Edward Winslow wrote a letter on 11 Dec 1621 to a friend in England describing this day of thanksgiving.
"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 amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst 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."  p60-5 (2)
In his book, William Bradford affirmed Edward Winslow's letter.  "Besides they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.  Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports." P90 (1)
Many think they were feasting on all that meat, but not so.  The Indians were grateful for the kindness extended them and the custom was to give back, the gift of the meat to the Governor and others were prepared for preserving the colony through the winter.  When you read his book you get to know, Governor Bradford was a pious man.  He was not vain nor did he do things frivolously.  You understand the thanksgiving feast was just that, taking time out of labors to give thanks for the blessings they enjoyed.
We enjoy reading the first hand account each Thanksgiving and applying an attitude of gratitude to our lives expressing thankfulness for family, friends, the bounteous blessing that God has bestowed upon us.
I am thankful for my ancestor William Bradford for coming to the country and instilling in his posterity the love of God, and the desire to keep the ability to worship as one desires to worship. 
As I sit here an write, I look around at the modest home of my daughter and know she is greatly blessed as are her children.  I am blessed to be here to spend time with them. Many years ago, a mother often would not see her children again after they moved far away. I am thankful for what I have.

 I wish blessing on all  this Thanksgiving.
 Hummer

1. Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 by William Bradford (A New Edition edited by Samuel Eliot Morison)
2. Mourt's Relation

2 comments:

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Very nice post. At dinner today our son-in-law was talking about this story, and it occurred to me that I'd never read the original sources.

I think in this economy more people are reflecting on their blessings and developing that attitude of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving.

chitra said...

Nice to see your post on thanks Giving.Hope you had a nice time with your daughter and grand children.