Thanksgiving is More Than Turkey 2010
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.
I wish blessing on all this Thanksgiving.
1. Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 by William Bradford (A New Edition edited by Samuel Eliot Morison)
2. Mourt's Relation