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Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 1st Thanksgiving ~ from Those Who Were There

In the year 1620 ~

"About the 16th of March a certain Indian came boldly among them, and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand, but were astonished at it...His name was Samoset; he told them also of another Indian, whose name was Squanto, a native of this part, who had been in England and could speak English better than himself. After some time of entertainment, being dismissed with gifts, in a little while he returned with 5 more, and they brought back all the tools that had been stolen, and made way for the coming of their great Sachem [chief], called Massasoyt, who about 4 or 5 days after, came with the chief of his friends and other attendants, and with Squanto. With him, after friendly entertainment and some gifts, they made a peace which has now continued for 24 years...

"After this he returned to his place, called Sowams, some 40 miles off, but Squanto stayed with them, and was their interpreter, and became a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation. He showed them how to plant their corn, where to take fish and other commodities, and guided them to unknown places, and never left them till he died..."

In the year 1621~

"Thus their peace and acquaintance was pretty well established with the natives about them...

"After this they had many greetings from various Sachems and much firmer peace. Even the Indians of the Island of Capawack sent to declare friendship; and Corbitant himself [a chief who was slow to warm up to the English but trusted Massasoyt] used the mediation of Massasoyt to make his peace, but was shy to come near them for a long time after.

"After this, on the 18th September, they sent out their shallop with 10 men and Squanto as guide and interpreter to the Massachusetts, to explore the bay and trade with the natives, which they accomplished, and were kindly received...They returned safely, and brought home a good quantity of beaver, and reported on the place, wishing they could have settled there. But it seems that the Lord, Who assigns to all men the bounds of their habitations, had appointed it for another use. And thus they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings and incomings, for which let His holy name have the praise forever, to all posterity.

"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to prepare their houses for the winter, being well recovered in health and strength, and plentifully provisioned; for while some had been thus employed in affairs away from home, others were occupied in fishing for cod, bass, and other fish, of which they caught a good quantity, every family having their portion. All the summer there was no want. And now, as winter approached, wild fowl began to arrive, of which there were plenty when they came here first, though afterwards they became more scarce. As well as wild fowl, they got abundance of wild turkeys, besides venison, etc. Each person had about a peck of meal a week, or now, since harvest, Indian corn in that proportion; and afterwards many wrote at length about their plenty to their friends in England, -- not feigned but true reports."

Of Plymouth Plantation ~ Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent 4 men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They 4 in 1 day killed as many 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 90 men, whom for 3 days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed 5 deer, which we 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."

~~Edward Winslow; From Mourt's Relation ~
full title: A Relation or Journal of the Beginning and Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plimoth in New England [note original spelling], by Edward Winslow, although William Bradford wrote most of the 1st section. Written between November 1620 and November 1621.

Have a blessed & happy Thanksgiving!


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