This would have been a little more appropriate about a week ago, but given I didn’t really start looking into this until Thanksgiving…well…better late than never. I have never heard as many different versions of the same story in my life.

They go from the rather disturbing, to the downright spiritual; from the unabashadly capitalistic to the rather Utopian view we learned in school, and the downright confusing.

But the thing is, there are really only two first hand primary accounts of the events of the fall of 1621, and they are William Bradford’s Journal, Of Plymouth Plantation and Mourt’s Relation by Edward Winslow. Both tell a rather interesting (and similar, since Bradford wrote much of the first section of Mourt’s Relation) story of the Pilgrims and their plight but there are a few facts, and of course the above versions have varying degrees of sticking to, or perhaps distorting those facts:

1) It is a religious holiday. Pure and simple. Everything about the two accounts and indeed George Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation shows that they were not just thanking Mother Nature or the Indians, they were thanking God, our Creator, Providence…etc.

2) The native Indian tribe represented by Squanto was extraordinarily helpful in the Pilgrim’s making it through the first winter. It is obvious that lives were probably saved because of their help (in addition to God’s).

3) The second winter (and subsequent winters) was much better when the Governor decided to dispense with the communal storage and let each of the settler’s families grow and be responsible for their own own food.

Much of the rest is speculation, and the funny thing is, after all of the different versions, all I can come up with from the actual accounts is quite similar to the story that I learned as a kid.

Isn’t that amazing.

Posted at 05:55 pm by Logipundit

The “Real Story of Thanksgiving”

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