Often called the first Thanksgiving feast of 1621, a feast was held in celebration of the Harvest and in gratitude to God –the Pilgrims’ account is printed annually by our local city newspaper as the lead editorial
90 Indians and their “king” –Massasoit –were there for the celebration.
Last year, the paper included a passage about Squanto and how they considered him to be a blessing from God to them.
On the other side of the coin: The Indian massacre of 1622 (also known as the Jamestown Massacre) occurred in the Virginia Colony on Good Friday, March 22, 1622. About 347 people , or almost one-third of the English population of Jamestown, were killed by a coordinated series of surprise attacks of the Powhatan Confederacy under Chief Opechancanough.
From what I gleaned in a rapid reading –an Englishman had murdered an important Indian aide of this chief–and that started the conflict. Then the enmity was on between some Indian groups and the English –but a young Indian boy warned the settlers at one point of an imminent attack.
–and as with most wars and ethnic group feuds , each side was afraid of the other and seeking revenge or security by killing off the other, hoping to intimidate each other into more peaceful ways –which did happen at one point according to the account link below.
President George Washington issued a national Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789. He wrote, “Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country…for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed…and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually…To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”
(George was a Master of the run-on sentence!)
Today, Geo. Washington would be shocked to see all the flack the Georgia governor got from secularists for petitioning God in public prayer for rain for his parched state. I don’t know if he got it, but our state did. We got buckets yesterday–it is brightening up here today.
As for the Indians having a general feeling that all the land was theirs and that there was no room for the Europeans –no welcome for them –and the idea that the immigrants brutalized the Indians and vice versa, right off the bat –that is not the case from what I’ve googled and found today.
The Harvest feast of 1621 -a year after the Mayflower’s arrival, shows that the Indians and the Europeans were interested in one another and friendly. The Indians, did indeed help the Europeans adapt and prosper in The New World.
Now we head over to my daughter’s –7 minutes away by car–to eat traditional turkey, pumpkin desserts, mashed potatoes, green beans and corn, and apple pan dowdy –cranberry sauce –
We stuff ourselves, feasting, to celebrate our blessings –and will thank God also. My daughter will have everyone tell something they are thankful to God for –and while the adults have devotional talk, the kids will color a picture from a Thanksgiving coloring book — she has pilgrim hats for them to wear –and probably will have colorful Indian corn and gourds for decor.
May you all have a blessed day of counting your blessings! Everyone has some --whether it be good health --or good medicine --or good friends --or good family --SOMETHING! LIFE itself. I had a nose bleed last week--and was so glad for the clotting factor God built into our blood. Imagine --if there were no clotting factor, the human race would've bled to death at the first cut! Evolved without a designer God?? I don't think so!!!
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible