Skip to comments.How A Failed Commune Gave Us What Is Now Thanksgiving (The Pilgrims were religious socialists)
Posted on 11/22/2012 9:50:50 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Its wrong to say that American was founded by capitalists. In fact, America was founded by socialists who had the humility to learn from their initial mistakes and embrace freedom. One of the earliest and arguably most historically significant North American colonies was Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620 in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. As Ive outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. As William Bradford recorded in his -- Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive.
Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.
As my friend Reuven Brenner has taught me, history is a series of experiments: The Human Gamble. Some gambles work and are adopted by history and some do not and should be abandoned by it. The problem is that the human gamble only works if there is a record of experimental outcomes and if decision makers consult that record. For many years, the story of the first failed commune of Plymouth Bay was part of the collective memory of American students. But Progressive Education found that story unhelpful and it has fallen into obscurity, which explains why (as I alluded to before) a well-educated establishment figure like Jared Bernstein would be unaware of it.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
In 1978, we took the RV and the kids up to Plymouth to see my wifes sister who lived there at the time. We visited Plymouth Plantation. During the tour, I was struck by the presence of fortified guard shacks in the town square and asked the guide if they were a last line of defense for the citizens there if trouble with the natives spilled into the compound. He told us that they were for the control of the FOOD RIOTS which broke out those first few winters BEFORE they wisely abandoned their clearly failed experiment with collectivism — before Marx was even born.
Seems each generation or so we must relearn the hard lessons of history.
OBOWMA will teach us the next round of such lessons. I suspect they will be BITTER ones indeed.
Have a wonderful day.
"..NO..I don't know where the dog is....he was in such a good mood this morning when you were dressing me"
“Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the First Colony in the north part of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politic, for our better order and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue herself to enact, constitute and from such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitution and offices, which from time to time, as shall be thought most needed and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November in the reign of our sovereign Lord King James. A. D. 1620”
One of my paternal ancestors was a King’s administrator and signatory to the Mayflower Compact. He was also the negotiator with the indian tribes, having done the same during a brief stay at the Jamestown colony. He was a hell-raiser and did not adhere to the tenants of the Pilgirms and was frequently in trouble with some of their elders but was a friend of John Bradford. His gravesite and I believe his house or a replica of it are still located in Plymouth.
Not everyone on the Mayflower was a Pilgrim or a socialist which is one reason why they threw out the concepts after about a year of starvation.
Who is Francis Cooke?
Francis Cooke (c. 1595/1599 April 7, 1663 Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony) was a Separatist who fled religious persecution under English King James I, and in 1620 traveled to the New World on the Mayflower.
Francis is described in Leiden Walloon church marriage records dating from 1603 as a “woolcomber out of (uyt) England”, however his exact origin is unknown.
In Leiden, sometime after July 20, 1603, as Franchoys Couck, he married Hester le Mahieu, born in Lille, the daughter of Protestant refugees from England.
While in Leiden, Francis and Hester were members of the Walloon church. In 1606, they left Leiden briefly for Norwich, England, where they joined another Walloon church, returning to Leiden in 1607, possibly for religious reasons. Between 1611 and 1618, the Cookes were members of the Separatist congregation in Leiden.
Francis Cooke, with son John, departed Plymouth, England on the Mayflower on September 6/16, 1620, the small 100 foot ship having 102 passengers with about 30 crew members. The first month in the Atlantic, the seas were not severe, but by the second month the ship was being hit by strong north-Atlantic winter gales causing the ship to be badly shaken with water leaks from structural damage. There were two deaths, but this was just a precursor of what happened after their Cape Cod arrival, when almost half the company would die in the first winter.
On November 9/19, 1620, after about 3 months at sea, including a month of delays in England, they spotted land, which was Cape Cod. And after several days of trying to get south to their planned destination of the Colony of Virginia, strong winter seas forced them to return to the harbor at Cape Cod hook, where they anchored on November 11/21. The Mayflower Compact was signed that day.
Francis Cooke was active in Plymouth civil affairs in the 1630s and 40s - committees to lay out land grants and highways, petit jury, grand jury, coroner’s jury. He appears on the 1643 Plymouth list of those able to bear arms. At some point in 1638 or afterward, he settled at Rocky Nook on Jones River, within the limits of Kingston, a few miles from Plymouth.
Francis Cooke married Hester Mahieu in Leiden, Holland on July 20, 1603 or shortly thereafter. They had seven children. Her parents were Jacques and Jenne/Jeanne Mahieu, from France.
Hester died after June 8, 1666 and was buried at Burial Hill in Plymouth, Mass. His burial place is unknown.
Their son John came with his father on the Mayflower and survived to live a long life. In the summer of 1623 Hester came over with her other children Jane, Jacob and Hester on the ship ‘Anne’ or ‘Little James.’
Most of the colonies were corporate ventures where the colonists worked for the corporation as employees. They were expected to produce products to be sent back to England to offset the investors investment.
The religious groups were generally of sects that belived in a congregational approach to their religious governance. Similarly, land was divided (at first) so that people had shares in livestock and a division of strips of land (of various quality) according to how many were in the household. Eventually, this system proved unworkable as farming operations were fractured.
I believe this “socialistic” trend contiunues to this day in New England and is why so many of those states are so liberal.
__ | __|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | | __| | | | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | | |__|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | | |--Francis Cooke | | __ | | | __|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | __|__ | | | | | | |__| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | |__| | | __ | | | __|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | |__| | | __ | | | __|__ | | |__| | | __ | | |__|__
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The schools will make sure very few people know this.
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__ | __|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | __| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | | __| | | | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | | |__|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | | __|__ | | | | |__| | | | | __ | | | | |__|__ | | |--John Alden | (1599 - 1687) | __ | | | __|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | | __|__ | | | | | | |__| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | |__| | | __ | | | __|__ | | | __| | | | | | | __ | | | | | | |__|__ | | |__| | | __ | | | __|__ | | |__| | | __ | | |__|__
!SOURCE: LDS Ancestral File.
!IDENTITY: "The noted John Alden of the Mayflower in 1620." --J.G. Bartlett
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