Skip to comments.History of the First Thanksgiving -- Berkeley Plantation
Posted on 11/24/2013 10:44:07 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
In 1963 President Kennedy recognized Berkeley Plantation as the site of the first official Thanksgiving when the small ship the Margaret landed at Harrison Landing on the James River (upstream from Jamestown) in 1619, carrying 38 men after a perilous journey from England.
The small group of carefully chosen craftsmen immediately marked their arrival on Dec. 4, 1619 with an act of Thanksgiving, led by their Captain, John Woodlief. They fell on their knees on the riverbank, and Captain Woodlief ordained that this day should be commemeorated annually as a day of Prayer and Thanksgiving.
This was not Captain Woodlief's first expedition to Virginia, as he had previously survived the "starving time" in Jamestown in 1609-10 when all but 60 of 500 original colonists died. The Berkeley Plantation Thanksgiving was always a religious event, rather than a feast as in the later Massachusetts commemoration which didn't start until 1622, a full 2 years after Berkeley.
(Excerpt) Read more at berkeleyplantation.com ...
This is not about George Washington, but is interesting nevertheless.
“The Good Ship Margaret” was only 35 feet long and carried 38 men on a perilous, 2 1/2 month long, Atlantic crossing.
The FIRST Thanksgiving was held 1619 in VIRGINIA, led by our own CAPT JOHN WOODLIEF of Peterly Manor, nr Prestwood, Gr Missenden, Bucks, Engl.
Thanksgiving at Berkley Plantation.
Despite the popular conception that New Englanders held the first Thanksgiving, the first Thanksgiving in English-speaking America actually took place in Virginia - more than a year before the Mayflower set sail for Plymouth.
Massachusetts-native President John F. Kennedy acknowledged Virginia’s claim in his official Thanksgiving Day Proclamation for 1963 - less than three weeks before his death; and 100 years before that, President Abraham Lincoln, who visited Berkeley once, also acknowledged Virginia’s first-Thanksgiving claim. To this day, Virginia continues to commemorate its noteworthy event the first Sunday each November at Berkeley Plantation, the original Thanksgiving site.
The First Thanksgiving at Berkeley
History records that the first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain John Woodlief - a veteran of Jamestown who had survived its “starving time” of 1608 and 1609 - led his crew and passengers from their ship to a grassy slope along the James River for the New World’s first Thanksgiving service on Dec. 4, 1619. There, the English colonists dropped to their knees and prayed as the British company expedition sponsor had instructed.
Good read of account of the first English Thanksgiving. There are those who say the first Thanksgiving, to include sharing of food with local Indians, was in St. Augustine, 1565.
Note that Berkeley is considered the first Thanksgiving to be celebrated in English. I also knew about St. Augustine, and it should be recognized also. Plimouth Colony has been stealing the Thanksgiving thunder for too long.
Imagine that. The New York Times taking another opportunity to denigrate America’s past. Not that there isn’t a cabal of posters here at FR who do the same on a regular basis.
The other crucial event that would play a role in the development of America was the arrival of Africans to Jamestown. A Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in 1619. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. The popular conception of a racial-based slave system did not develop until the 1680's.
ref:(A Brief History of Jamestown, The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Richmond, VA 23220, email: email@example.com, Web published February, 2000)
We already know about Indians and their practice of slavery, the potlatch slave killings, to display wealth, were the worst elements of it.
Indeed Pelham - Screw them and screw the NY Times.
As far as Thanksgiving...it was common practice after an endurance test.
But our Thanksgiving is special...It's thanks for all our gifts.
The Real Thanksgiving Story: A Failed Experiment in Socialism
By Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer
Nov. 23, 2011
The following is a reprint of a blog I posted a year ago during Thanksgiving week. The relevance of the story is so important - especially with what our country has experienced during the past three years. From the “Foundation for Economic Education” - 2007:
The Real Thanksgiving Story
In the middle of December 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, leaving behind the sinfulness of the old world to make a new Jerusalem in America. Three years later, in November 1623, they had a great feast thanking God for getting them through an earlier famine, and now for a bountiful crop.
What had created the earlier famine and then the bountiful crops? The story is told in the diary of Governor Bradford, who was one of the elders of that early Puritan colony.
At first, they decided to turn their back on all the institutions of the England that had been their home. This included the institution of private property, which they declared to be the basis of greed, averse, and selfishness. Instead, they were determined to live the Platonic ideal of collectivism, in which all work would be done in common, with the rewards of their collective efforts evenly divided among the colonists. Farming was done in common, as well as housekeeping and child raising. This was supposed to lead to prosperity and brotherly love.
But their experiment in collectivism did not lead to prosperity or brotherly love. Rather, it created poverty and envy and slothfulness among most of the members of this little society. (Hmmmm...sound familiar?)
Here is Bradfords description of what socialism created among the Pilgrims:
The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors everything else, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them.
And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take off the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.
For two years the harvest time failed to bring forth enough to feed the people. Indeed, many starved and many died of famine. Faced with this disaster, the elders of the colony gathered, Governor Bradford tells us, and decided that another year, and they would surely all die and disappear in the wilderness.
Instead, they decided to divide the property and fields of the colony, and gave each family a piece as their own. Whatever they did not use for their own consumption, they had the right to trade away to their neighbors for something they desired instead.
Now, instead of sloth, envy, resentment, and anger among the colonists, there was a great turnaround in their activities. Industry, effort, and joy were now seen in practically all that the men, women and children did. Bradford writes:
They had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the faces of things were changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.
Indeed, their bounty was so great, that they had enough to not only trade among themselves but also with the neighboring Indians in the forest. In November 1623, they had a great feast to which they also invited the Indians. They prepared turkey and corn, and much more, and thanked God for bringing them a bountiful crop. They, therefore, set aside a day of Thanksgiving.
So this Thursday, when we all sit down with our families and friends to enjoy the turkey and the trimmings, let us not forget that we are celebrating the establishment and triumph of capitalism and the spirit of enterprise in America!
Thanks for posting this, as I was unaware. Definitely will visit here on our next history tour of VA.
Yes and they suck
Several are deranged