Skip to comments.The Real Story of Thanksgiving [From Rush Limbaugh]
Posted on 11/26/2013 7:36:48 AM PST by Red Badger
RUSH: Now time for a tradition, an annual tradition, and that is The Real Story of Thanksgiving from my book that I wrote back in the early nineties. I wrote two of them, actually. In one of the books I wrote, The Real Story of Thanksgiving. And reading from it has become something we do every year on the program because it's still not taught. The myth of Thanksgiving is still what is taught, and that myth is basically that a bunch of thieves from Europe arrived quite by accident at Plymouth Rock, and if it weren't for the Indians showing them how to grow corn and slaughter turkeys and how to swallow and stuff, that they would have died of starvation and so forth. The Indians were great -- and then, in a total show of appreciation, we totally wiped out the Indians!
We took their country from 'em. We started racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia; spread syphilis; and, basically, destroyed the environment. That is the multicultural version of Thanksgiving, and it simply isn't true. The real version of Thanksgiving is in my second best-seller, 2.5 million copies in hardback: See, I Told You So. "Chapter 6, Dead White Guys, or What the History Books Never Told You: The True Story of Thanksgiving -- The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century ... The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs." In England.
So, "A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.
"And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found -- according to Bradford's detailed journal -- a cold, barren, desolate wilderness." The New York Jets had just lost to the Patriots. "There were no friends to greet them, he wrote." I just threw that in about the Jets and Patriots. "There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.
"Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of" the Bible, "both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well." Everything belonged to everybody. "They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.
"Nobody owned anything." It was a forerunner of Occupy Wall Street. Seriously. "They just had a share in it," but nobody owned anything. "It was a commune, folks." The original pilgrim settlement was a commune. "It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California," and Occupy Wall Street, "and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way." There's no question they were organic vegetables. What else could they be? "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage," as they saw fit, and, "thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism.
"And what happened? It didn't work!" They nearly starved! "It never has worked! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." If it were, there wouldn't be any Occupy Wall Street. There wouldn't be any romance for it.
"The experience that we had in this common course and condition,'" Bradford wrote. "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote." This was his way of saying, it didn't work, we thought we were smarter than everybody, everybody was gonna share equally, nobody was gonna have anything more than anything else, it was gonna be hunky-dory, kumbaya. Except it doesn't work. Because of half of them didn't work, maybe more. They depended on the others to do all the work. There was no incentive.
"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For 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,'" without being paid for it, "'that was thought injustice.'" They figured it out real quick. Half the community is not working -- living off the other half, that is. Resentment built. Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? that's what he was saying. So the Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the under-girding capitalistic principle of private property.
"Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' ... Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes," it did. "Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you're laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians." This is what happened. After everybody had their own plot of land and were allowed to market it and develop it as they saw fit and got to keep what they produced, bounty, plenty resulted.
"And then they set up trading posts, stores. They exchanged goods with and sold the Indians things. Good old-fashioned commerce. They sold stuff. And there were profits because they were screwing the Indians with the price. I'm just throwing that in. No, there were profits, and, "The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London." The Canarsie tribe showed up and they paid double, which is what made the Canarsie tribe screw us in the "Manna-hatin" deal years later. (I just threw that in.) They paid off the merchant sponsors back in London with their profits, they were selling goods and services to the Indians. "[T]he success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans," what was barren was now productive, "and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'
But this story stops when the Indians taught the newly arrived suffering-in-socialism Pilgrims how to plant corn and fish for cod. That's where the original Thanksgiving story stops, and the story basically doesn't even begin there. The real story of Thanksgiving is William Bradford giving thanks to God," the pilgrims giving thanks to God, "for the guidance and the inspiration to set up a thriving colony," for surviving the trip, for surviving the experience and prospering in it. "The bounty was shared with the Indians." That's the story. "They did sit down" and they did have free-range turkey and organic vegetables. There were no trans fats, "but it was not the Indians who saved the day. It was capitalism and Scripture which saved the day," as acknowledged by George Washington in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, which I also have here.
RUSH: I want to quickly tell you about one passenger on the Mayflower, a guy named Francis Eaton. He was a carpenter. He was not one of the Pilgrims. He was another passenger. He was a carpenter. He died in 1633, 13 years after they landed at Plymouth, and here's what he left in his will: "One cow, one calf, two hogs, 50 bushels of corn, a black suit, a white hat, a black hat, boots, saws, hammers, square augers, a chisel, fishing lead, and some kitchen items" and his season tickets for the Redskins-Cowboys game. No, no, seriously. This is the estate of one of the men who probably built many of the houses for the first settlers. Very modest. But it shows what he saw as wealth back then. By the way, the life expectancy back then was not much. Not compared to today. And just remember, they were not eating trans fats, and they didn't live as long as we do today.
George Washington in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789:
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I don’t usually say much against the Pilgrims...but from a planning standpoint...whoever was the guy to say leaving in the fall was a brilliant idea...was dead wrong to arrive on the Cape in November. I would have delayed leaving for five months.
Interesting to think that in 1633 terms, the carpenter who had accumulated not only the necessities of life but the tools and knowledge by which to sustain himself, was indeed wealthy. How many could say the same today?
Although even his version is not completely accurate, it is close based on everything I’ve found. I discovered a lot researching my 5th great-grandfather who arrived on the Mayflower, one of the signers of the compact and a friend of Bradford. He signed on with his family as one of the “strangers” who were not Puritans but who was a religious man. He had previously sailed to Jamestown and on returning to England decided to come back on the Mayflower. He had experience in dealing with the Indians in Virginia and was one of the chief negotiators with the tribes at Plymouth. Yes, the socialist experiment failed but most did not truly starve because of the agreements he and others set up with the tribe and because not everyone adhered to the socialist plan, knowing that it would fail. The celebration was a thanks to God along with their tribal neighbors that they had survived and were prospering. Not everyone who came over were helpless non-farmers. Many had the experience to build a life but considering the time of year that they landed, the first year was certainly going to be difficult. This was also a thanks to God that celebrated perserverance and hard work. Based on what has been written of the passage, it was probably more trying than establishing a working colony. Many died enroute and some were born at sea as was my ancestor’s son Oceanus.
As in everything, there were political reasons behind the decision.............
A Thanksgiving Reflection
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This Thanksgiving, Give Thanks For What You Have And For What You Have Lost!
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Prayer for the Church and for Civil Authorities
Giving Thanks for the Hard Things in Life
100 Reasons to be Thankful, Even in Hard Times
Let Us Give Thanks (even in these difficult times)
The idea that the settlers just came in and squatted (and hence stole) the land they occupied is a bogus modern notion.
The Miracle of America
axes and hoes to high technology;
log cabins to air-conditioned condos;
horsedrawn wagons to autos, planes, and rockets;
scarcity to abundance; &
from tyrannical government rule to individual liberty
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
Most of our history books dont tell us that, in the beginning, the pilgrims established a communal economic system. Each was to produce according to his ability and contribute his production to a common storehouse from which each was to draw according to his need.
The assurance that they would be fed from the common store, regardless of their contribution to it, had a peculiarly disabling effect on the colonists. Taking property away from some and giving it to others bred discontent and retarded employment. Human nature was the same then as now, and before long, there were more consumers than there were producers, and the pilgrims were near starvation. Governor Bradford, his advisors, and the colonists agreed that in order to increase their crops, each family would be allowed to do as it pleased with whatever it produced. In other words, a free market system was established. In Governor Bradfords own words:
This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted than other waise would have bene by any means ye Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave farr better contente. The women now wente willingly into ye field, and tooke their little-ons with them to set corne, which before would aledg weaknes, and inabilitie; whom to have compelled would have bene though great tiranie and oppression. . . . By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed. . . . and some of ye abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any generall wante or famine hath not been amongst them since this day . . . . (Wm. Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation, original manuscript, Wright & Potter, Boston, 1901)
Those who, today, favor central government planning, common ownership and redistribution of the earnings of others are advocating a system that Americans tried and rejected over 350 years ago. Their wisdom gave birth to the great American miracle!
Are we as wise today?
You Can Do Something About This!
(This message originally was published in the mid-1980s as a "free enterprise" message by a former NC textile firm. For more essays in this series, visit www.ouragelessconstitution.com )
It was not their intent to "arrive on the Cape". Their intended destination was farther south. The arrival a Plymouth was due to the vagaries of nature and navigation.
My ancestors arrived in the second wave (1630), and they didn't fare much better, making landfall in a swamp and at a goodly distance from the original landfall, and being dumped ashore by their vessel. They had to be "rescued" by later ships in the flotilla.
They left earlier in the year, with two ships, the Speedwell was leaky and not sea worthy. Had to return to England, twice, southhampton I believe, reload everything on the Mayflower and set sail again. Lost valuable time. Whether true or not, they were shooting for Virginia and landed further north than they wanted. Have a little book regarding the pilgrims. Might have to read it again. Mayflower, the voyage from hell. By Kevin Jackson.
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Hey...my relatives came in the next wave also, 1630’s...landed in what was then kennybunkport, now kennybunk ME.
Bookmarking for posterity.
What ship?? Mine were in the "Mary and John". You realize, of course, that we are probably related, as it was a small population in a small locale.....sooooo......... A friend of mine's ancestors were on the "Arabella", and there are several "cross-fertilzations" between our family trees over the years.