William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation has traditionally been the primary source for our knowledge of the Pilgrims, their voyage in the Mayflower, their landing at Plymouth Plantation, their first encounters with Native Americans, and the growth of the colony into the cultural and intellectual center of the early British American colonies. But it disappoints many when it comes to the actual Thanksgiving. Book II, Chapter XII: Anno 1621 relates the first Thanksgiving. There is no mention of the typical Pilgrim legend.
What we know of the original Thanksgiving comes from Mourt’s Relation, a history written later. The actual date of the first was December 11, 1621. The abundance of meat and corn was such that the Pilgrims could entertain Massasoit and about ninety of his people for three days of feasting and games.
I wish all a glorious Thanksgiving for 2015. I thank all who have been keeping up with my blog postings relating to William Bradford and the Pilgrims. Stay tuned Wednesday for Part 2 of this post.