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History[ edit ] Early thanksgiving observances[ edit ] Shrine of the first U. The first documented thanksgiving services in territory currently belonging to the United States were conducted by Spaniards   and the French  in the 16th century.
Wisdom practices such as expressing gratitude, sharing, and giving away, are integral to many indigenous cultures and communities. Thanksgiving services were routine in what became the Commonwealth of Virginia as early as with the first permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia holding a thanksgiving in External video The True Story of the First ThanksgivingAmerican ExperiencePBSNovember 24,  Harvest festival observed by the Pilgrims at Plymouth[ edit ] Americans also trace the Thanksgiving holiday to a celebration at the Plymouth Plantationwhere the settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season.
Autumn or early winter feasts continued sporadically in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance and later as a civil tradition. Squantoa Patuxet Native American who resided with the Wampanoag tribe, taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn and served as an interpreter for them.
Squanto had learned the English language during his enslavement in England. The Wampanoag leader Massasoit had given food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. The Pilgrims celebrated at Plymouth for three days after their first harvest in The exact time is unknown, but James Baker, the Plimoth Plantation vice president of research, stated in"The event occurred between Sept.
It included 50 persons who were on the Mayflower all who remained of the who had landed and 90 Native Americans.
Gaudens is based on his earlier work The Puritan Two colonists gave personal accounts of the feast in Plymouth. The Pilgrims, most of whom were Separatists English Dissentersare not to be confused with Puritanswho established their own Massachusetts Bay Colony on the Shawmut Peninsula current day Boston in Puritans wished to remain in the Anglican Church and reform it, while the Pilgrims wanted complete separation from the church.
William Bradfordin Of Plymouth Plantation wrote: They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty.
For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion.
All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they can be used but afterward decreased by degrees. And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc.
Besides, they had about a peck a meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to the proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.
The painting shows common misconceptions about the event that persist to modern times: Pilgrims did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Native Americans from the Great Plains.
Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor.
They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others.
And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
William DeLoss Love calculates that this thanksgiving was made on Wednesday, July 30,a day before the arrival of a supply ship with more colonists,  but before the fall harvest. And afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing.
For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving… By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine now God gave them plenty … for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had … pretty well … so as any general want or famine had not been amongst them since to this day.
By the eighteenth century the original booklet appeared to be lost or forgotten.
A copy was rediscovered in Philadelphia inwith the first full reprinting in In a footnote the editor, Alexander Young, was the first person to identify the feast as the first Thanksgiving. Kennedy issued Proclamation on November 5, stating, "Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and in Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving.
On the appointed day, they gave reverent thanks for their safety, for the health of their children, for the fertility of their fields, for the love which bound them together and for the faith which united them with their God. The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress in from its temporary location in York, Pennsylvaniawhile the British occupied the national capital at Philadelphia.
Delegate Samuel Adams created the first draft.United States Government. Learn about the form and functions of the US government with detailed articles, extensive study guides, homework helpers, and clear, unbiased analysis of politics and policy.
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