“There were only four English housewives that were alive in 1621, out of, I think, 20 that came on the While it’s not known whether the Plymouth colonists repeated the 1621 celebration in subsequent years, the tradition of giving thanks to God merged with celebrations of the harvest to become a fall tradition in New England by the late 1600s. Pumpkin pie would have been impossible, as the colony didn’t have butter, wheat flour or an oven. In fact, it took place over three days sometime between late September and mid-November in 1621, and was considered a harvest celebration. Nearly all of what historians have learned about the first Thanksgiving comes from a single eyewitness report: a letter written in December 1621 … “Basically it was to celebrate the end of a successful harvest,” says Tom Begley, the executive liaison for administration, research and special projects at A depiction of early settlers of the Plymouth Colony sharing a harvest Thanksgiving meal with members of the local Wampanoag tribe at the Plymouth Plantation.The Plymouth colonists were likely outnumbered more than two-to-one at the event by their Native American guests. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

All Rights Reserved. This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. Squanto showed them how to plant corn and fish on the land that had once belonged to his own tribe, who had been tragically wiped out by smallpox. In addition, so close to the sea, they had a plethora of shellfish, oysters, eels, lobster, and fish at their disposal and probably served smoked shellfish to their guests. The first attempt at establishing a national Thanksgiving holiday happened in 1789, when President George Washington advocated for a public day of … “We as native people [traditionally] have thanksgivings as a daily, ongoing thing," Linda Coombs, the former associate director of the Wampanoag program at Plimoth Plantation, In addition to venison (Winslow wrote that the Native Americans killed five deer and presented it to the colonists), Begley says that the group probably ate fish and shellfish, which were abundant in the region, as well as fruits and vegetables that the colonists grew in their home gardens. Whether the Pilgrims invited the native Wampanoag tribe to their feast has been debated, but the Indigenous people likely As you can gather from Winslow’s diary entry, the guest list for the first Thanksgiving ended up with So what did this rag-tag kitchen crew cook up during those fateful three days? As families around the country prepare to gather with family, eat turkey and perhaps partake in some Black Friday shopping, they might be surprised to learn how much we don’t know about the origins of the Nearly all of what historians have learned about the first Thanksgiving comes from a single eyewitness report: a letter written in December 1621 by Edward Winslow, one of the 100 or so people who sailed from England aboard the According to this account, the historic event didn’t happen on the fourth Thursday in November, as it does today—and it wasn’t known as Thanksgiving. Using what they had, along with contributions from the native Wampanoag tribe (Squanto's Patuxet was a band of this tribe), they celebrated with three days filled with food, military demonstrations, and games. Although prayers and thanks were probably offered at the 1621 harvest gathering, the first recorded religious Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth happened two years later in 1623.

Much of what we know as our modern-day Thanksgiving meal has been taken from many different cultures with small pieces of that original event included.The harvest event at Plimouth was sadly only a one-time affair, and it wouldn’t be until 1863 that President Lincoln would declared it a

“Some native historians have suggested that Massasoit and his men were in the area anyways, because at the end of the harvest was when they typically made their diplomatic rounds to other native groups. “For the English, before and after every meal there was a prayer of thanksgiving. Also, Massasoit commented to the Pilgrims in March of 1621 that they would be back to plant the corn on the south side of what we know as Town Brook in Plymouth. The National Thanksgiving Proclamation was the first formal proclamation of Thanksgiving in the United States. As for who prepared the food for the first Thanksgiving, Winslow’s account (like many contemporary sources) doesn’t offer much in the way of domestic details. Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving on December 18, 1777 and then in 1789, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November a national Thanksgiving as well. Unfortunately, they didn’t have potatoes or sweet potatoes because those hadn’t come up from South America yet, and while plain cranberries may have been part of the meal, cranberry sauce as we know it wouldn’t be a thing for another 50 years. “Giving thanks is really an important part of both cultures,” Begley says. Winslow’s account records “many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men.” Massasoit (who was actually named Ousemequin) was the sachem (leader) of the Pokanoket “We don't know for sure how it came about that they were there,” Begley says of the Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving. After a harsh winter, the Pilgrims had a banner harvest due in large part to the help of Squanto, a Native American of the Patuxet tribe who spoke English after years of being enslaved.

“Cabbage, carrot, cucumbers, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, pumpkins,” he lists. You may be able to find more information on their web site. These were merely declarations and not official holidays. Country Living editors select each product featured. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

But the significance of that first 1621 harvest celebration didn’t really emerge until the mid-19th century, after the writer Alexander Young rediscovered Winslow’s letter and made it famous in his 1841 book Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.The three-day feast was about giving thanks, but it wasn't much like today's holiday.© 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Fun fact:You will notice that the town Plymouth, Massachusetts is spelled differently than …