Letter to the Editor

Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Editor,

When Thanksgiving arrives, I think about the Mayflower and its brave passengers who left Plymouth, England, Sept. 16, 1620.

Arriving at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nov. 20, 1620, they began a whole new life. Dec. 26, 1620, they anchored their ship at the location where they decided to establish the Plymouth Colony.

Immediately, winds howled and a snow fell. They shivered as they built shelters out of tree bark. Half of them died that first terrible winter. It seemed like spring would never come in 1621. They were startled when Samoset (1590?-1655) walked into their settlement.

He spoke a few English words that he had learned from sailors along the coast of Maine. A couple of days later, he brought Squanto of the Pawtuxet tribe to converse with them. Samoset was a chief of the Pemaquid Indians.

Squanto was an answer to the Pilgrims' prayers. He spoke fluent English. As a teenager, he was kidnapped by British sailors. They sold him as a slave in Spain. He managed to escape to London, England. In 1619, he returned to Cape Cod.

His village was located at the site where the Plymouth Colony stood. When he returned from England, it was empty. All his people had died from diseases spread to them by English sailing crews.

When the Pilgrims were struggling to survive, he showed them how to plant corn and fish the Indian way. He acted as an interpreter when John Carver was negotiating a peace treaty with Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe in southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. (Carver, the governor of the Plymouth colony, had learned that Squanto knew a variety of Indian dialects.)

Some of the Wampanoag Indians attended New England's first Thanksgiving feast, which was held some time in October or November of 1621. My ancestor, John Adams from Wales, may have also been there. He arrived at Plymouth Nov. 9, 1621, on a ship called "the Fortune."

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

Comments
View 25 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • Dear Helen Ruth Arnold,

    You have your history a little correct, but lets remember all the Wampanoag tribe that was wipe out by those Pilgrims. Only an handful made it out of the massaced that those pilgrims did onto Wampanoag tribe. After their so called First Thanksgiving feast. If you wanted to talk about history thats my history to you the first massaced of indian tribes. If you don't believe me look it up. So your thankful for the pilgrims massaced a tribe that help them find and learn to hunt and plant crops. So maybe next time you want to talk about real history do your homework first before telling half of it and not telling what happen after the first thanksgiving feast.

    -- Posted by AmberLea on Tue, Nov 15, 2011, at 1:59 PM
  • Might also be well to remember that the Mayflower passengers were originally bound for settlement in northern Virginia, their patent was from the Virginia company but they got lost in the height of the north Atlantic Winter storm season and ran short of beer so they had to put ashore to brew more. The story we get is more like the line quoted to the young newspaperman from the movie The Man who shot Liberty Valance "when the legend becomes fact print the legend".

    -- Posted by davis_x_machina on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 8:22 AM
  • So.... If the history books are flawed to heightened degrees, where do the esteemed historians, AmberLea & davis x get their info from I wonder.

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 11:38 AM
  • The attacks on the Wampanoag tribe didn't occur until over 50 years past the first thanksgiving.

    Interesting about the beer though, never heard of this.

    -- Posted by bberry on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 1:27 PM
  • The first 2 post are called fiction. In some circles they are called lies.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Fri, Nov 18, 2011, at 10:20 PM
  • There is partial truth to both.

    -- Posted by bberry on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 8:09 AM
  • There is a lot of revisionist mush being portrayed a theory based on no facts at all. Here is what we do know. The original pilgrims were Puritans. They were a much hated and maligned followers of Jesus Christ who did not conform to the then views on Christianity held by the English Monarchy. After years of persecution and mockery, the a small group of Puritans left in search of a new beginning.

    The Puritans, despite the mockery and lies, viewed intoxicants and a poison, there for totally abstained from it. Therefore we can flush davis_x_machina's theory down the toilet.

    Upon arriving onto the North American continent, the Puritans encountered a terribly harsh winter. They stayed on board the Mayflower on to see half of them starve to death. That spring, they met an English speaking Native who welcomed them and taught them to cultivate crops. That fall, they shared their harvest, with the Puritans giving thanks for their Lord, Jesus Christ. Hence the term, Thanksgiving.

    After this, more immigrants from Europe had arrived and the massacre ensued. The Puritans were not responsible for the slaughter as AmberLea's theory goes. Yet another flushing.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • Those traveling to the Americas would consume beer as water was considered unsafe, including the Puritans. They also eventually began to grow tabacco for a cash crop.

    -- Posted by bberry on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 3:10 PM
  • I am unable to find where the Puritans drank beer on the Mayflower. If you can locate the source, I would greatly appreciate it. Tobacco production came later with the decline of the Puritan influence.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Sat, Nov 19, 2011, at 9:47 PM
  • I think you may have misunderstood how the Puritans viewed alcohol. They were not against intoxicants, they were against being intoxicated.

    Here's a few links. I suppose you could argue credibility but there are many other links I chose to avoid for this reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puritan

    http://www.castri.org/barexam.htm

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2349420/what_foods_did_the_pilgrims_bri...

    http://forum.teamxbox.com/archive/index.php/t-457135.html

    -- Posted by bberry on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 7:36 AM
  • I stand corrected. Thank you.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 8:13 AM
  • The entire point of Thanksgiving is to thank the Lord for all He has given us. And to thank Him for the surplus to share with others. That is a brief summary of God's testimony.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 6:31 PM
  • Well in that case CPB I will be sure to thank all the other fairy tale characters out there.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 4:39 PM
  • Please do so carlsonl.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Wed, Nov 23, 2011, at 8:40 PM
  • Giving thanks to God and or whatever it is you take a stand with spiritually or otherwise, giving thanks to family and friends, giving thanks to employers and clients, teachers and firemen..... It wouldn't hurt you carlson. You don't have to give thanks to the tooth fairy to take advantage of this day of giving thanks. And from your comment, it would appear that you are not a believer of God, as you compared Him to a fairy tale character, I find it agitating that due to all this political correctness garbage, government agencies can't use the word Christmas, but there is no worries when someone decides to pop onto a comments page just to denounce God. Really, what did you think you would find in this story "Thanksgiving" other than an opportunity to voice your negative opinion?

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 3:49 AM
  • Well to be honest I was hoping to find atleast a couple people that didn't believe in a fairy tale book about an all powerful being that was so board he created a pathetic thing like man. To all you right winged religous nuts I would ask this if God created everything who or what created god. Or did he/she just pop out of nothing like the fairy god mother. I am sorry if it offends you that I don't have to believe in a mythilogical being to live the best life I can. We are no different then any other mammal on earth. We just happened to win the evolution race and developed advanced brains. To bad we don't use them and are so fearful of our existence and inevitable death that almost every culture had to come up with supernatural being to give everything meaning. If you do truely believe in a god how come so many gods have existed throughout history. If a god does exist you better hope you chose the true one and not a false one. Me myself I will enjoy life for what it is and waste my time hoping the fairy tale stories in a book are true.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 7:11 AM
  • *not waste

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 7:12 AM
  • I see we are dealing with the truly ignorant. There is nothing in the Bible that could have possibly led you to this conclusion. How can it possibly be that we were merely lucky and won the evolutionary race. What were the circumstances that led us to where we are now? Or, perhaps we were created to be this way.

    Those of us who follow Jesus Christ, know through our faith and obedience, a better life exists. Not just for us, but our children. Reread your rant above, can you say the same?

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. In everything, Praise the Lord!

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 9:15 AM
  • so I guess because you are right roughly 6 billion others are wrong?

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 9:22 AM
  • Carlson, I would much rather believe in God and be wrong than not believe in Him and be wrong. But in the end, this one is all your choice, so choose wisely, and when you cease to wake up in the morning, all your questions will be answered. Good luck with that.

    Oh, and by the way, many religions believe in the same God although they may call Him by different names, its the details that they disagree on, but examine this:

    Every religion that recognizes a God, also recognize that God's counterpart. Heaven and Hell, a rose by any other name still smells as sweet.

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 11:04 AM
  • I will not even get into the hypocracy of your last statement Nick.

    Probably be best if we agree to disagree.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 11:09 AM
  • Go ahead..... Get into the hypocrisy of it. I don't believe I have displayed hypocrisy at all so I'm interested to see what you've got.

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 4:19 PM
  • I'm guessing it's the way you chose to phrase the sentence. "Every religion that recognizes a God".

    Rather than saying every religion recognizes the same God of Abraham, or simply that they recognize God and it is how the view the details.

    Not really hypocrisy, but a contradiction in terms.

    -- Posted by bberry on Thu, Nov 24, 2011, at 6:44 PM
  • In the end, it was the God of Abraham that the Puritan's gave thanks to. They thanked Him for all He delivered to them. It is through Jesus Christ, that all this is possible.

    As Christmas nears, thank Him again.

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Sun, Nov 27, 2011, at 6:20 PM
  • Carlsonl, I have to wonder why you care so much about what someone believes in. Of course, I'm always a bit confused by why people who believe in nothing- religion-wise, of course- are so opposed to people believing in something, and work so hard to belittle their beliefs. Please don't use the "they won't quit bothering me about it" or a similar defense, because you're the one who started the "****-stirring" this time. It certainly wasn't very "open-minded" to start this discussion the way you did, either.

    -- Posted by bjo on Tue, Nov 29, 2011, at 11:05 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: