Thanksgiving Essay examples

588 Words 3 Pages
The truth behind the tradition is surprising. Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims seem to go together, but the truth is, the Pilgrims never held an autumnal Thanksgiving feast. However the Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621, after their first harvest, and it is this feast, which people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving". This feast was never repeated, though, so it can't be called the beginning of a tradition, nor was it termed by the colonists or "Pilgrims" a Thanksgiving Feast. In fact, a day of thanksgiving was a day of prayer and fasting, and would have been held any time that they felt an extra day of thanks was called for. Nevertheless, the 1621 feast has become a model that we think of for our own …show more content…
The truth of the matter is, when the Pilgrims arrived, they found an abandoned Wampanoag village and moved right in. In 1618, a massive epidemic of an unknown disease left by English explorers swept across Wampanoag country and decimated many of the villages. This epidemic caused the death of ten to thirty percent of the total population and all but a few of the 2,000 people of the village of Patuxet. When the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, they landed at Patuxet with no idea of what had occurred. At this point, there were only about 2,000 members left in the Wampanoag tribe, down from 12,000 in 1600. Despite the incredible losses to his people, Wampanoag leader Massasoit and 90 of his men sat down for a harvest celebration offered by the white men. For three days the Wampanoag and Pilgrims feasted on deer, wild turkey, fish, beans, squash, corn and other foods native to North America. Although the celebration was good-natured, this event truly signifies the beginning of a drastic decline of native culture and Thanksgiving would be more fittingly observed as a day of mourning rather than a celebration. In the years that followed, skirmishes occurred and more Native Americans were killed. In 1637, English soldiers massacred 700 Pequot men, women and children as an example of the English way of war, yet we still celebrate Thanksgiving as a joyful event. So, as we sit down for our Thanksgiving dinner,
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