|Kids Reenacting the First Thanksgiving|
In the early days, the colonists received much help from the Indians. In the words of Governor William Bradford, an Indian named Tisquantum taught the colonists:
“how to set their corne, wher to take fish, and to procure other comodities, and was also their pilott to bring them to unknowne places for their profitt.”(Spelling as in original document - American Colonial Prose: John Smith to Thomas Jefferson (1607 - 1865) by Mary Ann Radzinowicz )
The first harvest of Indian corn was good, and the Pilgrims had success in hunting fowl. They (Puritans) were grateful to their God and decided to hold a three-day harvest festival. Massasoit and 90 of his braves came, bringing along five deer to add to the banquet. This is the most common historical version and this part is true. Unfortunately, these previously persecuted Pilgrims (Puritans) from Europe had mistakenly believed that it was their God had given them this destiny and God-given right to take over and occupy these lands in this New World. This same justification of course was played out over the next few centuries by Europeans seeking fame and fortune and looking to provide ligitmacy of the most horrific actions taken against other human beings during the height of Imperial Colonialism across the planet.
(see also: An American Thanksgiving)
|The Granger Collection, New York|
(Source material below)
Metacom, also called Metacomet, King Philip, or Philip of Pokanoket (born c. 1638, Massachusetts - died August 12, 1676, Rhode Island), sachem (intertribal leader) of a confederation of indigenous peoples that included the Wampanoag and Narraganset. Metacom led one of the most costly wars of resistance in New England history, known as King Philip's War (1675 - 1676).
Metacom was the second eldest son of Massasoit, a Wampansoag sachem who had managed to keep peace with English colonizers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island for many decades. Upon Massasoit's death (1661) and that of his eldest son Wamsutta (English name Alexander), the following year, Metacom became sachem. He succeeded to the position during a period characterized by increasing exchanges of Indian land for English guns, ammunition, liquor, and blankets. He recognized that these sales threatened indigenous sovereignty and was further disconcerted by the humiliations to which he and his people were continually subjected by the colonizers. He was, for example, summoned to Taunton in 1671 and required to sign a new peace agreement that included the surrender of Indian guns.
Metacom's dignity and steadfastness both impressed and frightened the settlers, who eventually demonized him as a menace that could not be controlled. For 13 years he kept the region's towns and villages on edge with fear of an Indian uprising. Finally, in June 1675, violence erupted when three Wampanoag warriors were executed by Plymouth authorities for the murder of John Sassamon, a tribal informer. Metacom's coalition, comprising the Wampanoag, Narraganset, Aenaki, Nipmuck, and Mohawk, was at first victorious. However, after a year of savage fighting during which some 3,000 Indians and 600 colonists were killed, food became scarce, and the indigenous alliance began to disintegrate. Seeing that defeat was imminent, Metacom returned to his ancestral home at Mount Hope, where he was betrayed by an informer and killed in a final battle. He was beheaded and quartered and his head displayed on a pole for 25 years at Plymouth.
|Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving Day Feast Painting|
Now I have no problem with others doing what they wish and the reasons why on this particular day. Ultimately it is none of my business what other folks do, but my choice is a conscience matter. So normally during this time of year I basically leave well enough alone. I do definitely enjoy that food combo at other times, multiple times in fact. Can we all agree there is no other better food combo during cold winter months ? Well, with the exception of Mexican food through out the rest of the year. I get together with family and friends regularly and not just one or two special days of the year. I'm thankful every day for the positives in life now and what will be, despite the negativity brought to us by this world's Media News Reports - 24/7. On a positive note, I do have something to say about Cranberries & Lingonberries and the identical environment and ecosystem from which both came from. I've also other things to say about the Native Americans way of life which first interested me as far as our natural world and living off the land. My facination with Native Plants of the Southwest can be attributed to learning much about how the indigenous peoples used them. But in so many ways (mostly negative), the early Americans were identical to those explorer Europeans in their treatment of one another. I am well aware of this romanticized notion of the Natives as being the ultimate in conservation and land stewardship, but there is actually more to that story which has been generally exaggerated and embellished by many environmental organizations who have found the Native Americans as nothing more than a useful tool in furthering their political and worldview agendas on the rest of mankind.
Some Further Reference Reading of interest on Native Americans:
Q & A from website Allexperts.com
"I Welcome Questions - I Hate Assumptions," by Chris Clarke - *cough-cough* - I mean by 'Red Haircrow'