On this date… Thanksgiving, 1621… Massachusetts

Here is the account of the “first Thanksgiving”.

Memories of the People

Here is the original account of the first Thanksgiving.

But first, a little context.  The Pilgrims arrived the previous December, finally settling in the abandoned Indian village of Patuxet.  A year or two earlier, the village – and many like it along the New England coast – had been wiped out by an unknown contagion undoubtedly acquired from other European traders.  The disease hit so hard that the people of Patuxet could not even bury all their dead.  After clearing out the skeletons, the Pilgrims moved into their homes and replanted their corn fields.  They had the help of Tisquantum, a native of Patuxet, who was just returning home after years in Europe, having been kidnapped twice, sold into slavery in Spain, and raised a family in England.

Despite Tisquantum’s assistance, life in a new North American settlement typically meant starvation for half the colonists in their first year.  The…

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