Following are excerpts from A Thanksgiving Lesson, by Chip Wood: [emphasis added to quotes]
Did you know that our Pilgrim forefathers tried communism when they first landed at Plymouth Rock? …
The Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 were incredibly brave and hardy souls. They were motivated by the noblest of virtues. They vowed, each and every one, to be as selfless as possible—to always put the needs of the group first. They agreed to own everything in common and to share everything equally.
And their naïve piety almost killed the entire colony. …
There were 102 passengers on board the Mayflower—50 men, 20 women and 32 children—along with a crew of 40. The captain set a course along the 42nd parallel, a bearing that would carry him to Cape Cod. From there he intended to swing south and follow the coast to northern Virginia.
A little over two months later, on Nov. 19, land was finally sighted and the captain turned the ship south, toward Virginia. However, they soon encountered such “dangerous shoals and roaring breakers” that they turned back to Massachusetts. It was then that the grumblings of dissent turned into a full-fledged roar. Many of the passengers insisted on landing in Massachusetts, where “none had power to command them.”
The Pilgrim leaders decided to meet the explosive situation by asking each male on board, except for the crew, to sign a formal document that would lay “the first foundation of their government in this place.” Thus the Mayflower Compact was born. …
Because provisions were so scanty they decided that the land would be worked in common, produce would be owned in common, and goods would be rationed equally. Not unlike the society Karl Marx envisioned of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
Unfortunately, thanks to illness, injury and attitude, the system did not work. Pilferage from the storehouse became common. Suspicions of malingering were muttered. Over the course of that first, harsh winter, nearly half of the colonists perished. …
The colonists struggled desperately for two more years. When spring arrived in April 1623, virtually all of their provisions were gone. Unless that year’s harvest improved, they feared few would survive the next winter. The Pilgrim leaders decided on a bold course. The colony would abandon its communal approach and permit each person to work for his own benefit, not for the common good. …
Once they replaced communal efforts with individual responsibility the differences were dramatic—and life-saving. Men went into the fields earlier and stayed later. In many cases, their wives and even their children (some barely past the toddler stage) worked right alongside them. More acres were planted, more trees were felled, more houses were built, and more game was slaughtered because of one simple change: People were allowed to keep the fruits of their own labors.
Our current administration reminds us of the importance of ensuring that our “entire colony” is not killed off by communism.
Following are excerpts from a website that recounts the familiar legend of the first Thanksgiving:
In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer.
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.
The story, as interpreted at that website, makes no mention of the Pilgrims’ failed experiment with communism, although it does take pains to mention that the Spanish may have actually celebrated the “first” Thanksgiving, in Florida, and that some “Native Americans” as well as others believe that
the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions …
altogether failing to mention the long and bloody history of conflict between and among Native American tribes that resulted in deaths, displacement, or slavery of at least thousands, if not many more. Besides which, conflicts between Native Americans and European settlers did not alone result in the deaths of millions, although diseases introduced by each group to the other group doubtless played a much larger role in the deaths that did occur.
Wars between and among various Native American tribes were going on even as the Pilgrims landed, as Powhatan consolidated his “empire“. These conflicts and numerous other intertribal battles over the millenia resulted in death, slavery, or the displacement of many thousands of Native Americans westward, which explains how Eastern and Great Lakes tribes ended up in the Midwest or the Dakotas.
Long before Columbus arrived, particularly in the 1300s, intertribal warfare was common. Such are the inconvenient truths that the politically correct downplay or simply ignore, as they rewrite history.
In politically correct history, Powhatan didn’t conquer other tribes through violence and subjugation. No, he somehow simply “added” tribes to his “fold”. We might imagine that he peacefully community organized them into his “confederacy”.
Confederacy. Association. Fold. These words sound so much better–kinder and gentler–than empire, don’t they? Nevertheless, Wikipedia does tell us that Powhatan extracted tribute from his so-called allies. Tribute is paid by forcefully subjugated peoples in empires.
Here’s another example: Navajo didn’t invade Hopi lands; they “migrated” from Canada and points north and “entered” the Southwest in order to strike up a “long relationship with Pueblo people.” Truth? What does your common sense tell you?
One wonders what the politically correct make of the Windover population of Florida, which DNA analysis has shown consisted of 168 (or 169) persons of European ancestry who lived on this continent over 7000 years ago, sharing with contemporaneous European populations not only DNA but also cultural artifacts like woven cloth and stone tools. A tool found with a similar population in Virginia consists of flint that originated in France.
Did the ancestors of the Windover people thank their Creator when they arrived safely in the New World thousands of years before their descendants lived in Florida? Were the Windover ancestors waiting to greet the Asians who walked over the “land bridge” and became the “Native Americans”? Were the Windover people wiped out by the newly arrived “Native Americans” through warfare, competition, or forced assimilation?
There’s another inconvenient truth for you: More and more archaeological sites are popping up in the Americas, suggesting via cultural artifacts as well as DNA and morphological evidence that the traditional “First Nations” may not have truly been “first”.
As a result, the politically correct supported legislation that gives control of cultural patrimony as well as the human remains from ancient sites to traditional “Native American” tribes, on the assumption that they represent the descendants of these populations. This law too often results in scientists being delayed or even prevented from analyzing the origin of some human remains, such as Kennewick Man.
So there’s controversy over the first Thanksgiving and there’s controversy over the first “Americans”. We Americans are, and always have been, a scrappy lot. One important lesson to be learned: Always keep an open mind.
In any case, historians remind us, quite accurately, that most cultures around the world celebrate a harvest festival.
And so today, We the People of the United States of America, all of us, no matter our ancestry, give thanks to our Creator for His bounty and, above all, we thank Him for the blessings bestowed upon our beloved Republic, unique among nations in the history of this world.
Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving
to all of our friends, and Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to those who don’t consider themselves to be our friends.