North Carolina Newspapers

    Volume XXXVI—No. 48.
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Late in March of 1621 concluded a peace treaty with the Indians which was to last for fifty years.
THE FIRST THANKSGIVING celebrated at Plymouth in 1621 was a
harvest festival, a gathering of family, friends and neighbors, and a time of games
and feasting.
Almost half of the original 102 Pilgrims had survived the first winter. They
had labored long and hard to build a village and plant crops. When their harvest
was gathered, they celebrated.
In wr'ting to a friend in England describing the First Thanksgiving, one of
the Pilgrims said: “Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor William Bradford
sent four men on fowling; so that we might after a more special manner, rejoice
together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labours. They four, on one day,
killed as much fowl as, with a little help besides served the company almost a week.”
“And among the rest, their (the Indians) greatest king, Massasoit, with some
ninety nu n, whom sof r Three'rrvrys r we entertained and feasted,'and they went out
„and killed five deer; which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our
Governor, and upon the Captain (Myles Standish) and others.”
In describing this Thanksgiving, which set the pattern for the traditional
American celebration, other writers tell of foot racing, wrestling, exercising arms
(infantry drill) and pitching the bar.
These scenes were acted out by citizens of Plymouth, Massachusetts, many of
whom are descendants of those who celebrated the First Thanksgiving. Appropri
ately enough, the setting was at Plimoth Plantation, an outdoor museum where the
first Pilgrim settlement is being re-created.
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Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, Thursday, November 27, 1969.
When the multi-colored
flint corn, which the Indians
had taught the Pilgrims to
plant, was harvested it had
to be shelled and ground
into a meal.
When it was time to carve
the bird, there were plenty
of spectators.
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The Indians were invited to join the Pilgrims in celebrating a bountiful harvest.
Although the First
Thanksgiving was a harvest
festival, the Pilgrims blessed
their food and thanked God
for a bountiful harvest.
Athletic events and con
tests of skill between Pil
grims and Indians made for
another part of our Thanks
giving tradition.
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Single Copy 10 Cents

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