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Meet The American Who Gave The Nation Our Thanksgiving Origin Story

via PBS

The Pilgrims’ arrival in America, their hardships, and their interactions with the Native Americans were all recorded by freedom seeker, Edward Winslow.

Edward Winslow’s significant role in providing a first-hand account of the Pilgrims’ experiences, including the first Thanksgiving, has given a first person perspective of what happened in the fall of 1620.

Plimoth Plantation was branded in 2020 as Plimoth Patuxet Museums. Director Tom Begley celebrated Winslow saying, “He’s a major figure in the Pilgrim story.”

Winslow’s writing is reportedly the only written record of what the Pilgrim’s experienced while initially settling in New England.

“He had the foresight to write down their story and share it with others,” Begley said, appreciately.

“Mourt’s Relation” includes Winslow’s letter to a friend and the description of a festive three-day jubilee in the fall of 1621, that championed “our harvest being gotten in.”

Winslow reportedly also describes being joined by a large group of Wampanoag natives to feast on hunted meat.

Additionally, it emphasizes the impact of disease on the Native population and the significance of Winslow’s writings in documenting this historic period.

“Winslow informed Massasoit that his people desired to have peace with him and engage in trading,” wrote historians James and Patricia Scott Deetz in their book, “The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love and Death in Plymouth Colony.”

“We have found the Indians very faithful in their covenant of peace with us,” wrote Winslow in “Mourt’s Relation.”

Adding, “We often go with them, and they come to us; some of us have been 50 miles by land in the country with them … We entertain them familiarly in our houses, and they as friendly bestowing their venison on us.”

Winlow’s description of the first feast with the Wampanaog people in 1621:

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after have a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the company almost a week, at which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days 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, and others.”

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