Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pilgrims, Indians, Turkeys - Hold the Genocide

It's that time of year again, Thanksgiving. We all know the story. The Pilgrims invite the neighbors, the Wampanoags, to dinner on Thursday. The Pilgrims served dry turkey, soggy stuffing, lumpy mashed potatoes and runny turkey gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, round molded jellied cranberries, cardboard tube biscuits, pies of pumpkin and mincemeat. Mmmmm.

When all were fed to bursting, they settled back to enjoy a ballgame between the Redskins and Cowboys.

Then the genocidal mayhem began.

Not quite.

We have only one source for the events of 1621 Plymouth, sometime between September 21 or 22 when a group of Plymouth men returned from Massachusetts, and November 9 when the ship Fortune arrived. Pilgrim Edward Winslow wrote a letter dated December 11, 1621 to a friend in England. Winslow wrote -

"Our Corne did proue well, & God be praysed, we had a good increase of Indian Corne, and our Barly indifferent good, but our Pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sowne, they came vp very well, and blossomed, but the Sunne parched them in the blossome; our harvest being gotten in, our Governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together, after we had ..."
Whoa! That's too hard to read. Coming from England, you'd think the Pilgrims could write English. A modern translation is easier -
Our corn did prove well, and, God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom.

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor
[William Bradford] sent four men on fowling, that so we might after 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, among other recreations, we exercised our Arms [fired guns in target shooting], 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 upon our governor, and upon the captain [of the Fortune or of the militia is not clear], and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
Then the genocidal mayhem began?

Well, no. Although the liberal history rewriters would have us believe the first Thanksgiving was just to fatten-up the Indians Native Americans Amerindians - actually, Indians prefer "Indian" - Indians for the planned genocidal mayhem. There was never a plan to ethnically cleanse the land or an official war of extermination despite hundreds of mutually assured massacres over nearly 400 years.

In this one year, 1621, white Europeans and Northeast Indians got together for several days of eating, sleeping, talking, playing, and a general good time. Of all the horrible things both peoples did to one another, this one event should be celebrated as the ideal that was seldom, if ever, duplicated. It was a rare perfect day of harmony, a Kodak Kumbaya moment that revisionists and Utopians preach, but tend to ignore at best, yet condemn as the ultimate betrayal.

It's Thanksgiving. Time to give thanks for the treasures we have, the freedoms we've won, the friends we've gained, and the families with which we're stuck.

I give thanks to all who come here to read my thoughts everyday or even just one day. Thank you.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Indigo Rose said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you from one of your stuck-up family!
I know you didn't say that.... but how else was I to work in the "stuck" part? :-)

Indigo Red said...

Oh come, come, Rose! We all know you were adopted. There's no other explanation.

dcat said...

Happy Thanksgiving Indigo!

Just for the record I ain’t sitting at no table with Muslims!!! I hate humus and my guns are all loaded!

Indigo Red said...

Happy T-day, D! No worries about sitting down with Muslims for Thanksgiving dinner. I read somewhere that Muslims are afraid of mashed potatoes.

Anonymous said...

Have a great Thanksgiving Indi. Unfortunately I am working about 1400 miles away from home and will probably end up Joe's Diner or something. Don

Indigo Red said...

Joe's Diner is where you will find Hearrtland America any day of the week. Happry T-Day, Don.

Mike's America said...

A good two hour special on the History International channel tonight tracing the Pilgrim's voyage and early settlement.

Very interesting.

Did we really steal the Indians seed corn when we first landed on Cape Cod?

Indigo Red said...

Yes, Mike, in a manner of speaking. The seed corn was found unattended and the settlers were starving and in need of the seed corn. They did what they needed to do to survive. It was nothing the Indians would not have done in similar circumstances

The Indians themselves were not in very good condition, either. The Wampanoag village nearest Plymouth was abandoned when the Pilgrims landed. The village and surrounding Native had been decimated by smallpox the year before. Smallpox had made its way north after being unintentionally introduced by the Spanish decades before. Squanto himself had only recently arrived from his years of forced servitude in Europe to his decimated village.

Add to that was a drought brought about by a climate condition we now as El Nino. Most of the Indian Nations were adversley affectedby several years of unproductive weather. The arrival of the Pilgrims and the return of favorable weather was mere coincidence. But, the weather (Ancient Global Climate Change) and new diseases brought by the Spanish had already done its damage to the Indians.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I taught a gymnast who is the descendant of Edward Winslow. Her family's very conservative, very Republican.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh, I forgot what I originally meant to say: Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Indigo Red said...

That's cool, Word. Another reminder that our earliest history is not all that far away. I would not doubt for a moment the original Pilgrims would be Republicans today.

Happt Thanksgiving weekend to you also, WordSmith from Nantucket.