History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at Plymouth
In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

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. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.

After reading this many of you that are on the Life Team will see a connection of what these Brave men and women did, and what the Life Team is going to help preserve for future generations of North America. What Orrin Woodward and the rest of the policy counsel are doing, will be read about in history books and those of you that are on the Life Team are the protectors of the freedoms we have now.

God Bless,


About jimmartinlifeleadership

I'm an average guy living an unaverage life and looking to help others to do the same thing View all posts by jimmartinlifeleadership

7 responses to “History of Thanksgiving

  • Neal D. Ruffner

    Amen Jim. Knowing our history empowers use to create our own. Thanks for sharing. I know its over, but Happy Thanksgiving again bro. 🙂


  • Brian Sommers

    Thanks for sharing Jim. Dominic sat on my lap this morning and together we read your post. It’s priceless seeing Dominic’s surprised expressions when I explain the things you’re writing about pertaining to Thanksgiving back then to now.

    Take care,

  • gregjohnson on leadership


    So little of your article is known or even discussed today around the Thanksgiving holiday table. Most of our country’s energy is focused on Black Friday and the sales of the day or college football. Not that I’m against a good deal or college football, it’s that they have become our preoccupation. Instead of sharing our blessings and showing thanks and grace to our fellow man we push and shove our way through the stores, and argue of which team is better or should have called what play.

    It is time for America to return to its roots, GOD, Country, Honor and Grace. Orrin Woodward and the LIFE business has a system in place to educate and bring America back to its roots.

    Jim – You and Delores have demonstrated these LIFE principles in your life and and business and I look forward to this journey with you.

  • April Arnhold

    It is interesting to see how so much is lost through time, the trial and suffering of the Pilgrams are not addressed in this day. I want to have my child know that we are stregthened through struggles and fighting for freedom isn’t easy. I agree with Greg– let’s return to our roots- GOD, country, honor, and grace. Returning to our roots is going to take that same courage and fight the Pilgrams mustered up in their despair. And LIFE will become the principle foundation to do it!! Thank you!

  • Mark Gillispie

    Diligence. Those who arrived here looking for freedom were diligent. Their work ethic was surpassed only by their faith. It is a shame that today, in America, our national leaders seem to be steering us away from the very principles that made us a great nation. I am thankful to all those who are taking a stand, not just with their voice, but with their actions as well.
    Thanks, Jim

  • Latarsha Slot

    Simply wanna input on few general things, The website style and design is perfect, the subject material is rattling fantastic : D.

  • Maddison

    DAD THANKS FOR TEACHING Jimmy and me so many valuable things in our history.

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