Thanksgiving is a time where most of us spend time with our families and loved ones eating delicious food and saying what we're thankful for. I love Thanksgiving, and I'm sure you do, too, right, who doesn't like spending a day with family and eating a ton of food?
But what many of you probably don't know is there is an untold truth about Thanksgiving, the dark history of the holiday that most of us know as something positive, but in reality started off as the complete opposite as children were usually taught that the tradition dates back to times of the pilgrim's English religious dissenters who helped to establish the Plymouth colony in the present day, Massachusetts and 1620.
As the story goes, friendly, local Native Americans taught the struggling colonists how to survive in the new world, then everyone got together to celebrate with a feast and sixteen, twenty-one. The attendees included at least 90 men from the Wampanoag tribe and the 50 or so surviving Mayflower passengers, according to time.
The battle lasted three days and featured a menu consisting of deer, fowl, and corn, according to the Smithsonian magazine. In reality, the Thanksgiving feast predates Plymouth. You can even find a number of localities that have fought to claim the first Thanksgiving for themselves. Settlers and Berkely Hundred in Virginia decided to celebrate their arrival with an annual Thanksgiving back and 1619, according to the Virginia Pilot.
Although the Washingtonian reported that the meal was probably little more than some oysters and ham threw together. However, decades before then, Spanish settlers and members of the Savoy tribe broke bread with salted pork, garbanzo beans, and a mass in 1565 Florida, according to the National Park Service.
In today's time, our modern definition of Thanksgiving revolves around eating turkey, but in past centuries, it was more of an occasion for religious observance. This story is 1621 Plimoth festivities live on in popular memory.
But the pilgrims themselves would have likely considered their sober 1623 days of prayer, the first real Thanksgiving, according to the blog of the history of Massachusetts.
Others have pinpointed 1637 as the true origin of Thanksgiving owing to the fact that Massachusetts Colonie Governor John Withdraw declared the day of Thanksgiving to celebrate colonial soldiers who had just slaughtered 700 Pequot men, women, and children in what is now called Mystic Connecticut.
Regardless, though, the popular story of the initial Harvest Festival is what has continued to live on. Thanks to the late Abraham Lincoln, the enduring holiday and celebration have almost entirely wiped the memory of what really happened between the Wampanoag and the English a whole generation later,
Massasoit to the same more paramount chief of the Wampanoag proved to be a crucial ally to the English settlers.
In the years following the establishment of Plymouth, he arranged an exclusive trade agreement with the newcomers and allied with them against the French and other local tribes, such as the Narragansett and Massachusetts.
However, over time, the alliance became strained. Thousands of English colonists swarmed into the region throughout the 17th century, according to historic contact. Indian people and colonists in today's northeastern the United States, authorities in Plymouth began asserting control over most aspects of Wampanoag life as settlers increasingly ate up more land.
The Gloater Hulamin Institute of American History estimated disease had already reduced the Native American population in New England by as much as 90% from 1616 to 1619. And indigenous people continue to die from what the colonists called Indian fever.
By the time Massasoit Son Medicament, known to the English as King Phillip, inherited the leadership relations had become strained. King Philip's war was ignited when several medicaments men were executed for the murder of Punker Boag interpreter and Christian convert John Sesemann.
Wampanoag lawyers responded by embarking on a series of raids and the New England Confederation of Colonies declared war in sixteen seventy-five. The initial neutral colony of Rhode Island in the Providence Plantations was ultimately dragged into the fighting, as were other nearby tribes like the Narragansetts. The war was filled with bloodshed and was devastating.
Springfield, Massachusetts, was burned to the ground. The Wampanoag abducted colonists for ransom. English forces had attacked the Narragansetts on a bitter frozen swamp for harboring fleeing Wampanoag 600 Narragansets were murdered and the tribe's winter stores were ruined.
According to Atlas Obscura, colonists in far-flung settlements moved to more fortified areas. While the Wampanoag and the allied tribes were forced to leave their villages. The colonists ultimately allied themselves with several tribes, such as the Mohegans and Pequod, despite initial reluctance from the Plimoth leadership.
Meanwhile, meta-comment was dealt with a shocking blow when he crossed over into New York to recruit new allies. Instead, he was rebuffed and attacked by Mohawk's. Upon his return to his ancestral home at Mount Hope, he was shot and killed in a final battle. The son of the man who had sustained and celebrated with the Plymouth colony was then beheaded and his body dismembered.
His remaining allies were then murdered or sold into slavery. In the West Indies, the colonists impaled King Philip's head on a spike and placed it on display in Plymouth for twenty-five years. In an article published in the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, Montclair State University Professor Robert E. Craig Jr. said the war is complete. The death toll could have been as high as 30 percent of the English population and half of the Native Americans in New England.
This war was just one of a series of brutal but dimly remembered early colonial wars between Native Americans and colonists that occurred in New England, New York, and Virginia. Popular memory has largely clung to the innocuous image of a harvest celebration while ignoring the deadly forces that would ultimately drive apart from the descendants of the guest of that very feast.
Modern-day Thanksgiving may be a celebration of people coming together, but that's not the entire story when it comes to the history of that day. Well, the dark history, if you will. I'd like to show some respect for all of the fallen warriors of the past that took part in molding this holiday for what it is today.
It's truly devastating how many lives were lost in this war. So while you're celebrating this day of feasting with your loved ones and what you're all thankful for, remember, not everything starts off on a happy note, but I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get a chance to eat a lot of good food with your families before we go.