(originally posted November, 24, 2010)
|The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris
“To all ye Pilgrims:
In as much as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetable, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
William Bradford, Ye Governor of Ye Colony.”
[William J. Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia Of Quotations (Coppell, Texas: FAME Publishing, Inc., 1994), p. 66]