Wednesday, November 26, 2008

WFW: Letters from a Pilgrim Thanksgiving

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
The Mayflower Compact
In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620.

Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits 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 amongst 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. 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."

William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation
"They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports."

The letter of William Hilton, passenger on the Fortune
(The letter was written in November of 1621)

Loving Cousin,
At our arrival in New Plymouth , in New England, we found all our friends and planters in good health, though they were left sick and weak, with very small means; the Indians round about us peaceable and friendly; the country very pleasant and temperate, yielding naturally, of itself, great store of fruits, as vines of divers sorts in great abundance. There is likewise walnuts, chestnuts, small nuts and plums, with much variety of flowers, roots and herbs, no less pleasant than wholesome and profitable. No place hath more gooseberrries and strawberries, nor better. Timber of all sorts you have in England doth cover the land, that affords beasts of divers sorts, and great flocks of turkey, quails, pigeons and partridges; many great lakes abounding with fish, fowl, beavers, and otters. The sea affords us great plenty of all excellent sorts of sea-fish, as the rivers and isles doth variety of wild fowl of most useful sorts. Mines we find, to our thinking; but neither the goodness nor quality we know. Better grain cannot be than the Indian corn, if we will plant it upon as good ground as a man need desire. We are all freeholders; the rent-day doth not trouble us; and all those good blessings we have, of which and what we list in their seasons for taking.
Our company are, for most part, very religious, honest people; the word of God sincerely taught us every Sabbath; so that I know not any thing a contented mind can here want. I desire your friendly care to send my wife and children to me, where I wish all the friends I have in England; and so I rest

Your loving kinsman,
William Hilton

How it began.

Some carried it on.

Most dropped it along the way.

We must pick it back up is THE WAY.

The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. ~~Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Visit Amydeanne @ The 160 Acre Woods for more WFW posts and to link your own.


Tracy said...

Beautiful - thank you so much for sharing this! Blessings and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing dear.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh wow, love this post! I'll be showing it to my kids later! Thank you!

Laurie Ann said...

Great post! I'm printing it out for tomorrow. Love the picture and Scritpure, too. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Happy WFW!

lambofHisflock said...

Awesome post! I was so blessed by your sharing of the letters and history and by that classic and beautiful painting.

May God bless you and keep you, today and always. Happy Thanksgiving!

Amydeanne said...

interesting post Patrica! seeing I'm in Canada, we don't really celebrate the same way, it's always interesting to read a bit more of the historical aspects!

Tammy said...

Thank you for sharing this Patricia - what a great reminder! Thank you stopping by and have a joyful Thanksgiving!

He And Me + 3 said...

That is a gorgeous picture. I love the post too.

Susan said...

Hey Patrica,

Another GREAT post! I really enjoy stopping by your blog these days.

Hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving♥

Patty Wysong said...

What a wonderful post!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Mariposa said...

How lovely...and very informative!

Love your true!

Jane said...

It is interesting to read of your thanksgiving background and the settlement of your country compared to Australia starting out as a prison colony.
We both have a unique outlook shaped by our beginnings...we do not have a thanksgiving day, although those who arrived probably in most cases did have a better life in the end.
Thanks for the thoughts and picture.

hip chick said...

Very nice WFW. It's nice to be reminded of how it all started. Have a happy thanksgiving.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Love the artwork; I have it posted on my blog today, too. You are right; He is the Way we need to return to, turn our hearts to. I'm thankful to have met you this year through blogging!

krista said...

found your blog through the Internet Cafe Devotions....looooove the coffee theme and colors of your blog! i'm a coffee lover too! have a great day!!