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Robert Strongrivers

What do you think of when Thanksgiving comes to mind? Pilgrims and Indians? Perhaps even Turkey and Stuffing? How about football games and family get togethesr? Most people in America think of these simple images when it comes to the so-called holiday of Thanksgiving. However, what is the real truth behind this special day? First, let’s define the word "Holiday."

Holiday - ‘a day or series of days observed in Judaism with commemorative ceremonies and practices, from the French ‘halig’ to mean "Holy." '

Thanksgiving was anything but holy. History dictates the story of  English Pilgrims sailing on the Mayflower and landing on Plymouth Rock to encounter friendly Indians who fed them and everyone lived happily ever after. Isn’t American history great? Did you know that Thanksgiving involved the beheading of Indians as well as Indians being sold into slavery? It also involved the building of Quaker religious churches which were financed by the money generated from Indian slavery.  

The truth is that the so-called Pilgrims were not on a religious pilgrimage. They were actually trying to escape religious persecution in England in 1620. Moreover, they never intended to land in Plymouth. They were forced to drop anchor in Cape Cod due to strong wind and the fact that just as Columbus before them, they were lost and had depleted all of their resources. The Pilgrims did not initially land on Plymouth Rock as American history dictates. The English Pilgrims first anchored in Cape Cod thanks to William Bradley who was blindly following a book published in England by Richard Hakluyt titled, 'Virginia Richly Valued.'  To his dismay, Bradley led his people to a dead end. When these Pilgrims landed in Cape Cod on August 15, 1620 they encountered Nauset Indians, the local indigenous band of Algonquians who chased the Pilgrims off the Cape. The Pilgrims scurried and left to sail, this time landing at Plymouth.

Sir William Bradley

At Plymouth, The Algonquin band of Wampanoags openly welcomed the Pilgrims. Since the Pilgrims were starving to death and full of diseases, the Native Americans not only cared for them and fed them but also taught them how to farm obviouslysaving them from starvation. The first Native American to encounter the Pilgrims was Samoset, who was a chief of a distant band of Algonquians - the Morattiggons. Samoset spent much time with the Pilgrims describing to them Indian ways. He was the Pilgrim’s first exposure to the true Native American.

Somoset debating with Pilgrim over religious practices

Who is Sqaunto?

Sqaunto was the only surviving native of the Patuxet, known to the Pilgrims as "New Plymouth." Squanto had just returned from London (he was one of the first twenty captives sold into slavery in England). Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn. The following fall, after hunting fowl, the Pilgrims harvested 20 acres of corn, six acres of barley and peas all according to the manner of the Algonquin farming ways. The Pilgrims Chief Massasoyt, (the Wampanoags chief who first welcomed the Pilgrims to share the land) was invited to celebrate their harvest. Accepting, Chief Massasoyt brought with him five deer, and ninety of his men with him to the feast. This was officially the first feast.

Indian Chief Massasoyt (Massasoit) discussing the treaty

The feast lasted five days and was celebrated as an official treaty, which was supposed to benefit both Algonquins and Pilgrims. However, Massasoyt was not aware that the Pilgrims that past August when the Mayflower crew were lost, hungry, and cold, they had raided Indian graves in search for food and stole gold jewelry off the dead corpse of Indians. This treaty was established to allow Pilgrims to peacefully share the agriculture of the land. The treaty did not last long. One generation later, the children of these Pilgrims beheaded the son of Chief Massasoyt. They placed his head on a pole and left it in the fort for 25 years  in celebration. They were called, "Children of the First Harvest." The Pilgrims then sold the Wampanoag's and other Algonquin bands of people, into slavery in the Mediterranean and the West Indies to compensate for Africans being shipped to America and Europe.

Betrayal and Death

Chief Massasoyt had fathered two girls and three boys, and before his death he asked the General Court in Plymouth to give English names to his two sons. The Pilgrims named the former "Alexander" and the latter "Philip." After Alexander was poisoned by the Europeans, Philip became chief, and became known as "King Philip." King Philip was very pro Indian and he saw clearly what the European colonists were doing to his people, and from the beginning he recognized them as enemies who had betrayed his father.  King Philip went to war. The interracial tension that resulted in this conflict was present even years before his father's death. This was mostly because of trespassing issues. Only the colonist that had originally arrived in 1620 had settlement rights there on the land. However, other whites were coming over from Europe and "moving in." More and more whites began to populate the land and King Philip addressed this trespassing issue. The Europeans were also converting many of the Natives to Christianity and teaching passive and non-aggressive ways to the natives. This ideology was not only contradicting the teachings of the Native American but it was undermining tribal authority. Pilgrims continued to attract Indians with material goods like gold crosses and wine.

King Philip son of Chief Massasoyt

"In the pangs of the Reformation a new people was begotten, with new ideas, invested with loftier prerogatives and aims, and intended by Providence to found in the New World a great Christian Republic, one of the mightiest agencies in human progress."
Daniel Dorchester (The English)

As tension grew, the whites begin to sense hostility amongst the more radical natives. The Pilgrims then used the "Divide and Conquer" policy and played Indians against each other (the traditional Indian versus the new Christian Indian). The Pilgrims taught the new Indian that they are the masters and the old Indian is the slave. This psychological conditioning introduced slavery to the Native American nations.

The so-called, "God Fearing" Puritans (Pilgrims) looked at Philip as a rebel, leading a conspiracy and an uprising against established authority. Authority that was granted to them one generation earlier by his father Massasoyt. The Pilgrims began to treat the Indians as if they were the colonists landing on the coast of England. On August 12, 1676, the English surrounded King Philip, while he slept and murdered him.

Pilgrims murdering Native Americans in 1676

The next morning, the official word was that Philip was dead. The Pilgrims then quartered his body and decapitated him, placing his head on a pole in Plymouth for 25 years. The pilgrims then declared the land under English rule. This was their Thanksgiving to their Christian God for giving them the land of the New World. Slavery, bloodshed and death were soon to follow. A little under 200 years later, President George Washington declared that all the members of the new Union (whites only) should celebrate this day that their forefathers conquered the land. However, it was Abraham Lincoln (who dressed in traditional Puritan attire) who first declared this day "Thanksgiving" as a U.S. National holiday in 1863.

Abraham Lincoln - Quaker Puritan (Children of English Pilgrims)

So before you carve into that turkey, remember the real history of Thanksgiving. Teach your children the truth and stop letting American history lie to your young ones!

Misc. Facts about Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Day Parade celebration is a renactment of the celebration of the beheading of King Philip where his head was impaled on a stake, (symbolized by the big headed balloons).

Although this autumnal feast has served as the foundation for later Thanksgiving Day celebrations, the Pilgrims nor Native Americans called it "Thanksgiving," nor did they repeat the ceremony in future years.

Some of the foods that the Pilgrims or Indians did not eat were: Ham. (The Pilgrims most likely did not have pigs with them). Sweet Potatoes-Potatoes-Yams. (These had not yet been introduced to New England). Corn on the cob. (Indian corn was only good for making cornmeal, not eating on the cob). Popcorn. (Contrary to popular folklore, popcorn was not introduced at the 1621 Thanksgiving. Indian corn could only be half-popped because it was not the hybrid corn harvested for commercial use today.

Robert Strongrivers
taken from the upcoming Blood Money Pt.II (The Domino Effect)