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Yes, there was a Thanksgiving Feast

Those who would like to eradicate the Thanksgiving holiday, or transform it into something focused solely on shopping and fo

otball, state with great authority that there was not an actual feast that took place between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. After all, we don’t have an exact date for the feast. We certainly don’t have a photograph of everyone sitting down together to share a meal. None the less, I am happy to report that there is primary source documentation of such an event taking place.

Although there are no written records remaining from members of the Wampanoag, we are fortunate to have the writings of Edward Winslow and William Bradford. Winslow is considered to be the primary author of Mourt’s Relations which is often referred to as the Journal of the Pilgims. Bradford, the long time governor of the colony, wrote a detailed journal known as the History of Plymouth Plantation. Both men describe a multi-day feast that was contributed to and shared by both groups. Of course, the above image painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris is a romanticized version of the feast, but it did take place none-the-less

If you would like to read the excepts yourself, please visit The Feast of Thanksgiving page on my website:

Although present day descriptions of the relationship between the Pilgrims and the Wampanaog sometimes resemble a coruncopia of negativity, accounts found in Mourt’s Relation reveal a very different relationship. Please visit this page to read more of the writings of Bradford and Winslow:

So, the next time you are told that the first Thanksgiving Feast is just a fairy tale, please suggest that the individual making the definitive statement visit my website and read the writings of Bradford and Winslow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.
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