howdy pilgrim... the truth behind thanksgiving...


As all school children know, we celebrate Thanksgiving to honor the pioneers who colonized America. In particular, we honor the Pilgrims, who came over on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom and settled in Plymouth in 1620. Their first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 commemorated their first successful harvest in the New World. Wild turkey was a prominent feature of the menu that day.

In 1789, George Washington made Thanksgiving a national holiday that has continued down to the present day. Less well known is the lesson about the importance of economic freedom that the Pilgrims learned in those early days.

In the beginning, the economic organization of the Plymouth Colony was based on communism, of the sort that had been advocated by Plato in ancient Greece. Land, food and clothing were shared equally, with the result that no one profited from hard work nor suffered from laziness. By 1623, the resulting low level of food production created a crisis.

According to William Bradford, governor of the colony, many colonists survived only by selling their clothes, bed covers and anything else they had to the Indians in return for food. Others simply starved.

“So they began to think about how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery,” Bradford wrote. This led the Pilgrims to reconsider their economic organization. After much debate, they decided that people should be responsible for themselves. The land, which previously had been farmed in common, was divided up among all the families, in proportion to their size. Henceforth, each colonist would farm his own land, reaping the rewards for himself.

According to Gov. Bradford, this new policy “had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.” The women, who previously had not farmed, “now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

The overwhelming triumph of the new private property regime ended the experiment in communism. In Bradford’s words, the experience showed the “vanity” and “conceit” of Plato’s view “that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing.”

In reality, communism “was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.” And it was an injustice that “the strong, or man of parts, had no more division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could.”

Subsequently, what became the Massachusetts colony prospered, although never as a pure free market. Prices and wages were often fixed down to the time of the Revolution. Flour mills and such were often state owned. Yet at the same time, unlike some other religious sects, the Puritans did not condemn profit or the pursuit of wealth. Saving and hard work were considered virtues.

Thus in many ways they were instrumental for establishing the moral and ethical basis of capitalism in America.

So we owe a great debt to the Pilgrims. Their trials and errors in those early years of the 17th century were essential to laying the foundation of the American economic system as one based on private property and capitalism. And these have been the fundamental bases for wealth and prosperity ever since. For this, we should all be grateful.


Hello F(r)iends,

It’s nice to find an historical example of a communal/egalitarian system failing. Another blow for the Marxists of the world… Of course, we have seen communist systems fail time and again and still the proponents boldy claim the superiority of their economic system.

Damn commies…


P.S. Thanks, Imp. I am grateful that you started this thread.

Ah hem…

“President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863.”


nice link

"An extract from chapter 17 of the book Where White Men Fear to Tread (1995), by Russell Means:

“When we met with the Wampanoag people, they told us that in researching the history of Thanksgiving, they had confirmed the oral history passed down through their generations. Most Americans know that Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag had welcomed the so-called Pilgrim Fathers—and the seldom mentioned Pilgrim Mothers—to the shores where his people had lived for millennia. The Wampanoag taught the European colonists how to live in our hemisphere by showing them what wild foods they could gather, how, where, and what crops to plant, and how to harvest, dry, and preserve them.
The Wampanoag now wanted to remind white America of what had happened after Massasoit’s death. He was succeeded by his son, Metacomet, whom the colonist called “King” Philip. In 1617-1676, to show “gratitude” for what Massasoit’s people had done for their fathers and grandfathers, the Pilgrims manufactured an incident as a pretext to justify disarming the Wampanoags. The whites went after the Wampanoag with guns, swords, cannons, and torches. Most, including Metacomet, were butchered. His wife and son were sold into slavery in the West Indies. His body was hideously drawn and quartered. For twenty-five years afterward Matacomet’s skull was displayed on a pike above the whites’ village. The real legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers is treachery.
Americans today believe that Thanksgiving celebrates a bountiful harvest, but that is not so. By 1970, the Wampanoag had turned up a copy of a Thanksgiving proclamation made by the governor to the colony. The text revealed the ugly truth: After a colonial militia had returned from murdering the men, women, and children of an Indian village, the governor proclaimed a holiday and feast to give thanks for the massacre. He also encouraged other colonies to do likewise—in other words, every autumn after the crops are in, go kill Indians and celebrate your murders with a feast.

In November 1970, their decendants returned to Plymouth to publisize the true story of Thanksgiving and, along with about two hundred other Indians from around the country, to observe a national day of Indian mourning.”

from your link. enjoy.


Hello F(r)iends,

Ahe he hem…

I wonder when the left will try to remove Turkey day as a national holiday… Separation of Church/State and all…


OH, God bless the prince of wales.
I’m glad you two totally missed the point.

Think back to when the pilgrims landed on that
fateful day. Now according to you two, the pilgrims
should have created a capitalist society in which every man
for himself should have dominated. think about it.
You are in a foreign land with danger on every side
and no support system in place, you are on your own.
Given the situation, you do exactly what they did. Those who
go their own way, will die. If you don’t combine your assets
and cooperate together, you die alone. Basic survival 101.
Anyone who has been in survival situations, knows this.
Capitalism can only work when and only when
you are no longer in survival mode. 1623 was
about 5 years into their landing. It was not a political
situation. Later on, once the community is settled, sure
go with what you got. But to blame “communism” for
the pilgrims problems is beyond ludacris.

And the Indians as imp knows, practice “communism” for
centuries and it suffice quite nicely for them.


read the history. capitalism is what worked for them. not communism. their own words. but you will never accept the facts of the matter. that’s your problem.

not in any way close to what you mean.


Lincoln is still the one who made it a national holiday.

I hope you realize they were quoting a passage in a book. Wikipedia is not saying “The real legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers is treachery.”


Er, if you call not being able to drag yourself out of the Stone Age despite living in a land of plenty 'quite nice', then I guess so.

Peter Kropotkin:Think back to when the pilgrims landed on that
fateful day. Now according to you two, the pilgrims
should have created a capitalist society in which every man
for himself should have dominated. think about it.

IMP: read the history. capitalism is what worked for them. not communism. their own words. but you will never accept the facts of the matter. that’s your problem.

K: My problem is this. Your link, was written by a right wing think tank.
Kinda like Raphael when he would post items “proving god existence”
with items culled from christian based websites.

K: Here is the entire mayflower compact in whole.

In the name of god, amen.

We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects
of our dread sovereign, King James, by the grace of god, of england,
France, and Ireland, King, defender of the faith of having undertaken
for the glory of god, and advancement of the christian faith,
And the honour of the king and country, a voyage to plant the
first colony in the northern part of Virginia , do by these
presents, solemnly and mutually in the presence of god and one
another, covenant and combine ourselves into a civil body politick,
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, constitution, and
offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet
and convenient for the general good of the colony, unto we
promised all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we
have hereunto subscribing our names at cape cod…
(date and king)

(41 of the 102 passengers signed. 37 of whom were separatist
fleeing religious persecution in Europe).

Maybe you can help me find plato’s name here.
I see several mentions of god and king james, but
not plato. It was all about religion, not economics.


I am attempting to find bradford’s journal online.
The versions I have come across, have been excerpts,
not the entire journal. I will comment more, once I have
found the entire journal online.


yes, I know what they were quoting… notice, I included the reference…

and yes, wikipedia is exactly saying “The real legacy of the Pilgrim Fathers is treachery.” otherwise it would not have been in the wikipedia quote.


that’s great… they were hypocritical christian bastards. I don’t care. that wasn’t the point. the only point is that their communism didn’t work. and the quote isn’t from the mayflower compact, the quote was from the govenor’s journals.


So giving different perspectives is an “endorsement” in your eyes?


LOL… of course it is… just ask any “liberal” school board about providing any information about intelligent design…


I just need to see the “copy of a Thanksgiving proclamation” that’s being referenced to wholly believe this account. Someone needs to scan this doc and post it on the web somewhere. … anoag.html … cerpt.html … ourt1.html … ticle.html


ID isn’t science. That is why it doesn’t belong in a science classroom.

pay attention…

I never said ID was science

I simply point out the liberal hypocracy of the exculsion of any idea that isn’t in lock step with the liberal pedagogy…