The First Thanksgiving

by Nov 18, 2020Q & A Controversies

Pastor Roberts, I hear different accounts of the first Thanksgiving. What do you believe?

I believe the historic documents, the writings of the Pilgrims. Their accounts tell not only what happened but the true relationship between them and the Indians in those first years in America. I thank WallBuilders for providing the following information from those sources.

In November 1620, after a grueling voyage on the Mayflower across the Atlantic, the Puritans we now call Pilgrims landed at what they called Plymouth, Massachusetts, in America. They immediately began to build dwellings to survive the winter, but by spring, nearly half had died. That spring, an Indian named Samoset came to visit them. Samoset had learned English from British traders. They had a peaceful meeting, and a week later he returned with an Indian named Squanto.

Squanto had been abducted and sold as a slave in Spain, but he had managed to escape to England. There, he learned the English language and culture. In 1619, he returned to America, only to find that his entire tribe had died of small pox. After meeting the Pilgrims, he became a Christian and lived with the Pilgrims as an interpreter and guide. Governor Bradford said that Squanto was, “a special instrument sent of God for good . . . and never left till he died.” He helped the Pilgrims learn how to survive in the new land.

Grateful to God for their new Indian friends, the Pilgrims declared a three-day feast in December 1621. There were ninety Indians and fifty Pilgrims. They ate shellfish, lobster, venison, cornbread, berries – and turkey – together. There were games and competitions for all the young men, but most importantly, the Indians and Pilgrims prayed together. Through the love and gratitude of the Pilgrims, many Indians received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
What we must realize is that historians who don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ or the operations of the Holy Spirit will not interpret events in the right spirit and may bend the truth and distort the facts to promote a personal bias or agenda. Always consider the source of “historical facts”!