The Origins of Thanksgiving Day.
The Pilgrims were fleeing religious persecution in their native England. In 1609 a bunch of Pilgrims left England and went to the religious freedom of Holland where they lived and prospered go a while. Within a few years their children were speaking Dutch and had assumed all the ideas rather than the English style. This worried the leaders of the Pilgrims.
So, they decided to leave Holland, but not because they wanted to return to England, but to travel to the New World. The trip was financed by a group of English investors (the Virginia Co.)
On Sept. 6, 1620 the Pilgrims sailed to the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. They sailed from Plymouth, England and aboard were 102 souls. But there were 2 sides, the Saints (who were fleeing) and the Strangers (they only wanted the contract and a new life in the New World).
That long trip led to numerous disagreements between the Saints and the Strangers. After land was sighted a meeting was held and everybody were agree to reach an accord, called the Mayflower Compact, which guaranteed equality among the two groups. They finally joined together and named themselves the "Pilgrims."
Though they had first sighted land just off Cape Cod, they did not settle until they arrived to Plymouth. It was there that the Pilgrims agree to settle. The land of Plymouth offered an outstanding harbor. At the beginning, the Pilgrims’ biggest concern was the possible attack by the local Native American Indians. But the Patuxets (Native American) were a peaceful group.
The first winter was awful for the Pilgrims. The cold was extremely heavy, making almost impossible their worker as they tried to construct their settlement. Finally, March brought warmer weather, but many had died during the long winter. Less that 50 survived the first winter.
But their luck was about to change, and the most surprising was that the source of this luck wasn’t their homeland nor their contractors. It was from a...