In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony shared the first Thanksgiving with the Wampanoag tribe of Indians.
There are few of us that were taught correctly about the landing of the Mayflower, the settlement of the Plymouth Colony, and the first Thanksgiving when we were in elementary school, middle school, and high school. Why? Perhaps those that wrote history books didn’t find it necessary. Perhaps, the story was better than the facts. Who knows? But did you know that the lessons learned from the Indians is what created the American Dream?
I do believe the one thing we’ve all come away with is that if it were not for the original Americans, we never would have made it to this day. Fortunately, the settlers of the Plymouth Colony were smart enough to not be stupid when they had an opportunity to receive help and learn from the Indians. Their stupidity diminished as they starved. It was a good day when the Pilgrims concluded a peace treaty with chief Massosoit of the Wampanoag tribe.
Where the original Pilgrims landed was far off their original course. They landed and settled in an empty Indian village where all the inhabitants had been wiped out by disease. The religious leaders concluded this was done purposely by God. To them it was a certain sign they should settle in the place.
The original plan was for the colony to be run in a communal form of government. This idea was growing popular in some of the religious circles back in England, but was more talk and economic philosophy than experimenting. In Plymouth, they tried the experiment to devastating results. It was here where the term “freeloader” began.
The Pilgrims set aside a common area of land for each member to plant their fair share of crops. The harvest went into a communal sharing and each got their equal share. The problem with this plan was that there were those that didn’t bother to do their fair share of planting and harvesting. However, they demanded an equal share when the crops were doled out. After all, it was communal living…right? It was only the right thing to do that they got their fair share…right? The settlement was in a near state of starving because of the “freeloaders”.
Fortunately, the Wampanoag tribe swept in to help the starving Pilgrims. They shared their food, saving the settlers from certain death. They provided critical instruction on adapting to their environ, especially in cultivation of crops. Although, the tribe lived in a form of communal style, each of the tribe members were given their own personal sections to plant crops, and could only take from their own harvest.
After this, the colony governor, William Bradford, took from the lesson learned from the Wampanoag and gave tract ownership to each of the settlers. Henceforth, each provided their own harvest, hunting, and fishing ever after. Those that did not or could not hunt or fish bartered time working crops for those that did, and vice versa. Thus began the freedom of bartering time, effort, and talent for the needs of the individual. Happy Thanksgiving! God Bless America.
We wish to thank the Original Americans for their historic help.