Pilgrims and the others

A new book by an author in my area, "In his book “Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims’ First Year in America,” Hanover author Glenn Cheney describes Thanksgiving as it surely was in that rough beginning of America."

I'm interested in this account of how their Christian beliefs affected their relations with the Wampanoags.

And while the common assumption is the brave Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom, only 40 of the 140 passengers were actual separatists. The rest were there to try their hand at fortune, their passage paid for by investors.

Christianity, Cheney said, seemed to have a role in the Pilgrims’ ultimate acceptance by the American Indians because during one tense moment that followed an earlier skirmish, they put down their guns and met the Indians, who had the advantage of being on top of a hill, armed.

“They turned the other cheek, giving these savages a chance, and the savages did the same; they put down their bow and arrows and met them,” he said. “It was a very Christian thing to do on both their parts.”

It is these stories based on meticulous research that impressed Peg Price of Voluntown, who purchased the book after hearing a talk by Cheney, then ordered additional copies for her family as Thanksgiving gifts.

“You get past the myth to reality, which is no less wonderful in its own way; there’s certainly much more to the story than you learned in grade school,” Price said.


HT: Newspaper Rock where more information on debunked Thanksgiving myths can be found.

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