• Pilgrims and Wampanoags: The Story Behind Thanksgiving

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Mon Dec 6 14:48:25 2021
    Pilgrims and Wampanoags: The Story Behind Thanksgiving
    Letters, 11/29/21, Wall St. Journal

    Re: “Censoring the Pilgrims” (Review & Outlook, 11/23):
    As the author of a book on the Pilgrims, I had to research
    their relationship with the surrounding Wampanoag confederacy.
    The Pilgrims did build on land cleared & settled by the
    Patuxet tribe, which was wiped out by plague in the great
    dying of 1616-19; this was an unintentional gift. But their

    relationship with the Wampanoags was firm & peaceful for
    50 years until King Philip’s War. This relationship was
    based on a treaty of mutual protection, signed on March 22,
    1621, by Gov. John Carver & the sachem Ousamequin, better
    known as Massasoit. This was the first treaty between
    Native Americans and those coming to the New World.

    The Wampanoags were important to the Pilgrims’ survival,
    assisting them in growing crops, hunting and fishing and
    understanding native edible plants. Their contribution is
    incalculable. The Pilgrims in return cared for their sick
    during an ensuing smallpox epidemic.

    I weep for all the injustices wreaked upon the Native
    Americans as this country grew. But you can't rewrite
    history. It’s a fact that the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags
    lived in peace with each other for a long time.

    The Wampanoags have recently been recognized federally &
    given some tribal lands. It isn’t enough for their contri-
    butions, but it’s a beginning. After all, that first Thanks-
    giving was a celebration shared by Pilgrims and Wampanoags.

    Noelle A. Granger, Ph.D., Durham NC.


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