Federalist Thanksgiving

How do we know about the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, and when did we know it? Americans learned for the first time about the Pilgrims from their own writings in 1841 in Alexander Young’s “Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers.” This book published part of the lost writings of William Bradford and a 1621 letter from Edward Winslow.

These writings had been published in a 1622 long-lost recruiting pamphlet in England but not in America. Because Winslow’s letter described the 1621 Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, Young declared that the Pilgrims had held the first Thanksgiving in America. This led to an explosion of interest in the Pilgrims and ultimately a widespread branding of the Pilgrims with Thanksgiving.

Read the full article as originally published on The Federalist. 

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