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Face of Thanksgiving

Updated on November 6, 2013

The Man Behind the Face of Thanksgiving

Massasoit , the face of Thanksgiving. I have no doubt that the grand sachem (intertribal chief) of the Wampanoag Indians is the reason the Pilgrim colonists survived. Thanksgiving Day is the celebration of that survival. The historic voyage began with 102 men, women, and children plus crew. Nearly half of them died that very first winter of 1620. When Spring came, the Pilgrims were faced with attempting to build shelter and clear the land and plant food. When hope was nearly gone, a Native American walked out of the woods named Samoset who spoke English and soon brought Squanto, another member of the Wampanoag Tribe who also spoke English. What's the chances of that?. Both had been once captives of earlier Europeans and had learned English during that time. The two Native Americans introduced the Pilgrims to their leader, Massasoit. He allowed the sharing of the techniques of planting, fishing, and cooking with the Pilgrims and survival methods of the brutal New England weather. In 1623 Massasoit became seriously ill and was nursed back to health by grateful Pilgrims. And later the two cultures came together and signed a peace treaty that lasted for more than 50 years.

Painting of the Original Mayflower by William Halsall (1882)

Painting of Mayflower 1
Painting of Mayflower 1

The original Mayflower was taken to Rotherhithe, London in 1623 and turned into scrap lumber. Mayflower ll is docked in Plymouth Harbor.

Mayflower ll was built on specifications of the first Mayflower.

Image and specifications via Wikipedia

lass & type: Dutch cargo fluyt

Tonnage: 160 to 180 tons

Length: ca. 80 - 90 ft. on deck, 100 - 110 ft overall.

Decks: Around 4

Propulsion: Wind

Capacity: Unknown, but carried ca. 135 people during the historical voyage to Plymouth

Crew: 25-30

Mayflower ll - Mayflower ll Built upon specifications of the original Mayflower

The Mayflower ll was built in England and sailed back across the Atlantic by 33 brave guys and docked in Plymouth Harbor Ma.

All Bowed Their Heads and Gave Thanks - The miracle that walked out of the woods spoke English.

From an Evangelical Point of View.

History of Thanksgiving - Many versions of Thanksgiving have been written

Day of Mourning?

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Was Massasoit wrong to befriend the Pilgrim Colonists?

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Massasoit - Sachem of the Wampanoags

Dedication in Photos

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Burial Hill where Mayflower passengers are buried including Govenor William Bradford and William & Mary Brewster. The last burial took place in 1957. Markers made of carved wood did not survive but by the mid seventeen hundreds, stone makers wereMassasoit, Great Sachem of the Wampanoags and protector and preserver of the Pilgrims. These words are placed under his statue overlooking the water front as " A Grateful Tribute"  1921102 men, women, and children packed into the Mayflower which reminds me of "Bucky" on Jake and the Neverland Pirates" and  set out on a horrible 66-day crossing of the Atlantic.Plymouth Rock in its "cage." Years back, it was left open and people could actually get near enough to touch it but as the Rock grew smaller, it was caged for its own safety. People were taking pieces of it home. The original Rock weighed about 20,0There are no accounts to verify the story that Plymouth Rock is the point where the Pilgrims first set foot as they departed the Mayflower. As a child, I thought the ship was too large to come close to shore and the passengers had to hop from one rocA welcome to history.A view of where the Mayflower is thought to have anchored or came ashore.The first street in USA. Yes, there were others but Leyden Street is the first street made and used continuously since the original settlers built houses along each side. It began near Plymouth harbor and went all the way to what became known as BuriAt the entrance to Burial Hill.Passengers that died in Plymouth during the first year.
Burial Hill where Mayflower passengers are buried including Govenor William Bradford and William & Mary Brewster. The last burial took place in 1957. Markers made of carved wood did not survive but by the mid seventeen hundreds, stone makers were
Burial Hill where Mayflower passengers are buried including Govenor William Bradford and William & Mary Brewster. The last burial took place in 1957. Markers made of carved wood did not survive but by the mid seventeen hundreds, stone makers were
Massasoit, Great Sachem of the Wampanoags and protector and preserver of the Pilgrims. These words are placed under his statue overlooking the water front as " A Grateful Tribute"  1921
Massasoit, Great Sachem of the Wampanoags and protector and preserver of the Pilgrims. These words are placed under his statue overlooking the water front as " A Grateful Tribute" 1921
102 men, women, and children packed into the Mayflower which reminds me of "Bucky" on Jake and the Neverland Pirates" and  set out on a horrible 66-day crossing of the Atlantic.
102 men, women, and children packed into the Mayflower which reminds me of "Bucky" on Jake and the Neverland Pirates" and set out on a horrible 66-day crossing of the Atlantic.
Plymouth Rock in its "cage." Years back, it was left open and people could actually get near enough to touch it but as the Rock grew smaller, it was caged for its own safety. People were taking pieces of it home. The original Rock weighed about 20,0
Plymouth Rock in its "cage." Years back, it was left open and people could actually get near enough to touch it but as the Rock grew smaller, it was caged for its own safety. People were taking pieces of it home. The original Rock weighed about 20,0
There are no accounts to verify the story that Plymouth Rock is the point where the Pilgrims first set foot as they departed the Mayflower. As a child, I thought the ship was too large to come close to shore and the passengers had to hop from one roc
There are no accounts to verify the story that Plymouth Rock is the point where the Pilgrims first set foot as they departed the Mayflower. As a child, I thought the ship was too large to come close to shore and the passengers had to hop from one roc
A welcome to history.
A welcome to history.
A view of where the Mayflower is thought to have anchored or came ashore.
A view of where the Mayflower is thought to have anchored or came ashore.
The first street in USA. Yes, there were others but Leyden Street is the first street made and used continuously since the original settlers built houses along each side. It began near Plymouth harbor and went all the way to what became known as Buri
The first street in USA. Yes, there were others but Leyden Street is the first street made and used continuously since the original settlers built houses along each side. It began near Plymouth harbor and went all the way to what became known as Buri
At the entrance to Burial Hill.
At the entrance to Burial Hill.
Passengers that died in Plymouth during the first year.
Passengers that died in Plymouth during the first year.

Elder William Brewster - Patriarch of the Pilgrims

William Brewster
William Brewster

William Brewster was an English official before coming over on the Mayflower in 1620. In New England he became a preacher and a leader of the Separatist colonist. The location of his grave is unknown but probably located in or close to Burial Hill.

Front View of Mayflower ll

Front View of Mayflower ll
Front View of Mayflower ll

The Mayflower ll actually crossed the Atlantic after being built to the specifications of the original Mayflower of 1620. The Atlantic ocean can be a rough place to be even in a cruise ship but 33 men in 1957 brought her home.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock 1620
Plymouth Rock 1620

The Mayflower anchored in Plymouth Harbor on December 17, 1620. It is legend that what is known as "Plymouth Rock, " was the first stepping stone touched by the weary travelers when they departed the ship. Eventually the rock was dragged to shore, cleaned up, shined up, caged up for its own longevity ( approximately 1/3 of the top portion remains) and from the looks of things,cracked up!

Cole's Hill

Cole's Hill
Cole's Hill

Cole's Hill contains the first cemetery used by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. At the top of the hill is a large statue of Massasoit and a monument containing the remains of Pilgrims who died during the first winter in 1620-21, nearly half of the passengers on the ship.

John Alden

John Alden
John Alden

John Alden was not a Pilgrim but was among the original settlers of the Plymouth Colony. He had been hired to repair Mayflower while she lay off Southampton, England and decided to journey when she set sail.

Stairs Leading Up to Burial Hill

Stairs leading up to Burial Hill
Stairs leading up to Burial Hill

Burial Hill is the cemetery located high on a hill overlooking Plymouth Harbor. Many Mayflower passengers are buried there including John Howland. The sun shinning through the trees in this photo gives it an eery look especially since the cemetery is rumored to be haunted.

Pilgrim Path

Pilgrim Path
Pilgrim Path

Footsteps of history. Follow the path through the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries of historically rich Plymouth, Ma.

Pilgrim Path Tours

First Church in Plymouth

First Church in Plymouth
First Church in Plymouth

The oldest continuous ministry in New England.

America's Church

Massasoit Overlooking Modern Civilization

Massasoit with Civilization in Background
Massasoit with Civilization in Background

Intertribal chief of the Wampanoag Indians. The tribe inhabited parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Massasoit befriended the Pilgrims and a peace treaty was signed. After his death, the treaty and peace didn't last long and lead to the bloody King Philip's War of 1675.

America's Hometown Celebrates Thanksgiving

Plymouth, Ma.

Friday, November 22, 2013 to Sunday, November 24, 2013. The Parade begins Saturday at 11am at Holmes Field on Court St. in N. Plymouth, goes down Main Street to Water Street and then passes by Plymouth Rock. 3 days of celebrating!

I feel sadness when Thanksgiving is thought of as a National Day of Mourning. Two totally different cultures came together and promised to have each others backs. The Native American protected the Pilgrims and taught them the rules of the wild, along with planting and fishing. Thanksgiving was celebrated together. The 53 Pilgrims remaining supplied the turkeys, other fowl, fish and whatever they managed to grow. The 90 Native Americans brought half a dozen deer. The celebration went on for 3 days. No red man was shot and no white was scalped. Massasoit was held in high esteem by both sides. This sitting down together was a good thing. Neither side knew the future. How could they tell what the next 2 hundred years would bring? The "Day of Mourning" protest is held on Cole's Hill right near the statue of Massasoit. He was a good man, maybe too good. If so, that was his only fault.

Comments Welcomed - I realize this is a sensitive subject but please no hateful remarks.

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    • superstitious profile image
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      superstitious 4 years ago

      @siobhanryan: Thank you

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Blessed-great lens