What was the first Thanksgiving really like?

November 22, 2017

The First Thanksgiving

... /file_thumbview/74644769/1In 1620, 162 people set forth from Plymouth, England with the intent to settle in the New World. Their journey on the Mayflower was 66 days long. They settled in the area we now know as Cape Cod, MA. Most of the Pilgrims spent the winter on the ship, and more than half of them died that winter. The next spring, they met Samoset and Squanto, two Native Americans who taught the Pilgrims many things such as how to plant corn and which plants to avoid eating. The first Thanksgiving was a three-day feast with Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans from the Wampanoag Tribe celebrating together in the fall of 1621.

While there are no written records of eating turkey, there is a record of four men going “fowling” before the feast, and they caught enough fowl to feed the group for a week. There are records of the Wampanoag tribe bringing the deer. They probably would also have had eels and shellfish such as lobster, mussels, and clams, as well as Indian corn and cornbread. They would also have had the following foods available at that time in history: dried beans and peas, pumpkins, squash, chestnuts, walnuts, beechnuts, hickory nuts, turnips, carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, radishes, plums, melons, and grapes. There is a good chance that many of these foods were served at the first Thanksgiving since they were available.

Read this article and more in our November newsletter.

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