Thanksgiving 2012

November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving traces it’s origin to a small group of English Separatists “Pilgrims” who celebrated Thanksgiving after the harvest in 1621. The Pilgrims originated near the Sherwood Forest of Robin Hood fame. They were a group of devoted Christians Calvinists who had separated from the Church of England. The King of England, King James, wanted nothing to do with the Pilgrims and so they fled to Holland and then eventually to America in 1620. The boat they sailed across the Atlantic on was called the Mayflower. Wood from the Mayflower is now incorporated behind a plaque in the beautiful Peace Arch on the border between the US and Canada nearest Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA at the I-5 border crossing.

Of the 102 that sailed across the Atlantic, only 53 would live to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving was also attended by 90 Natives. It is quite a testimony on thankfulness that a people could still be thankful and find time to honor God despite losing 50% of their loved ones in the past year.

The Pilgrim religion was an off-shoot of Calvinism. Their version of Christianity was very plain with no musical instruments, no Pope and no Bishops, and they did not celebrate many religious Christian holidays. The Puritans and

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Pilgrims were very similar in beliefs and are often confused. The Puritans started arriving in America around 1628 and more than 20,000 came. The groups eventually merged in 1648 and became the Congregational Church. The minor difference was: Puritans thought of themselves as members of a reformed Church of England whereas the Pilgrims believed the Church of England was beyond reform and so they were separate.

A Patuxet named “Squanto” helped the Pilgrims survive during their first year in the New World. Squanto had already learned English as a result of his amazing life story. He was captured by white explorers in the New World and was sold into slavery in Spain. Spain was starting to take a dim view of any foreigners including foreign slaves as the Spanish had recently evicted the Muslim Moors from the land. So Squanto ended up in London, England and learned English. He sought and eventually found passage back to the New World. It is believed he was murdered for his trouble in helping the Pilgrims about a year later by the Wampanoag. The Native tribes in New England did not offer any serious military resistance for the first 50 years of European settlement. King Philip’s War in 1675 was the first serious conflict between the newcomers and natives and ended with the near elimination of the native population in New England. By the time conflict arose, the white population had already greatly exceeded the population of the native tribes.

I’m 1/8th Native. My grandfather went to school on the Skokomish Indian Reservation in Washington State. The history of the Native people of North American after contact with Europeans comes down to essentially one point. That one point is disease. Small Pox, Influenza, Typhus, Cholera, and Measles ripped through the Native tribes in North America. My documented tribe, the Haida, went from an estimated population of 20,000 to less than 600. There is only one reported skirmish in Haida history between a European ship and Haida warriors in which ~60 Haida perished. Thus 99% of the Haida population decline was a result of no immunity to foreign diseases. The chart below provides a chronology of the decline of my tribe due to disease. The native story in the New England region is much the same. Starting in 1619 the New England native tribes suffered through epidemic waves which emptied their villages. In some cases, it is reported that 100% of the village members died.

Much has been made in Hollywood of Indian wars. These Indians wars are really just a small footnote when compared population decline due to disease. Thus as Whites moved across the continent, it was usually onto land largely empty of prior native population. For example, here are some major events and legendary natives – note the tiny numbers of people involved given the massive North American continent and the tens of millions of Natives who lived here prior to European contact.

  • Geronimo fought the Mexican and US Armies. His band only numbered 36
  • Custer’s famous last stand resulted in 268 US Calvary killed vs. 136 Lakota, Cheyenne, & Arapaho killed
  • The infamous Wounded Knee Massacre 150 killed. Many disease outbreaks killed that number in a single day in a single village.

By trying to put in context how overwhelming European diseases were on the Native populations does not mean that no outrageous acts where not committed by the US Government. Probably, the most outrageous genocidal act committed by the US Government was in the Indian Removal Act of 1830 signed into law by President Andrew Jackson. It was a plan to remove the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, and Seminole from their lands. This Act resulted in the removal of tens of thousands of “Indians” from the South and the deaths of thousands along the “Trail of Tears.” Of course, Andrew Jackson was the founder of the Democrat party. The same party that promoted slavery, the same party that brought us Margaret Sanger and her plans to rid the US of Blacks and poor whites through abortion, and the same party who opposed the key freedom Amendments in our constitution. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, opposed the Indian Removal Act. Naturally, most Native people vote for overwhelming Democrats now

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as they have bought into the plantation mentality of the left and promises of free stuff. Promises of Free Stuff trumps Liberty in the minds of small people. It has always amazed me how people vote against their own interest and history.

John McDonald

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