Who was at the First Thanksgiving?
Who was at the first Thanksgiving? Of the Pilgrims, the number included 22 men, four married women — including Edward Winslow’s new wife — and more than 25 children and teenagers. These were the ones who had made it through the epidemic of disease that swept through the colony the previous winter. Some 78 percent of the women who had arrived on the Mayflower had died, a far higher percentage than for men or children. I am regularly astonished at the imbalance, and how four women (with help, presumably, from some of the younger folk) could feed about 150 people over three days. The men, we are told, engaged in military exercises, which is probably the seventeenth century equivalent of watching football. The other surprise is the number of at least 90 Indian warriors -- this does not look like a friendly visit, and there is nothing in the stories to indicate that their arrival was anticipated. What was such a large army -- probably most of the Pokanoket men -- doing in Plymouth? My speculations on that tomorrow.