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Happy Thanksgiving -- The evolution of Thanksgiving

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 22, 2007 12:05pm | Post a Comment
December 4, 1619. 38 Brits got together in Charles Cittie. Captain John Woodleaf spake,

"Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty god."

    Wahunsenacawhk                          Matoaka                                                       John Rolfe

They had reason to give thanks after rocky relations with the natives started to calm down. Previously, after Chief Wahunsenacawh's daughter Matoaka (nicknamed Pocahontas) married John Rolfe, relations between the two peoples had improved. In the spring, however, new leader Opechancanough's adviser and famed warrior/magician Nemattanew (derided as Jack of Feathers by the English for his feathered costume) was murdered by two Englishman disproving Nemattanew's claim that a magic oil made him immune to gunfire.

Opechananough

In revenge for the murder, the Powhatan Confederacy attacked the English, killing 347 (or roughly a third of the colonists) and taking 20 women as hostages. Opechancanough mistakenly thought the English would accept defeat and leave. Instead they retaliated and the Powhatan decided to negotiate. At what was meant to be a peace ceremony, the English (led by Captain William Tucker) served the Powhatan poisoned liquor (prepared by Dr. John Potts) which immediately killed about 200 of them whilst 50 more were killed by hand. Opechancanough escaped.

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