If you’re wondering WHY we observe this national holiday, the roots can be found almost 400 years ago, near the coast of Virginia.
In 1619, the ship Margaret of Bristol, England sailed for Virginia under Captain John Woodleefe (Woodliffe) and brought thirty-eight settlers to the new Town and Hundred of Berkeley. The proprietors instructed the settlers of “the day of our ships arrival . . . shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of Thanksgiving.”
The Margaret landed her passengers at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619. The settlers did indeed celebrate a day of “Thanksgiving”, establishing the tradition a year and 17 days before the Pilgrims arrived aboard the Mayflower at Plymouth, Massachusetts to establish their Thanksgiving Day in 1620.
And it’s likely their celebratory meal of thanks centered around a North American native bird–one that soon came to be permanently named after an Asian country from which a vaguely-similar “Turkey cock” was sold into commerce of the day by merchants in Turkey.
So happy Hindi/Peru/Gobbler/Turkey Day–however you slice it. We’ll have ours with friends on Sunday. Today, Tsuga and I will eat bean soup and work on the wood pile. And be thankful in our own guy-kind-of-way.