Plymouth. That is where the pilgrims were. Why then am I starting the story of the history of Thanksgiving hundreds of miles south in Virginia? Jamestown, VA was the first permanent English settlement in “the New World” and was established in 1607.
Aside from being in Virginia instead of Massachusetts, what were the major differences between the settlements of Jamestown and Plymouth? Primarily, it was the settlers. Jamestown was first populated by men, fortune seekers and adventure seekers and those that set out on behalf of the joint stock companies that funded the missions to VA.
Massachusetts pilgrims by contrast sought religious freedom after clashing with the religion of a changing England. The settlement at Jamestown grew and it became the capital of VA, before moving to Williamsburg and then Richmond. For much more information about Jamestown, visit http://www.historicjamestowne.org/history/ Here you discover the true stories behind the famous names of John Smith, Pocahontas, and James Rolfe as well as lesser known historical figures. Jamestown is important to the history of Thanksgiving, because if it had not survived as the earlier Roanoke Colony had not, there would have been no precedent for a lasting and successful English colony for which the pilgrims to build upon. The story continues next week.
My best to you all,