Ain't no party like a Puritan Thanksgiving because a Puritan Thanksgiving lasts three days
At some point between September 21st and November 9th (it’s unclear, and anyway, the Pilgrims used the Julian calendar at the time, and I refuse to learn how that differs from our much superior Gregorian model), the Pilgrims discovered that the corn they planted could actually be harvested, and didn’t taste like trash and secrets. Edward Winslow’s account also mentions that, unlike the corn, the peas “were not worth gathering” because “the sun parched them in the blossom” and no one wanted to take responsibility for burning the peas, though naturally everyone quietly blamed this on Little Bart Allerton. Thrilled to have actual food and stop eating old cheese rinds, Governor William Bradford decided that this called for one of those providential holidays, and announced a three-day feast, inviting the Wampanoag. Here’s the actual text from the exchange between Bradford and Massasoit.
Governor Bradford: Bruh, what u doing in Nov?
Massasoit: Taking back r lands u stole. JK. Dunno. U?
GB: LOL. We made corn. And corn = party. It’s going to be lit. Come.
M: Corn, huh? That sounds lit as hell. What should we bring?
GB: Nothing. We got this.
GB: Dunno, maybe a bunch of stuff? Literally think we only have corn. BA (EDITOR’S NOTE: believed to be Bart Allerton) fucked up the peas.
M: Not going if BA is there. 4 real.
Anyway, the party went down, and Thanksgiving was actually a three-day affair. Massasoit got an invite (+90) and brought five deer, as well as cod, bass, and other fish, while the Pilgrims went on a “fowling mission” and brought home “waterfowl” and wild turkeys to be served alongside that corn and barley and no peas. Wild berries were involved, as were chestnuts, and squash. Rumor has it there was even “recreation,” which, for the buzz-killing Puritans wasn’t something fun like playing Stratego, or tossing iniquitous milksop Bartie Allerton into pricker bushes, but just meant wearing more loose-fitting smocks or amusing themselves by thinking up different ways to do chores. Regardless, by all accounts (well, two), it was a rousing success, and should’ve quickly spread across all the colonies and turned into the national holiday we all know and have mixed feelings about. But it didn’t quite happen like that.