Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony: A Survival Story

The True Story of Plymouth and the First Thanksgiving

by Karen Lees, staff writer

From The Language of Liberty Series

Few public school students remain who remember the true story of the Pilgrim’s first few years in Plymouth Colony. The historic  record was at one time a valuable part of American education. Essential lessons were learned from the failure of our nation’s first disastrous experiment with communism. The first settler’s failure actually birthed the implementation of free market economics in the new world.

The truth of much of America’s history simply does not support the politically correct narrative of today’s textbook authors, so the truth has dwindled into obscurity over the many years of revision. J.R.R. Tolkien commented on how history can be lost when he wrote in “Lord of the Rings”, “History became legend. Legend became myth. [And after many years it] passed out of all knowledge.”

Children are led to believe a myth that goes something like this: That first Thanksgiving of 1621, because the Pilgrims were incompetent farmers and hunters, they nearly starved to death in their new home. The following spring, the kindly local Indians showed them how to plant crops and hunt wild game. When the next harvest season came around, their crops were so bountiful that the Pilgrims held a celebration to thank the Indians for saving their lives. Aside from being factually inaccurate, this narrative leaves out some important information essential to understanding principles of liberty.

Plymouth Colony, founded in 1620, was governed by a pre-determined social contract. The original charter, mandated by the investors who financed the Pilgrim’s endeavor, called for a system of communal property and labor. Much like today, this system was the popular prevailing political theory at the time in Europe and Britain.

In a Forbes 2012 article, Jerry Bowyer writes, “The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child.”

An English writer in 1844 described the devastation which existed when his nation experimented with communism: “Full one third of our population [in the United Kingdom] subsist entirely, or rather starve, upon potatoes alone, another third have, in addition to this edible, oaten or inferior wheaten bread, with one or two meals of fat pork, or the refuse of the shambles [slaughterhouses], per week; while a considerable majority of the re­maining third seldom are able to procure an ample daily supply of good butcher’s meat or obtain the luxury of poultry from year to year…On the continent of Europe, population is still in a worse condition…”

Human nature being what it is, the communal system lacks the essential built-in motivation to work. The natural principle of incentives toward productivity cannot be thwarted – no matter how much man tries to get around it. As old as mankind is the principle “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”.  (My Emphasis)

In order to find true satisfaction and happiness, each human in some way, big or small, must be as productive as they are able in order to gain satisfaction and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Many youth, especially of earlier generations, learned a strong work ethic by earning an allowance, working an after-school job, working on the family farm, or by starting their own small business

Founder of the Plymouth Colony, Governor William Bradford, recorded in his diary “Of Plymouth Plantation” that the people had been known for their “virtue and hard work”, but under the communal system, became “lazy and unproductive”.

Many modern-day descendants of the Pilgrims observe a Thanksgiving tradition to remind themselves of their ancestor’s failed experiment and near extinction. Each family member around the table places three kernels of corn on their plate. This was the ration each Pilgrim had during the difficult early days of communal living in the Plymouth Colony.

After two and a half years, with more than half of the Pilgrim population taken by starvation and disease, the decision was made to ditch the charter promoting the system of communism and opt for a system where each should keep the fruits of their own labor.

William Bradford then wrote:

“All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with ye advise of ye chiefest among them) gave way that they should set come every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves… And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance) and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then other ways would have been by any means ye Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into ye field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”

As a result of applying a principle grounded in the natural right to keep the fruits of one’s own labor, the new colony not only survived but thrived. Thus, the iconic first Thanksgiving of 1623 was celebrated with a feast that has endured as tradition for more than 400 years.

Thanksgiving is part of our American heritage and is now embedded in the DNA of our culture. Of course, the Indians had come to the aid of the settlers, just as the settlers had also helped their native neighbors. The Indians were invited guests who contributed to the Thanksgiving feast to celebrate their mutual blessings together as friends and to give thanks to God. But it was the principle of liberty that saved the Pilgrim’s lives – keeping the fruits of one’s own labor – that fostered the settler’s ability to survive and thrive.

Bradford concluded, “Let none object this – is men’s corruption, and nothing to ye course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them.”

The “Language of Liberty®” series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include trainers, administrative staff, and selected students. They may be contacted at info@tncsg.org

This Thanksgiving we can still reflect on the things that make us hopeful


By Kevin “Coach” Collins

Today is a day for pausing to remember how blessed we are to be here in America the greatest country under the watchful eye of God. Think of your advantages; love your family and let this day renew your resolve to fight to keep the blessings our Founding Fathers gave us.  

While things are as dark and dreary as they have been in our lifetime, there is room for gratitude to God for what we have. We are the people who have made this country what it is. Even though we are facing the worst the liberals can throw at us we have to take stock of what we have and turn our focus toward the future.

We have a system that allows us to change the leadership of our nation – however difficult it may be. We live in a land that offers opportunities not available in the rest of the world.

Even those in poverty here live several levels above the grinding actual poverty seen in so many places around the world.

We KNOW what we are capable of. We know that however far we have been pushed down by those who would destroy America, we can and will bounce back. In just four months after the 2008 election we organized and made ourselves a force that overwhelmed our enemies in 2010. We KNOW we can and must do this again because we are the ones who understand what America is supposed to be.

As you sit at your Thanksgiving table today look around at the young people among you. Look at your children and grandchildren. They are the future and we can see them succeed because no matter what the enemies of freedom do or say, we will eventually prevail.


Proudly bow your head in prayer to the Almighty and praise Him for the blessings He has sent to you.

 Thank him for the United States Military whose war fighters keep us free. Thank Him for the Firefighters and Police Officers that keep us safe each night as we sleep.

Search your heart and you’ll find many reasons to be thankful. It won’t be as easy this year, but we’re Americans, we turn to God at times like this, and He will hear our prayers.    



Thanksgiving thoughts from the coachisright.com team

 By The CiR Staff

 Kevin “Coach” Collins

 Today is a day for pausing to remember how blessed we are to be here in America the greatest country under the watchful eye of God. Think of your advantages; love your family and let this day renew your resolve to fight to keep the blessings our Founding Fathers gave us.  

 Doug Book

 Those who have spent the last decade or two listening to Rush know that he is adamant about presenting his audience with the true story of Thanksgiving.  “We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God,”  reads the 1619 Charter of Berkeley Hundred.  In school we were taught that the Pilgrims gave thanks to American Indians, but Thanksgiving is and has always been a day of giving thanks to God for leading the first settlers safely to the “New World.”

 Suzanne Eovaldi

 God Help Us; God Help Our Land; God Help Our Unborn Children; our Servicemen fighting other people’s Wars.  God Help United States Citizens.  Let us grasp hands together today at our Thanksgiving Day tables and pray that America is saved from the District of Corruption, from the Federal Reserve.  We Need You God.  

 Ron Reale

 I thank God for the continued good health, against all odds, of the elders in our family. I am also thankful for having been born in America, a land of infinite possibilities. I am also thankful for the awakening of the TEA party, even though their past apathy, like the Silent Majority before them, allowed these problems to rise and thrive.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

 James Lewis

 Thanksgiving is a day we express gratitude to God for all of our blessings. Please take time and give thanks and prayers for the best this country has to offer whether they are soldiers in harm’s way, police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel. God bless these heroes and God bless America.

 Jerry Todd

 God told Adam to “subdue the Earth,” discover its elements and beauty; build great things and rejoice in sharing His ongoing creation. Lowly silicon had capabilities we couldn’t even imagine. Be good stewards of our myriad gifts from God. Never return to horse manure and flies teeming on city streets.

 Emma K. Emmett:

 The curses of today may well be the gifts for tomorrow. As painful as it is to watch, I am thankful to see capitalism vs. socialism on display. My prayer is that the most egregious outrages of 2011 will be the enlightenment for hoards of voters in 2012.

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 This day in history November 24

1871: The National Rifle Association was incorporated and has helped to keep us safe and free ever since.

See Coach on Youtube! Go to the new Coach’s Locker Room page to see and what the Coach has to say on the issues that conservatives care about.

 In this world you may have knowledge or you may have repose, but you may not have both.  What have you done today to deserve to live in America?

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Be of good cheer on this Thanksgiving Day

By Kevin “Coach” Collins

Today is Thanksgiving Day a time for giving thanks to God for all the good things He has showered upon us and our nation.

Yes, we were badly beaten and sure it would be easy to cynically say, “There is nothing to be Thankful for” but that’s just not the case, because there’s still so much good all around us.

God most certainly loves America.

From the early days of our Revolution, God has blessed and protected Americans as we worked to form His most favored nation. Under God’s watchful eyes our liberties were secured for us by America’s Founding Fathers; patriots who fought and died for us.

For this we must be thankful.

We must be thankful to live in this, the greatest country in the world, because there could be no better nation to start the movement we need to restore those liberties lost on Election Day.

America is still the country the world’s people want to come to.

By God’s grace we have plenty of food and clean water for healthy lives; we have a political system that allows us to regroup speak out and try to win converts to our ideas after such a terrible beating; and we have a financial system that can and will survive this socialist assault.

Even at this darkest hour we must still be thankful to the Lord for all the graces and blessings He has sent us. America is clearly God’s favorite country; so we will succeed in making things right again.

Country, community and family are all of the advantages we need to get the job done. We have them all, thanks to God’s love for America.

Remembering these things should bring us good cheer as we eat a meal so much of the world can only dream about.

Because we have won favor with God America is the jewel of the world’s nations. We can and will survive this temporary swerve to the left. Americans are not socialists and shortly that fact will become apparent. Everything swings from side to side and nothing in politics is permanent. Let’s count our blessings and be ready to do God’s work by righting America when He calls us to duty because that day is coming sooner than we think..