|Freedom From Want, by Norman Rockwell. This famous painting, made by Rockwell for the war effort in 1943, does not depict a 19th century family. But the grandparents featured at the head of the table would certainly have grown up in the late 1800s. And their parents would have remembered the Civil War era of the mid-1800s. And their grandparents would have remembered long before that. We need not go back very far in the generations to find people who were very familiar with the Agrarian Nation. If you are ever around Stockbridge, Massachusetts, make it a point to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum. My family was there a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely.|
-1853-This is the month in which the people of New England, in imitation of the their ancestors, are accustomed to keep a Thanksgiving festival, in grateful remembrance of the blessings of the year. “I will rejoice and be glad in thee, and celebrate the name of the Most High.” And have we not all reason to rejoice, and give thanks? “The husbandman now counts his sheaves, and reckons up his abundance. Do we not now live upon the gifts of summer and autumn? And with what activity has nature labored, in those delightful seasons, to accomplish the beneficent views of the Creator in favor of man!” We will be thankful, then, for all these signal blessings. Sing, ye farmers and husbandmen! Wake, wake into gratitude, and join in lauding Him who “makes the grass the mountains crown, and corn in valleys grow.”
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]
I greatly admire the Mayflower Pilgrims, and not just because my Grandmother Kimball told me I am a Pilgrim descendant. They were simple people of strong Christian faith who did something very difficult, and left a remarkable legacy. That said, I recommend an essay I posted to the internet several years ago, titled Pilgrims & The Christian-Agrarian Exodus of 1620
I was pleased to discover a documentary about the Pilgrims that was on the History Channel. I don't watch television but someone posted it (a much-condensed version) to YouTube in three parts. It is well worth watching, perhaps even watching with your whole family. There is, of course, much more about the Pilgrim story than is in the short YouTube segments, but they do a decent job of providing a lot of perspective, and you can get something of a "feel" for what the Pilgrims went through in their crossing. I also happen to think the Pilgrim actors in the documentary look far more true to life than J.C. Leyendecker's painting (shown above).
The documentary is titled,Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower. Here are links to the three parts of the documentary on YouTube ...
The above documentary features comments by historian Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the excellent book, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War.
I reviewed the book in my Deliberate Agrarian Blogazine for January 2010 and ended by saying:
"Mayflower is certainly not a mythologizing eulogy to the Pilgrim era of American history. It is a gritty and human account of gritty and enigmatically human people struggling with circumstances like you and I will never know. It is worth noting that the story in Philbrick's Mayflower is one man's historical interpretation of events that took place some 350 years ago. Some of the story, like all such stories, is undoubtedly inaccurate and incomplete. Nevertheless, it is clear that the book was very well researched and, though Philbrick is a secular author, his account is probably as honest and fair-mined as you'll find. I recommend the book to you."
|Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey. The humor here is that Cousin Reginald is a city boy. Turkeys are big, surprisingly strong birds. They can be intimidating to those who are not familiar with them, especially when it comes time to ax off a head. I speak from experience.|
I wish all of you who read this a happy and blessed Thanksgiving 2011. May we all...
Wake, wake into gratitude, and join in lauding Him who “makes the grass the mountains crown, and corn in valleys grow.”