Photo from Berkeley Facebook Page and a great place to visit
“…yearly and perpetually keept…”
America’s first official annual Thanksgiving was a matter of deep prayer and thankfulness
The first English-speaking observance of Thanksgiving occurred in 1619, on the site of what is now Berkeley Plantation.
1619 a.d, Berkeley Plantation, on Virginia’s James River, about 40-miles upriver from Jamestown Island:
“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for the plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God”…
(35 settlers and 19 crewmen aboard the small, but seaworthy English vessel “The Good Ship Margaret”, arrived at Berkeley Hundred on 4 Dec, went ashore in a holy hush, knelt and began giving thanks to God for guiding and keeping them safe during their 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Bristol, England to this, their destination).
America’s first official annual Thanksgiving was a matter of deep prayer and thankfulness: No feasting, no family, no watching tv sports… none of that modern-day, shallow “Good food, hot meat, Good God, let’s eat!“. Not bad for Virginia Company settlers supposedly motivated by greed and lust for profit. … Actually, their prayer-actions that day were quite in keeping with the 1606 First Virginia Charter (Birth Certificate of American Civilization) with its single, written purpose “…propagating of Christian Religion…”, which purpose was repeated both in the 1609 Second and 1612 Third Virginia Charters, and evidenced by the Cross-raising service at Cape Henry in 1607, directly-followed during the next four weeks by Cross-plantings along the James River up to the famous Christopher Newport Cross on a small island right at the Fall Line (today’s Richmond).
The Virginia Company, headquartered in London (which did not come to Virginia, but sent settlers to the “Continent of Virginia”), was a product of sturdy English Reformation men who had searingly-witnessed mis-use of hereditary-governing power, by both State and Church, e.g. Queen Mary burning Protestants at the stake, the 1588 Spanish Armada attempt to murder Queen Elizabeth I and extirpate all English Protestantism, and the stunning Jesuit-related 1605 Gunpowder Plot which came within a week of blowing-up, in a great thunder-clap, King James, his heir-apparent Prince Henry, and the entire Parliament.
The Virginia Company was not just an economic venture, but was a Bible-based Christian economic venture, intended to replace “Princehood and Priestcraft with President and Preacher”. The Visionary, and chief author of the Virginia Company Charters was Rev. Richard Hakluyt, the Legislative Leader was Sir Edwin Sandys (a prominent puritan-Anglican, and nemesis of anti-representative-government King James), the Establisher on-site was Sir Thomas Dale (puritan-Anglican Governor, headquartered at the 1611 Citty of Henricus, Virginia’s first Capitol), who taught Pocahontas to read thru study of the Bible), the puritan-Anglican Minister there was Rev. Alexander Whitaker (who Baptised her in the James River), and the puritan-Anglican Entreprenuer John Rolfe (who, as any true Virginian knows, married and had a son with Pocahontas).
It is worthy to remember that before 1619, along the James River had been established America’s 1st Private Property owners, legally referred to as “Ancient Planters” (1616 a.d.), and. just bare months before the solemn 1619 a.d. Berkeley Thanksgiving, were several other historic Firsts in 1619 a.d, notably the Virginia General Assembly (which founded Henricus Colledge, 10,000-acre riverfront campus at the Fall Line.
NOTE: That first educational system was revived in 1992 a.d, as Henricus Colledge (1619)®, adapted for Continuing Education and Primary-source Research, focused on America’s “Lineage of Liberty Under Law”) , the arrival of West Africans (who were not kept as slaves, but were entered into the standard system of 7-year Indentured Servants), a shipload of “Maids-for Wives” (recruited thru the Anglican Church, with the intention “to fix the people upon the soyle”), and a ship full of Orphans (mostly from London). The 400th Anniversary of these are being celebrated in an international teaching event during 2019 a.d. See…www.firstcolledge.us
What about the Pilgrims?
Well… 2-years and 17-days after the 1619 Berkeley Thanksgiving… the religious Mayflower Pilgrims (including their Public Relations writer), in 1621 a.d, finally, over a year after they had landed in 1620 a.d. at Plimouth Rock, had their Thanksgiving, a one-time-only thing, and tho very sincere, there was nothing said about theirs being an annual event.
In 1962 a.d, JFK issued a typical “Plimouth First” Proclamation, but the next year, after he learned (mostly from Virginia State Senator John Wicker and a delegation of Virginians who traveled to visit both Massachusetts Gov. John Volpe and Plimouth Plantation, giving them Virginia Turkeys plus historically correct information) of the earlier 1619 James River Thanksgiving, issued a corrected version in 1963 a.d….”Over three centuries ago, our forefathers in Virginia and Massachusetts, far from home in a lonely wilderness, set aside a time of thanksgiving“… So… now you know that all of American Civilization was founded by Bible-believing Christians who knew to pray and give God thanks, you as Americans may confidently do so yourselves. Blessings.
©2017(22 Nov), Steven C. Smith; Chancellor, Henricus Colledge (1619)®: www.firstcolledge.us