The Hand of Providence

The PatriotPost.US By Mark Alexander · Wednesday, November 24, 2010 The genuine spirit of Thanksgiving amid all the hustle and bustle "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." --Psalm 100:4-5 Thanksgiving, as introduced by European explorers and settlers in the "New World," was a time set aside specifically for the purpose of giving thanks to our Creator for His manifold blessings.

The earliest record of a thanksgiving in America is 1541 by Spanish explorer Coronado at Palo Duro Canyon in what is now Texas. French Protestant colonists at Charlesfort (now Parris Island, South Carolina) held a thanksgiving service in 1564. In 1607, the Jamestown settlers held thanksgiving at Cape Henry, Virginia, and there are many other records of such hallowed observances.

The first call for an annual Thanksgiving was at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia, in 1619, when Captain John Woodlief and 38 settlers aboard the ship Margaret, proclaimed, "Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

The first "harvest feast," however, was at Plymouth Colony in 1621, followed by a greater combined feast of Thanksgiving in 1623. Due to the fact that most history books following the War Between the States were written by Northern historians, it is that iconic event which is most directly associated with the current traditions for our national Day of Thanksgiving.

Please take a moment to read a full account of the Pilgrim's Day of Thanksgiving1 and the proclamations for those that followed. I recommend you also view this video from my colleague, Constitution scholar Matt Spalding, entitled "We still hold these truths2."

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