ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1619, a group of 38 English colonists headed by Captain John Woodlief sailed from England aboard the Margaret. They landed at Berkeley Hundred in Virginia 10 weeks later. The settlers were sent by the London Company which owned thousands of acres in the area, and settled and supported Berkeley Plantation.
Instructions were sent by the Company, to be opened upon reaching Virginia:
We ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall 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.
The London Company’s charter of May 23, 1609, was written principally by Sir Edward Sandys with the concurrence of Sir Francis Bacon, the early philosopher of natural right. Also known as the “Second Virginia Charter,” it was problably the first document to express that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. It was the closest thing to a constitution and bill of rights that colonists in Virginia had for three years, until refined in 1612.
These settlers who disembarked from the Margaret held that first Thanksgiving at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619. Two years later, the first harvest festival was held in William Bradford’s Plymouth Plantation; and for the next one-hundred and seventy years, all the way up to George Washington’s First Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia would take some time, officially, every year to:
- Dedicate a day for prayerful fasting and/or feasting (little of both is good) in thanks to their Creator for their many Blessings
- Commit to live their lives in a way that was humbly deserving of those blessings.
- Seek forgiveness of the Almighty for their sins, transgressions, and shortcomings in that effort.
That same sentiment has been maintained by 44 Presidents through the entire history of our Republic, and we, here at IndED, hope that you, and your family are able to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, pause, with friends, family, and loved ones…and give thanks.
So with that in mind…
We give thanks for:
The opportunity to live in a country where after one of the most contentious elections in our lifetime, we are in the process of a peaceful transition of power in the Executive Branch of the United States government. That we can all, through our disagreements seek what is good, right, and just for the commonweal of the country.
We commit to:
Through all of our programs at IndED to focus on helping our students, and their families create things that are beautiful, inspirational, and thought-provoking, so that our next generation can take on the “social duties of self-government” with confidence.
We strive to:
Be humble in our pursuit of sound education, while acknowledging our shortcomings and striving consistently to improve and deliver programs that are wise, wholesome, and true.
Lastly, we give thanks to our Creator for great students, great parents, and a wonderful community to do business in.
Have a safe, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving!