400 Years ago today, a group of English colonists on the “Margaret” were about a week out from landing at Berkley Hundred. The settlers were sent by the London Company which had sent instructions, 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 1609, also known as the “Second Virginia Charter,” was probably the first document to express that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed.
And 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 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 45 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…