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Articles on Pilgrims

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In the 19th century, there was a campaign to link the Thanksgiving holiday to the Pilgrims. Bettman/Getty Images

The first Thanksgiving is a key chapter in America’s origin story – but what happened in Virginia four months later mattered much more

The communion between Native Americans and the Pilgrims makes for a compelling narrative. But it masks the suspicions and brewing violence that were far more representative of the era.
Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, Mass., is a living museum that’s a replica of the original settlement, which existed for 70 years. Wikimedia Commons

The complicated legacy of the Pilgrims is finally coming to light 400 years after they landed in Plymouth

Descendants from the Pilgrims were keen to highlight their ancestors’ role in the country’s founding. But their sanitized version of events is only now starting to be told in full.
‘Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor’ by William Halsall (1882). Pilgrim Hall Museum

Why the Pilgrims were actually able to survive

The Pilgrims repeatedly thanked God for their good fortune. But without two earlier developments, the entire undertaking at New Plymouth would have likely failed.
We can give thanks to the strong winds of trans-Atlantic trade for ‘Tom Turkey.’ Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Why we have globalization to thank for Thanksgiving

A globalization expert shares two surprising tales of how the powerful winds of trans-Atlantic trade affected the quintessentially American holiday.
Jennie A. Brownscombe’s ‘The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth’ (1914). Wikimedia Commons

The two men who almost derailed New England’s first colonies

The Pilgrims were thankful for finally being able to vanquish Thomas Morton and Ferdinando Gorges, who spent years trying to undermine the legal basis for settlements in Massachusetts and beyond.

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