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  • Writer's pictureMatilda Butler


Wow! Just Imagine What Thanksgiving Was Like 401 Years Ago

Kendra and I Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving.

We are so grateful to have you as part of our RosieCentral community. For us, this is all about strong women (actually we are all strong although not all men agree) and their stories (of our lives and those of other women).

Kendra is a history scholar and once worked as an archeologist in Williamsburg. We've had many discussions of what life was like in the early days of this country. Last year, we talked about having a special celebration for the 400th Thanksgiving -- 1621 to 2021. But after many sources said there were no women, we decided to not pursue the plan.

But There Were Women at the First Thanksgiving

We know there were women -- someone cooked the food and someone cleaned up! It was unlikely to have been men. So while the contributions and names of the women have been lost to history, we know they were there.

Note: Some sources say the four women at the first Thanksgiving were Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins, Mary Brewster and Susanna White. Other sources say there were no women.

And Where Was the Thanksgiving?

The event generally acknowledged to be the first Thanksgiving was held at Plymouth (or Plimoth, depending on your preference) Plantation. Plymouth settlement was active from 1620-1691 and was the first permanent English colony in New England.

The other well-known colony was Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown is considered the first permanent English colony in North America. It lasted from 1607-1699. In 1699, the government and the settlement moved to Middle Plantation -- renamed Williamsburg (our story touches on Kendra's history again). Although not everyone left Jamestown, it was no longer considered a town -- more a collection of small farms.

Acknowledge the Value of Women At Every Thanksgiving

Even in 2022, major family events are often in the hands of women. Sure many men help at Thanksgiving. They may cook a favorite dish or wash dishes or do other tasks. But the major planning, invitation making, decorating, shopping, cooking, and house cleaning is left to women.

So I hope that as you sit around the Thanksgiving table today, you acknowledge all that women have done and continue to do to ensure that Thanksgiving remains a well celebrated day that is enjoyed by family and friends.


Each Saturday for the next 3 weeks, we're going to UNVEIL a special holiday gift box.

We hope you'll check in and check them out.




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