Posts Tagged ‘Wampanoag’

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THANKSGIVING’S STAIN
By David Allen

Like many holidays,
Thanksgiving has a dark side.
Much like Columbus Day.
Don’t get me wrong,
I love the idea of getting family 
and friends together for an Autumnal feast 
to celebrate surviving another year.
That was the reason for the gathering
of Indians and pilgrims that day
some 398 years ago.
The Pilgrims had survived a horrendous year.

Of the 102 who survived the Mayflower’s trip,
only 51 survived the first winter — 
22 men, 25 children, and 4 women. 
75 percent of the women had died.
The local Indian tribe, the Wampanoag,
helped that first year, showing the Pilgrims
how to farm the New World and 90 of them joined
in the English tradition of celebrating the Fall harvest. 

The tribe was repaid over the next 50 years
With murders and massacres.
In 1675, their situation was so dire,
many of them joined in an uprising
called King Philip’s War
The Colonists were too strong by then
And another 40 percent of the tribe were killed.
Many of the Male Indian survivors
were sold into slavery in the Caribbean,
their women and children became farm 
and house slaves in New England.

I doubt many of their descendants
Think of this holiday as very thankful.