Three Rarely Told Thanksgiving Miracles, And…

Miracle #1 – It was November 1620. The Pilgrims’ ship, the Mayflower, accidentally sailed right past the natural harbor in which they planned to land. Good thing.   Hostile natives had seen the boat offshore and were waiting to ambush the ship and its 102 passengers.

Miracle #2 – As they explored another harbor farther north (Plymouth Rock) they discovered an even better situation—a fresh water river teeming with fish, a large flat, previous cleared 3-acre field for growing crops, and a high hill perfect for their cannon to ward off enemies.  A Native Indian tribe had previously developed the farmland, but the entire lot had succumbed to a recent plague. As a result, no native tribes wanted anything to do with the land for fear it was cursed.

Miracle #3 – That first winter of 1620-21 was a horridly cold one. The Pilgrims were hardly prepared and nearly half of the Pilgrim community perished from a variety of maladies. An Indian named Samoset shocked the Pilgrims by approaching them speaking broken English!  Samoset then introduced the Pilgrims to his friend, Squanto, who spoke perfect English.  Together, Squanto and Samoset helped the settlers survive after the first winter.

As opposed to the North American settlers farther south in Jamestown who had a slogan, “Damn your soul, grow tobacco,” the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock were peaceful, God-fearing folks who had wonderful relationships with their native neighbors.  During that first Thanksgiving in November of 1621, the surviving English families had experienced great hardship and loss. Nonetheless, they fellowshipped with deep appreciation for their Indian friends and thanked God for all they had.

To those who foolishly contend America was not founded as a Christian nation, and the founder were all slaveholders, let me just share two more facts. First, the original Mayflower Compact, agreed to by the folks who came across on the Mayflower states:


We, whose names are underwritten… Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith… a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid…

The foundation of the northern colonies of America were certainly God-based. The pilgrims desired to make their new home one that was found upon Biblical precepts,  and becoming a headquarters for sharing the Gospel worldwide.

Second, here are some comments on slavery from a few of those who would eventually, and officially, found the United States of America:

John Adams “A foul contagion in the human character.”

Governeur Morris (wrote the preamble to the Constitution) “A laudable horror…in the defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity.”

Ben Franklin: “Mankind are all formed by the same almighty being,  alike objects of his care and equally designed for the enjoyment of happiness.”

Thomas Paine, one of the most persuasive voices for Independence: “an outrage against humanity and justice.”

Roger Sherman, signer of both the Declaration and Constitution, called slavery, “iniquitous.”

While some of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence did own slaves, the vast majority did not; the same can be said of the Signers to the Constitution. The practice was abolished following a horrid Civil War that saw over 600,000 Americans die. Sadly, America’s original sin still lingers today, with intolerance coming from a variety of sides. This was never the intention of the men and woman who risked all aboard the Mayflower, to establish a one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Brian Sussman

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