Our corn [i.e. wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, but our peas not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sown. They came up very well, and blossomed, but the sun parched them in the blossom. Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
Edward Winslow ~~~ 12/12/1621
It wasn't the "First Thanksgiving," which you can read about in some detail here, and the Pilgrims were hardly Pacifists or purveyors of the benefits of multicultural diversity, as you can read here. But one of them,Digory Priest, was my ancestor and, although he didn't last long, he more or less got me here, and leaves me today with the sense of the Pilgrim journey, any pilgrim journey, as one of faithfulness to relentless challenge. So while our family celebrates tomorrow in Chicago and Portland and Cincinnati, we'll raise a glass to Mr. Priest and his family and friends, who could never have imagined what they were setting in motion.