Nov 26 2013

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony

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After half their numbers perished during the 1st winter, Governor Bradford came up with a novel concept. Private property!

Taken from http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/14-bra.html written by William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony

[Social organization of property and economics at Plymouth – 1623]
All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expecte any. So they begane to thinke how they might raise as much corne as they could, and obtaine a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length, after much debate of things, the Gov[erno]r (with the advise of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corne every man for his owne particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to goe on in the generall way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance), and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted than other ways would have been by any means the Gov[erno]r or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now wente willingly., into the field, and tooke their little-ones with them to set corne, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.’ Read more »