Les 4eLCE vous racontent l’histoire du premier THANKSGIVING

19 Jan 2024 | Anglais, Disciplines, Informations ponctuelles

Dans le cadre de notre chapitre sur « MANIFEST DESTINY » et la conquête de l’Ouest américain les élèves de 4e ALI et RUSSEL de M. Pappalardo ont été amenés à travailler sur les les évènements qui ont poussé les puritains à quitter l’Europe puis, plus tard, les colons britanniques à déclarer leur indépendance.
Après un travail de recherches sur les persécutions regilieuses subies par les puritains, les élèves ont cherché à comprendre comment la traversée à bord du Mayflower s’est passée, et qui a accueilli les Européens lors de leur arrivée dans le Nouveau Monde. Ce premier Thanksgiving posera les bases de l’idéologie protestante selon laquelle la nation américaine aurait pour mission divine l’expansion de la « civilisation » au détriment des Natifs.
Mme Lassaque, professeure d’Histoire Géographie EMC rejoindra les cours d’anglais en Février afin de sensibiliser les élèves aux tenants et aboutissants de la conquête de l’Ouest et du sentiment de Manifest Destiny prôné par les Américains. M. Pappalardo et Mme Lassaque ont créé un jeu de rôles grandeur nature, qui mettra les élèves dans la peau de familles européennes réparties en 7 expéditions, parties à la recherche de la terre promise. Un parcours semé d’embuches les attend : attaque de bandits de haut-chemins, attaques de Natifs, accidents, catastrophes naturelles et épidémies seront au programme. Alors, qui sauvera le plus de colons ?
En attendant, voici le travail des élèves : la description du FIRST THANKSGIVING qui a renforcé l’idée selon laquelle le nouveau continent était destiné aux colons, malgré la présence des Natifs.

First of all, let us describe this document.

This document is an oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris and it was made in the USA in 1915. The title of this document is “The first Thanksgiving”. Before going any further, let us tell you the story behind the first Thanksgiving.

It all started with the arrival of the Pilgrims on board the Mayflower in 1620, they were 102 passengers of which 40 Pilgrims. They left England because they were frustrated with the Church of England, a.k.a. the Anglican church. These people, who began to call themselves separatists because they wanted to separate from the Anglican church to worship in their own way, began to face Religious persecution in England because this country wasn’t protestant enough.

The first plan for people who wanted to leave the Anglican Church (Pilgrims) was to go to the Netherlands but they weren’t happy so they went to the New World instead. First, they tried to go to Virginia because they signed a contract to settle under the governor appointed by Great Britain but unfortunately, because of treacherous storms the Pilgrims had to settle in Massachusetts. Then they called their colony Plymouth.

In his journal, William Bradford said that 41 adult male colonists signed a famous document called the Mayflower Compact on November 11th 1620 and they promised to be loyal to King James I, to work together, to be good Christians and to create a self-governing society and John Carver was their first governor and it was apparently a success.

Unfortunately when winter came just 50 people survived because of malnutrition. In spring, they met the Wampanoag Tribe and this tribe helped the Pilgrims; a Native American named Squanto helped them grow new crops. The Tribal chief Massassoit signed a treaty with the Pilgrims : the Pilgrims had to defend the tribe against their enemies in exchange for food and help.

In the Fall of 1621, Pilgrims and Natives came together to celebrate a traditional harvest festival and that’s why around 1863 the president Lincoln commemorated this time of gratitude and established a national holiday called Thanksgiving. Americans gather around a table share food and what they are thankful for.

Let’s get back to the past, around 1621. In the past, Thanksgiving was a 3-day harvest festival with the Natives in Plymouth. However, in 1637 the peace stopped because the colonists massacred the local tribes including the Wampanoag.

So now for the Natives Americans, Thanksgiving means of racism, violence, genocide and mistreatment. So, the Native don’t celebrate Thanksgiving they commemorate “Unthanksgiving day”.

We can say that Thanksgiving is a hypocritical celebration and we think the Pilgrims could have handled things differently. To be honest, we believe it’s not fair at all because the colonist should be grateful for the help of the Natives, but they killed them and they stole their their land for the sake of expansion.

Let’s go back to the oil on canvas. In the background, we can see the sea and a large little island if we are in the details. In the foreground, we can see many people. We suppose that people with dresses, hats and others are the Pilgrims and the others with feathers are the Natives Americans. We can also see on the right a table with food, a house and a dog. Pay attention though, the scene depicted here is a romanticized version and not historically accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground.

We do not fully understand why the Pilgrims killed the Wampanoag tribe but we hope you enjoyed the story of the first Thanksgiving.

Ciel & Capucine

You think you know everything about thanksgiving? Well you don’t.

Let us tell you about the true story of thanksgiving.

Well first, we are gonna tell you about an oil on canvas by Jean Gerome Ferris. Before going any further, we really must tell you about how it came to be. Actually, on September 6th 1620, 102 persecuted British boarded the mayflower and set sail to the New World in America where they wanted to start a new life. Obviously, there were only 40 separatists a.k.a. « saints » or later « pilgrims ». The rest were actually « strangers« . Indeed, prior to 1620 a group of people had grown increasingly frustated with the church of England a.k.a. the Anglican church. These pepeole, who began to call themself separatists because they wanted to separate from the Anglican church to worship in their own way, began to face religion persecution in England. They tried to worship in secret, but this was no way to live.

So on September 6th, 1620 they boarded the Mayflower. Their voyage lasted 66 days. To start a better life the pilgrims went to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When they arrived in Massachusetts, they met a new population with a different tradition. As it was the first time in this new world, they were not ready and had not enough food, so they robbed corn from Natives. This gesture proves the pilgrims were very disrespectful to the Natives. Indeed, robbing someone who welcomes you with open arms is very rude – especially for people who considered themselves good Christians. They eventually talked with the king of the Wampanoag, Massasoit: they found an alliance with him to make them stronger so the Natives can help the pilgrims to farm their land and grow new crops.

This oil painting explains how the natives the natives helped the Pilgrims.

The scene depicted here is a romanticized version and not historically accurrate. The clothing worn by the pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground. On the canvas I could see in the foreground a girl who is giving some food to the Natives. She is wearing a long and modern dress. I’m not sure but I imagine the Natives are represented looking happy. I could see the Natives are wearing a specific and not very common outfit with some weapons. In the background I could see the Pilgrims who are wearing both a modern and rich outfit. I guess the Pilgrims seem to be partying. I can see in the back the Ocean, I suppose it’s where the pilgrims arrived. On the right there is a dinner table with some pilgrims. We find it’s very disrespectful given that the Pilgrims eat on a table whereas the Natives are on the ground.

After the alliance the pilgrims started to invade Natives territories and ultimately, the colonists massacred the local tribes. That’s why now the Natives celebrate the Unthanksgiving day, they want to show their anger to the Pilgrims who were racist, violent and started a genocide. We believe Thanksgiving celebrates today a holiday and the traditional harvest festival, as the Pilgrims thanked God with prayers ; but Americans often forget how their ancestors managed to cope and how they massacred a rich culture, born on what they now call « their land. »

Léo & Jules

Well, first, let us present this new document. This document is an oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris in 1915. It is kept a private collection.

You think know the story of the US ? Well you’re wrong ! You know just one side of the coin…

So, let’s start from the backstory behind this painting.

Everything began in 1620 when the Mayflower left England on September 6th with 102 passagers (later called Saints and Strangers) because they wanted to go to North America to find religious freedom. Indeed, prior to 1620, a group of people had grown increasingly frustrated with the church of England, a.k.a the Anglican church. These people, who began to call themesleves Separatists because they wanted to separate from the Angelican church to worship in their own way, began to face religious persecution in England. They tried to workship in secret, but this was no way to live.

Two months later, when they arrived in Cape Cod, sixteen men were sent to inspect the land and search for food and water but, the settlers didn’t know how to fish or hunt. So they stole from graves – indeed, the land was not deserted as Natives lived there and buried their dead with corn. They also pillaged homes and storage houses to eat. Then, they were attacked by Natives but no one was actually killed.

On December, 12th they arrived in New Plymouth they settled but at the end of winter, 52 settlers died from bad conditions. Only 50 survived. But one day at spring, Samoset told them they were building on top of village called Patuxet, whose residents had all died from the recent epidemic. It belonged to the Wampanoag, and their chief, Massasoit, was watching them. The settlers were eager to trade goods. King Massasoit understood an alliance with the Pilgrims could make them stronger, as they were very weak and hated they rival tribe the Narragansett. So fives days later, Samoset returned with furs and companions including Tisquantum. Know famously as Squanto, King Massasoit asked Squando, an English-speaking Natives American, to help them farm their land and grown new corps. On the day of the harvest festival, the Wampanoag hunted deer meat and joined the festivities. So, it is this last scene which is represented in the painting.

Now, let us present the painting. But before we start, please know this scene is romanticized and is not historical accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground.
So, this painting is representing the scene of the first Thanksgiving. In the foreground, on the left, you can see the Pilgrims who are offering food to the Wampanoag who are siting on the ground. What happened actually, was quite the opposite. In this scene, we can guess the Pilgrims subjugate the Wampanoag making them sit on the floor and giving them food, while the Pilgrims are sat on comfortable chairs – even though they aren’t in their country. You can see the Pilgrims are depicted as being quite wealthy given that they are beautifully dressed – though innacurate – whereas of Wampanoag who are half-naked and dressed more simply.

This goes to show how a simple painting can lie about History.

Léa & Valentine

Well first let us present this new document. This is an oil canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris entitled « The first thanksgiving.» It’s not in a museum as it is from a private collection. It was painted in 1915 – which explains why the outfits are actually innacurate.

Before going any further, let us tell you what happened prior to this celebration. First, on 6th September 1620, Pilgrims sailed to the New World onboard the Mayflower because they were persecuted by King James I. The journey took 66 days. They originally intended to settle in Virginia : indeed they had signed a contract to settle there under the governor appointed by Great Britain. Unfortunately, because of treacherous storms, they had to sail north and settle in Cap cod Massachussets instead : they called their colony Plymouth because it was the name of the city in England they left from. Upon arrival it was hash winter, they didn’t have any food, and half of the passengers died.

Over spring, they met with the Wampanoag tribe and made a pact. In exchange for food and help, the pilgrims agreed to defend the tribe against their ennemies.

In the fall of 1621, to thank God who sent the natives their way, they organized a harvest festival. This is what the painting depicts. You can see, in the foreground Natives, Pilgrim children and parents. On the right, there is a table filled with food. I’m not sure but I guess, the food was given by the Natives. In the background, you can see a wooden cabin, obviously the Pilgrims’. In the background, you can see also the wilderness and the ocean. But the scene depicted here is a romanticized version and not historically accurate. The clothing worn by the pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag tribe did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground. Quite peculiar indeed. Peace was short because the Pilgrims killed the local tribes including the Wampanoag.

In 1863, President Lincoln will commemorate this time of gratitude and comradery, by establishing a national holiday called Thanksgiving.

Well to be honest, we do believe it is not fair at all, given that the colonist should be grateful for the help from the native, but they ended up killing them and Stealing their land for the shake of expansion. We reckon it’s an hypocritical celebration.

So for many native Americans, the holiday invokes a legacy of racisme, violence, genocide, and mistreatment. For them it’s Unthanksgiving day.

This painting, thus gives a wrong reading of real History.

Louise & Remy

Well, I will present a painting, but, before going any further, let me tell you the story of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a tradition invented by the Pilgrims, and the Wampanoag tribe. The Pilgrims arrived in the «New World» aboard the Mayflower in 1621 because they were persecuted by King James I. They had a contract to go to Jamestown, Virginia, but they couldn’t settle there. There were teacherous storms, so they went in Cape Cod, Massachussetts. Once in Plymouth, the Pilgrims asked wondered… what were the laws ? who was in charge ? how would decisions be made ? Finally, they elected John Carver as governor. The first winter was terrible : there were 50 survivors out of 102 passengers because there was no food. The settlers were saved by the Wampanoag tribe. They signed a treaty: in exchange of food and help, the colonists defend the tribe against their rival tribe, the Narragansett. In the end of winter, Pilgrims and Wampanoag came together in the village of the settlers, and they feasted during 3 days.

For 16 years, they did this every year. But in 1637, the Pilgrims decided to massacre all local tribes, including the Wampanoag, to expand their land. Today, Thanksgiving is just a little party: every fourth Thursday of November, Americans gather around a table to share food, and what are they thankful for. On the other hand, the Natives celebrated the « Unthanksgiving day », a day of mourning.

Well, back to our painting. First of all, The scene depicted here is a romanticized version and not historically accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground.

In the foreground, we can see Pilgrims who share food with Natives. I’m not sure but I guess they are the Wampanoag tribe. I am assuming the Native who has more feathers than other Natives is Squanto, the king of the Wampanoag. In the background, on the right, there is a small stone hut, while on the left and in the middle, there are trees and a lake .

Fregan

Let us present this document. Well, this is obviously an oil on canvas. It has been painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris in 1915 and it is titled is “the first Thanksgiving.

Before going any further, we really must tell you how this came to be. The Pilgrims were persecuted in England because they found the emerging Anglican religion was not strict enough. They left England to go to Virginia onboard a boat called the Mayflower. But upon arrival, there was a big storm so the Pilgrims went in Massachusetts instead of Virginia. They arrived on the nineteenth November 1620. In the winter, the half the colonists Pilgrims died. For this reason, the Pilgrims did an alliance with the Wampanoag tibe because they didn’t know how to cultivate, fish or hunt. On the other hand the Pilgrims protected the Wampanoag against the rival tribe, the Narragansett. They organized an honor meal to thank God and the tribe for their help. During the meal the Pilgrims brought their harvest and the Wampanoag brought venisson. It lasted three days.

This is the story of Thanksgiving. At least, how Americans want it remembered. This celebration in 1621, was the first harvest festival. In 1863, the president Lincoln will commemorate this time of gratitude and comradery by establishing a national holiday called Thanksgiving every four Thursday of November.

Now, let’s come back on the canvas! The scene is a romanticized version and is not really historically accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims are incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting in the ground. In the foreground, there are Native Americans sitting on the ground and Pilgrims are standing up next to the table. We think the author wanted to show the Pilgrims were superior to the Natives because they were not sitting together on the ground.

At the top left hand corner, you can see two women: the first one seems to be a Native woman and the second one seems to be a Pilgrim. I imagine they are speaking together so they represents the union of people. Next, in the top right hand corner, there is a wooden cabin. I may be wrong, but I guess this house means civilization. Last, in the background, I can see the ocean. Perhaps it is the Atlantic Ocean by which the Pilgrims arrived with the Mayflower.

We do believe the Pilgrims took advantage of the Natives to settle in their country but they did not have respect for the them. They considered the tribe as inferior people. Indeed, to conclude with a little bit of history, in 1631 the Pilgrims started a decade long war with the Native Americans. Ultimately, the colonists massacred the local tribes, including the Wanpanoag.

Paco & Baptiste

First of all let us present the nature of the document : well, this is obviously an oil on canvas painted by JLG Ferris in 1915, and entitled « The first Thanksgiving.« 

The historical context starts on September the 6th 1620, when 102 persecuted British families boarded the Mayflower and set sail to the new world, America, where they wanted to start a new life. Actually 40 separatists aka « Saints » or later « Pilgrims, » who wanted to worship freely, landed 60 days later in Cap Code, Massachusets. They initially wanted to go to Virginia where people waited for them, but treachorous storms forced them north, in Massachussets.

As mentioned in William Bradford’s journal, meanwhile the passengers were arriving to the New World on November the 11th 1620, 41 of the male passengers signed the famous document known as the « Mayflower Compact ». In the Compact the settlers promised that they would : « remain loyal to King James I, be christians, work together and create a self-governing society.« 

When they arrived on November 11th 1620 the winter was harsh which caused the death of a little over half the settlers. By the time winter ended there were only 50 Pilgrims left.

Shortly after spring came they met Squanto, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe. The chief Massasoit sent Squanto to help the colonists because he was the only one who spoke English.

Afterwards the settlers invited the Natives to a 3-day Harvest festival in Plymouth. It was actually just a routine English harvest celebration to celebrate the end of winter and the good harvest of food. This scene is depicted on the painting.

In the foreground what we first notice is how the Natives and the Pilgrims seem to be celebrating together. On the first hand, we can see some Pilgrim men wearing either tunics or armours while the women are wearing dresses. On the other hand the men and women of the Wampanoag Tribe are dressed in animal skin and two men in the middle are wearing feathered war bonnets on their head. The scene depicted here is an idealized version and not historically accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag Tribe did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground. We am not certain but we think that the some elements are not historically accurate given that it was painted around 294 years later. Our guess is that the painter did not know what clothes they wore so he just made them wear what he thought would fit in.

On the right there are Pilgrims around a table eating and drinking. But you can also see there aren’t any Natives around the table. On the left we can actually see Natives who are sitting on the ground. There is a woman offering food to them. In front of the woman in the middle there is a dog who is both brown and white. In the backround we can see two men talking to each other and next to them there are two women, one Native and one Pilgrim talking with each other. Behind the table there is a big house. I’m not sure but I’m assuming it’s one of the Pilgrims house. It is made in stone and the roof is made of hay. It represents civilisation.

Further away behind the scene of the painting and the trees, there is what I am guessing is the Atlantic because Cape Cod is on the coast. It must mean that the Westward Expansion didn’t begin. It actually began in 1803, almost 200 years later.

This painting shows how the Pilgrims invited the Natives but doesn’t show what actually happened next. Though the Tribal Chief Massasoit signed a treaty with the Pilgrims in exchange for food and help the Pilgrims agreed to defend them against the rival tribe – the Narragansett – the treaty did not last long because the settlers decided to declare a decade-long war against the local tribes around them and then massacred them including the Wampanoag Tribe.

In 1863, President Lincoln will commemorate this time of Gratitude and comradery, by establishing it as a national holiday called « Thanksgiving » .

For the descendants of the Native Americans Thanksgiving isn’t a day of gratitude because their ancestors were massacred by the Pilgrims even though they signed a treaty. Some people find Thanksgiving is a hypocritical holiday for the Natives so they celebrate Unthanksgiving which is a day of mourning.

In our opinion, Thanksgiving is now just a mere Holiday, an occasion for people to rest and meet their family. However, we understand why descendants of the Natives created Unthanksgiving : they are trying to honor and remember their ancestors who were killed.

Kéïla & Emma

Let me present this new document: well, this is obviously an oil on canvas, painted by JLG Ferris, in 1915. It’s from a private collection and it’s entiled « The first Thanksgiving. »

On September 6th 1620,102 persecuted people boarded the Mayflower and set sail to the New World in America where they wanted to start a new life. Actually, 40 separatists, aka « Saints » or later, « Pilgrims« ,wanted to worship freely. 60 days later, they landed in Cap cod, Massachusetts.

The first destination was Netherland (Holland). But it failed. Then, they set sail to the New World. They originally intended to settle in Jamestown virginia ; indeed they had signed a contract to settle there under the governor appointed by Great Britain. Unfortunately, because of treacherous storm, they had to sail North and settle in Cap cod Massachusetts : they called their colonies Plymouth, because it was the name of the city in England they left from.

In the foreground there are Natives and the settlers gather around tables covered with food. The Natives are sitting on the ground. The Pilgrims are dressed as in the 18th century but in the 17th century they weren’t dressed like is. The scene depicted here is a romanticized version and not historically accurate. The clothing worn by the Pilgrims is incorrect, the Wampanoag did not wear feathered war bonnets, nor would they have been sitting on the ground.

In the background there is the sea. I’m not sure but I guess there were a lot of people on Turtle Island before the British arrived.

This festival « The First Thanksgiving », came about because the very first harvest festival was held in 1621. Thanksgiving lasted 3 days. To be honest, I do believe it is not fair at all, given that they colonists should be grateful for the help from the Natives, but they ended up killing them and stealing their land for the sake of expansion.

Later the colonists massacred the local tribes, including the Wampanoag.

Chloé

First, let us present the nature of the document : this document is an oil painting by Jean Leon Gerome ferris in 1915.

Now, let us tell you the story of the Pilgrims’ arrival in the new world.  Theyleft England on September 6th 1620 onboard of the Mayflower. 102 passengers wanted to begin a new life in the new world because they were persecuted by James I for being Puritains because the gouvernement was Anglican. The voyage lasted 66 day they were supposed to land in Virginia, Jamestown, but they actually landed in Cape Cod, Massachussetts, because of a storm.

In this journal William Bradford said 41 male adults colonist signed the famous document know as the Mayflower Compact on November 11th 1620, where they promised to be loyal to king James I, to be good Christians, to B together and to create a self-governing colony. Their first governor was John Carver. In November, winter came which led to no more food supplies and the of 52 separatists left, were starving. The Native Americans came to help the pilgrims in spring. The tribe was called Wampanoag and their chief was Massasoit. Squanto helped them grow crops. Massasoit signed a treaty with the Pilgrims : in exchange for food and help, the pilgrims agreed to defend the tribe against their enemy. In the fall of 1621 Pilgrims and Natives came together to celebrate a harvest festival. They sat down for a three-day meal with the Wampanoag.

In the painting the Natives wore feathered war bonnets, whereas this tribe didn’t wore them. The painter didn’t really know how it happened, because this painting was painted 3 centuries after the event. On the rigth we can see many Pilgrims around a table with food on. The clothing the Pilgrims wore is incorrect because it is a romanticized version and not historically accurate.

Finally, we find Thanksgiving is quite an unfair holiday because only a few years after the festival, the Pilgrims hunted them West and then killed them.

Madeleine & Antoine