Historians agree that the Pilgrims really did celebrate a first Thanksgiving. But it wasn’t turned into a regular yearly celebration until Abraham Lincoln made it official during the middle of the Civil War, some 250 years later. New documents have come to light that may explain why.
“Never again,” writes John Alden in a letter found in a newly discovered cache of papers composed by the original passengers of the Mayflower.
“Six long hours we have spent looking at the hind end of a horse on the overly crowded road to the house of my parents and lo, for what? To see my brother with whom I barely speak and his harpy wyfe who so disrespecteth me and mine in a backhanded way?
“He starteth acting like a wee childe immediately, from the time we stepped from the carriage until the time we have departed. He bringeth up small jealousies and grievances from our youth long ago. His unhappiness is like a contagion, a pustule that never heals. ‘Letteth it go and getteth a life,’ he has made me wish to scream, and more times than one. We should be spending less time together, not more, me thinks.”