Thanksgiving: The National Question Footnote

In Tom Bethell`s estimable book,


The Noblest Triumph
,
you can read about the early Pilgrims` experiment with
collectivism, and how

private property
saved the Pilgrims and gave them
something to give thanks for.  In recent years, this
story has become a sort of free-market footnote to
every Thanksgiving

But in a “nation of immigrationists,”
you won`t often find any reference to the Pilgrims`
attitude towards immigration. So VDARE.COM herewith
provides Thanksgiving`s National Question footnote. 

In Ben Wattenberg`s book

The First Universal Nation
 
(not exactly as estimable, but
certainly epochal), he says, discussing the historic
unpopularity of immigration: 

One
gets the feeling that when the folks on the

Mayflower
went out to watch the next boats come
in, they muttered to one another `There goes the
neighborhood.`

This happens to be true. And with
reason. The Columbia Encyclopedia

says
that the second ship so taxed the resources of
the infant colony that the Pilgrims almost starved.

During
the first winter of the colony, about half of the
settlers died from scurvy and exposure… A little corn
was raised in 1621, and in October of that year the
settlers celebrated the first

Thanksgiving Day
. However, the arrival of more
colonists necessitated half rations, and it was several
years before the threat of famine passed.

The

Pilgrim Fathers
were refugees not only from
religious persecution, but also from religious
pluralism, which they found intolerable.


Robinson gathered seekers for
freedom from England and Europe during the sixteen years
he was in Leyden. Winslow wrote of him: “His study was
peace and union; and for schism and division, there was
nothing more hateful to him.” When invited to Amsterdam
to arbitrate among quibbling sects there, he was shocked
at their divisiveness and cried, “I had rather walk in
peace with five godly persons than live with 500 or
5,000 such unquiet persons as these.”

The first Americans – all white,
all Protestant, all English-speaking – were already
disenchanted with diversity.

The Pilgrims were very careful
about who they let join their Colony. Every colony in
New England had a law preventing religious dissidents
from settling without permission. (Except for Rhode
Island, which trusted in Providence.) 

In 1639, just nineteen years after
they landed, the Pilgrims set fines for shipmasters who
discharged

criminals
and

paupers
. (For more on colonial immigration
restrictions, read Wayne Lutton`s wonderful pamphlet
The Myth of Open Borders
,

available
from the American Immigration Control
Foundation.)

The 52 Pilgrims who had children
now have tens
of millions of descendannts
.
(George W. Bush is

one of them
,

FDR
was another.) They are the progenitors of the
modern American nation. The Continental Congress
proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving in

1777
after Saratoga. But it wasn`t necessarily
connected with the Pilgrims until Daniel Webster`s

Plymouth Oration
of 1820, in which he said

There
is a local feeling connected with this occasion, too
strong to be resisted; a sort of genius of the place,
which inspires and awes us. We feel that we are on the
spot where the first scene of our history was laid;
where the hearths and altars of New England were first
place
d; where Christianity, and civilization, and
letters made their first lodgement, in a vast extent of
country, covered with a wilderness, and peopled by
roving barbarians.

Talking
of roving barbarians…There`s a question on the

Citizenship Test
that you (used to) have to take to
become an American citizen.

Who
helped the Pilgrims in America?

The "school solution" is Native
American Indians. And there`s some truth in this, since
Squanto and Massasoit did help the Pilgrims. A treaty
with the Wampanoag resulted in 50 years of peace between
settlers and that tribe, partly because the Wampanoag
wanted someone to protect them from the Narragansett
Indians.

But the Pilgrims themselves would
have said that "God Almighty" had helped them. Or
possibly "God`s merciful

Providence
." (For those of you who missed it, it`s
God, G-O-D, that receives Thanksgiving every
November.) They would also have pointed out that for
every Wampanoag who told them what and what not to eat,
there was a Narragansett with a stone ax and a
firebrand.

Of course, the Native Americans are
notoriously the textbook case of the

dangers of immigration
. Some of them express their
lack of gratitude at Thanksgiving time by declaring it a
National Day of Mourning.

The

multiculturalists
are attacking thanksgiving, too.
In "A Not-So Traditional Thanksgiving" the Learning
Network

asks
"Heroic Founding or Original Sin?"

(The Pilgrims were perfectly
acquainted with original sin. But it would never have
occurred to them, as apparently it does to modern
multiculturalists, that the Indians weren`t affected by
original sin too.)

For
several decades now, the militant group, the United
American Indians of New England (UAINE),
has staged demonstrations in Plymouth each Thanksgiving,
some of which have turned ugly. Renaming Thanksgiving
the
"National Day of Mourning,"
their intention
is to awaken the country to the darker side of Plymouth.

Of course, Native American history
has a darker side as well. Scalpings,
cannibalism, torture, et cetera. See any Western
movie made before 1967.

The UAINE are dedicating their
latest protest to a

convicted murderer
who is currently serving a life
sentence for his
vicious killing of two wounded FBI agents, Jack R.
Coler and Ronald L. Williams. UAINE demonstrations have
also received

messages
from the killer of Philadelphia police
officer

Daniel Faulkner
. This particular killer is not an
Indian himself, but united with them in his hatred for
whites.

The Indians are marching and in
some cases

rioting
, to protest the existence of the United
States of America. In one protest they covered up
Plymouth Rock with shovels. Twice. They`re probably
going to do it again this Thanksgiving. Which is going
to be too bad for the

Plymouth Police Department,
whose members would
prefer to take the day off.

This is a manifestation of the
modern

Guilt Lobby
. These are the same people who beat up
on

Columbus
, the

Atlanta Braves
, and try to get

schoolbooks
altered to reflect modern Indian piety.

At VDARE.COM, we file it all under
the heading

Abolishing America
. And we Give Thanks that it`s not
succeeded – yet.

November 21, 2001