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Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 14, 2010 | Go to article overview

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Ireland was involved in first Thanksgiving

The consensus is that Thanksgiving Day originated with New England Puritans in the 17th century to celebrate the fact that the people's distresses were relieved after crop failure. In Boston in 1736, the New England Historic-Genealogical society published "A Chronological History of New England in the Form of Annals" by the Rev. Thomas Prince, an Anglican priest. The society said, "No man that has ever lived in New England can be said to have done more for its history than the Rev. Thomas Prince. a His incomparable New England Chronology, which, for extreme accuracy, was probably never exceeded by any author in any similar work."

Under Annals of the Year 1631, Prince relates the distress during Winter 1630-31 and say: "As the winter came on, provisions were very scarce (in the (Colony of) Massachusetts Bay), and people necessitated to feed on clams and mussels and ground nuts and acorns, Upon which people grow tired and discouraged, especially when they hear that the governor himself has his last batch of bread in the oven. And many are the fears of the people that Mr. Pierce, who was sent to Ireland for provisions, is either cast away or taken by the pirates. Upon this a day of fasting and prayer to God for relief is appointed (to be on the 6th of February)... On February 5, the very day before the appointed fast, in comes the ship Lion, Mr. William Pierce, master, now arriving at Nantasket laden with provisions. Upon which joyful occasion the day is changed and ordered to be kept on the 22nd as a day of Thanksgiving ..."

Ireland apparently was the only country in the world which sent relief to the suffering colonists only 11 years after the Pilgrims landed.

Michael O'Brien, author/historian, submitted Feb. …

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