Thanksgiving: Washington, Lincoln, the Pilgrims, and the Virtue of Gratitude

One of the most important virtues, which is disturbingly rare today, is gratitude. Americans — particularly young people — now act as if the world owes them happiness and prosperity no matter what they do. But our forefathers knew better. From Washington to Lincoln, from Florida to Massachusetts, they understood that all goods come from God and we owe Him gratitude in return.

We see thanks offered to God throughout the Bible; even Jesus, Who was both God and man, prayed, “I thank thee, Father” (Matt. 11:25). When the first Europeans came to the New World, they, too, thanked God.

The first thing Christopher Columbus did upon landing in the New World was to fall to his knees and offer prayers of thanksgiving, including the Te Deum. Then, in 1565, the first Thanksgiving meal was celebrated in what would become the United States of America. No, I didn’t get that date wrong! I’m not talking about the Pilgrims, but about the Spanish settlers led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who founded St. Augustine’s in what is now Florida.

Then, over half a century later, the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts. Many of them died that first winter, but when they had a good harvest with the help of the local natives in 1621, they gathered together to celebrate with a meal and to thank God. Pilgrims and Indians together ate what we know as  the First Thanksgiving 

Then, in 1789, the Father of our Country  George Washington proclaimed a national Thanksgiving day. Finally, in 1863, following a letter from elderly magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale urging an established national Thanksgiving holiday, Abraham Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William Seward, proclaimed the holiday we know today.

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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