A Happy Thanksgiving to All!
Here at the City Record and Boston News-Letter we've been spending a good deal of time looking at the early history of Dorchester and continue to be impressed by the importance of cooperation and mutual respect in the lives of Dorchester's earliest settlers. We're thankful that some of that spirit still survives and animates the life of 21st Century Dorchester.
We're also thankful for the approximately 10,000 visitors to the site last year.
And from last year:
I'm not going to go on about the Thanksgiving held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 because the story is familiar to most of us. This article from the Old Colony Memorial is worth a read however, because it puts Thanksgiving into a larger context, both in terms of contemporary celebrations from the 1620s and also the changing meanings of Thanksgiving over time. Like many of our traditions, Thanksgiving as we know it come from a conscious effort to create a unifying national tradition in the 19th century. This effort picked up steam with the Colonial Revival in America, which was spurred by the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.
The article notes that Native Americans begin to appear (the article must mean appear more frequently, because Native Americans can be found in this politically correct 1869 engraving from Harper's Weekly) in Thanksgiving iconography in the 1890s. After the Battle/Massacre of Wounded Knee in 1890, Native Americans almost immediately begin to appear in popular culture as romanticized figures.
Not much to do with Boston, I suppose, but it is a holiday after all. A Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers!