Catch a National Geographic premiere about the natural world of the Americas before European arrival. The first Thanksgiving: An idyllic scene of Indians and white settlers, side by side, enjoying a feast near the coast, giving thanks for all the good things in life. Some would argue, and rightly so, that whether the true origin of our modern Thanksgiving was in English or Spanish colonies is irrelevant.
The fact is that Thanksgiving celebrations were practiced by Native Americans across the continent for millennia as an integral part of their culture. Indian Territory was also the destination of many other lesser-known forced marches, like that of the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Wyandot and Seneca.
In 1889 the territory that had been reserved for Indians losing their homelands to white settlers was opened to homesteaders.
Read more about this event and see a gallery of historical photos on the Library of Congress website. Jessica Crabtree, Pastel Artist Native American Portraits & Wildlife Original Fine Art PaintingsThanks for visiting my blog! When you purchase an IPower hosting package through one of the ads in this page, a portion of the sale goes to support this site! About MeI am a freelance artist living in Arkansas, US, specializing in historical portraits of American Indians.
I am fascinated by history and world cultures, ancient and modern, and particularly indigenous peoples. You can see some of my pastel work, and my drawings in charcoal and graphite, by visiting my online Gallery.
But scientific evidence tells a very different story: When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, millions of people were already living there. The English brought honeybees to the Americas for honey, but the bees pollinated orchards along the East Coast.


It’s believed that the domestication of the turkey began in pre-Columbian Mexico, and did not exist in Europe in 1491.
And the Wampanoag who joined them later provided plenty of fresh game, including venison and poultry.
Following a year of sickness and privation, the colonists’ alliance with Wampanoag Indians provided them the benefits of Native agricultural practices and mutual trade agreements.
Augustine (which is, by the way, the oldest permanent European settlement in North America).
In both instances, the celebrations were held to reflect the settlers’ belief that their colonial endeavors had received divine sanction. The idea of giving thanks as it exists in indigenous culture is actually much closer to the values we purport to celebrate each November, and it was arguably these ideals as put into practice by Native Americans that have given life and meaning to the holiday. Following the Plains Indian Wars of the late 1800’s, the western part of the territory became home to Cheyenne, Comanche, and Apache who were placed under military incarceration at the start of the reservation era.
In the Land Run of 1889, thousands of eager settlers rushed across the border in a single day to stake their claims.
I blog about the portrayal and influence of Native Americans in art, history, and the media. My other interests include wildlife ecology, environmental issues & sustainability, journalism, photography, web design & development.
America wasn't exactly a New World, but a very old one whose inhabitants had built a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways. Thanks to the feral honeybees, many of the plants the Europeans brought, like apples and peaches, proliferated. By 1500, European settlers and their plants and animals had altered much of the Americas’ landscape. When the imbecile of Christopher Columbus got lost on his trip to India and stepped, ashore in America on October 1492, landing on one of the island actually know as The Bahamas, there were over 400 millions of people already living here.


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It is also laminated on both sides using 3mm hot lamination, which protects your wall map and allows you to write on it with dry-erase markers. Visit the promotional site for trailers, photos, and interesting facts about pre-European America. The settlers decided to commemorate their first successful year with a traditional harvest festival.
And in both cases the so-called holiday was never intended to become an official commemoration. Despite attempts by tribal governments to create a sovereign Indian state within the territory, their appeals were denied; Oklahoma was permanently opened to American settlement and admitted to the Union in 1907.
Some 12,000 years ago, North American mammoths, ancient horses, and other large mammals vanished. In 1491, the Americas had few domesticated animals, and used the llama as their beast of burden. While beans, potatoes, and maize from the Americas became major crops in continental Europe.
For the record, it was not intended as a joint celebration between the English and their Indian neighbors. It is only the romanticized and idealized legend that became the inspiration for the popular version that has persisted for so long.
In fact, the local Wampanoag were not even invited, and might never have been aware of the event had they not been alarmed by the gun volleys fired by the Pilgrims during the festivities!



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