Five Questions about the First Thanksgiving

How do we know about the first Thanksgiving?
The first known written description of the Pilgrims’ first “Thanksgiving” is a letter written by Edward Winslow months after the event. The incident possibly took place in late September or early October of 1621, and the first account was written down by Winslow in a letter dated December 11, 1621. The letter was published as part of Relation or Iournall of the beginning and proceddings of the English Plantation settled at Plimoth in New England, by certain English Aduenturers both Merchants and others (London, 1622), a book that is also known as Mourt’s Relation. The book was written by both Edward Winslow and William Bradford, but somewhere along the way authorship was falsely attributed to George Morton aka George Mourt, hence, Mourt’s Relation. Read more

Indian uses of Sassafrass

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a small deciduous tree native to eastern North America with green apetalous flowers and dimorphous leaves.  It grows to roughly 20 feet tall and its wood and bark possess a characteristic sweet smell.  Its leaves can form in three distinct shapes with one, two, or three lobes.  The trilobed leaf is the best known and most common shape.  Smaller trees the size or large shrubs are desired for their roots and leaves, while bigger trees are desired for their timber. Read more

The Unicorn in Fabyn’s Cronycle

Robert Fabyan (1455? – 1512) was a draper, sheriff, and author of Fabyans cronycle. The Cronycle recounted English and French history covering the time period from the legendary first king of England Brutus of Troy to the Tudor Henry VII.

A unicorn appears in Fabyans cronycle. The early medieval king of the Salian Franks, Childeric (440-482), was exiled for seducing his followers’ wives. During his eight years in exile, he was taken in by King Bisinus of Thuringia. Over time, lusty Childeric seduced Bisinus’ queen, Basina. Childeric eventually returned to his kingdom and Basina left her husband and accompanied her new lover Childeric to Tournai.
Read more

Unicorns in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare mentioned unicorns three times in his plays: Julius Caesar (1599), Timon of Athens (1605), and The Tempest (1610).

In Julius Caesar, Decius described how a unicorn could be caught by a tree, “That Unicornes may be betrayed with Trees,” – insinuating that a unicorn would charge a hunter who would then sidestep at the last second causing the unicorn to lodge his horn into the tree.
julius-ceasar-shakespeare-unicorn

Read more