American Holocaust Blog

Thanksgiving - "in Honor of the Bloody Victory" "There Now Scarce Remains a Name or Family of Them" 

   The past repeats, for after the dehumanization and extermination of the American Indian comes denial - that second killing to keep bones in the ground. The timeline along with basic knowledge of the Pilgrims’ and Puritans’ religious beliefs exposes the fact that historically speaking, Thanksgiving was literally about gratitude for genocide, or Americanized genocide denial. 


    Low population counts of the Pequot in more recent years point to how the Separatists', or Pilgrims', or Puritans' crime of genocide almost destroyed the Pequot population, for which the white Europeans felt gratitude. The English, who no doubt formed an American Colony in New England, claimed First Nations’ land as theirs by the Doctrine of Discovery, which is still in effect today as federal law. But the land couldn’t be seized by “discovery” without exterminating the indigenous tribes. To be accurate, the word genocide was not created until 1944 by Raphael Lemkin; nonetheless, the word is appropriate. 

   The Doctrine of Discovery legally applied to the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, but not to the Pilgrims in New Plymouth. While the Doctrine of Discovery is still being applied in modern times, what was the difference? 

No Doctrine of Discovery - 

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 47. 

Thus it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags. To the pilgrims, this became their "deed of cession," authorizing them to seize unspecified acreage. 

- or, Doctrine of Discovery, 

The Bull stated that any land not inhabited by Christians was available to be "discovered," claimed, and exploited by Christian rulers and declared that "the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself." This "Doctrine of Discovery" became the basis of all European claims in the Americas as well as the foundation for the United States’ western expansion. In the US Supreme Court in the 1823 case Johnson v. McIntosh, Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in the unanimous decision held "that the principle of discovery gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands." In essence, American Indians had only a right of occupancy, which could be abolished. 

It was all the same in both of their usages. There was no difference. 

(Bold mine) 

Patent Granted by King Henry VII to John Cabot and his Sons find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians... 
And that the before-mentioned John and his sons or their heirs and deputies may conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever such towns, castles, cities and islands by them thus discovered that they may be able to conquer, occupy and possess, as our vassals and governors lieutenants and deputies therein, acquiring for us the dominion, title and jurisdiction of the same towns, castles, cities, islands and mainlands so discovered;... 

To be accurate, Roger Williams tried to make a difference, in good conscience he stated: 

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 48. 

"We have not our land by patent from the King, but that the natives are the true owners of it, and that we ought to repent of such receiving it by patent..." For his radical ideas Williams was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635." 

 Now that all that is stated, let us go to why Thanksgiving was literally about gratitude for genocide. First, the Pilgrims landed in Wampanoag controlled land in 1620. 

Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53. 

The Pokanokets (also called Wampanoags) controlled the area in which the Pilgrims settled, yet their villages had suffered terrible losses in the epidemic of 1616 - 1618. To protect themselves from the powerful Narragansetts of the southern New England coast (who had been spared the ravages of the disease), the Pokanokets decided to ally themselves with the newcomers. In the spring of 1621, their leader, Massasoit,  signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, and during the colony's first difficult years the Pokanokets supplied the English with essential foodstuffs. 

 Yet, where were they beforehand and why did they set sail? 

(Bold mine) 

Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. "A People & A Nation." Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53. 

Separatists were the first to move to New England. In 1609 a group of Separatists migrated to Holland, where they found the freedom of worship denied them in Stuart England. But they were nevertheless troubled by the Netherlands' too - tolerant atmosphere; the nation that tolerated them also tolerated religions and behaviors they abhorred. Hoping to isolate themselves and their children from the corrupting influence of worldly temptations, these people, who were to become known as Pilgrims, received permission from a branch of the Virginia Company to colonize the northern part of its territory. 

Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong 

The Pilgrims had religious freedom in Holland, where they first arrived in the early 17th century. Like those who settled Jamestown, Va., in 1607, the Pilgrims came to North America to make money, Mr. Loewen said. 

“They were also coming here in order to establish a religious theocracy, which they did,” he said. “That’s not exactly the same as coming here for religious freedom. It’s kind of coming here against religious freedom.” 

Also, the Pilgrims never called themselves Pilgrims. They were separatists, Mr. Loewen said. The term Pilgrims didn’t surface until around 1880. 

 How would the Puritans and Pilgrims dehumanize the American Indian? By labeling them as being satanic. 

(Bold mine) 

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 49. 

The fact is that to the Puritan, the Native American was the instrument of Satan. For Cotton Mather the Indians were "doleful creatures who were the veriest ruins of Mankind, who were to be everywhere on the face of the earth"; and even Roger Williams, the great friend of the Indians, said they were devil - worshippers. 

Interesting, because those "devil - worshipers" had "relatively infrequent" wars, until the European invasion brought a whole new level of violence from a “superior” and “Christian” culture. 

(Bold mine) 

Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p.75 - 76 

...But tribal rivalries and wars were relatively infrequent prior to Puritan settlement (compared to the number of wars in Europe)...Neither would have increased if it were not that a colonizing European nation was asserting political jurisdiction, in the name of God, over indigenous New England societies...When thus threatened with the usurpation of their own rights, as native tribes had been threatened years before by them, Puritans came to the defense of a system of government that was similar, in important ways, to the native governments that they had always defined as savage and uncivilized... 

And out of that heightened violence, brought by the “superior” European predators, came the massacre for which Thanksgiving is named. 

(Bold mine) 

Thanksgiving Day Celebrates A Massacre 

William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, says that the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. "Thanksgiving Day" was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance...Thanksgiving Day to the, "in their own house", Newell stated. 

- small snip - 

-----The very next day the governor declared a Thanksgiving Day.....For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won." 


(Bold mine) 


Jump 129 years to 1621, year of the supposed "first Thanksgiving." There is not much documentation of that event, but surviving Indians do not trust the myth. Natives were already dying like flies thanks to European-borne diseases. The Pequot tribe reportedly numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had reduced their population to 1,500 by 1637, when the first, officially proclaimed, all-Pilgrim "Thanksgiving" took place. At that feast, the whites of New England celebrated their massacre of the Pequots. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop's proclamation. Few Pequots survived.… 

According to the Massachusetts Records of 1676-1677 a day was set apart for public thanksgiving, because, among other things of moment, "there now scarce remains a name or family of them (the Indians) but are either slain, captivated or fled."  

"In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians 
were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them." 

"It may be demanded...Should not Christians have more mercy and 
compassion? But...sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents.... We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings." 

-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana 

Perhaps this was a verse Cotton Mather was referring to. 

"O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!"(Psalm 137:8–9 NRSV) 

Or this one. 

(Bold mine) 

And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. . . . Then they said to [the priest], 'Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.' The priest answered them, 'Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord's approval.' . . . Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. . . . The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there." (Judges 18:1–28 NIV) 

    The past repeats. There was "sufficient light from the word of God," only since they were evil enough to inspire Adolf Hitler. Genocide denial keeps anywhere from 10 million to a little over 100 million indigenous lives of countless cultures who were exterminated in the ground. 

(Bold mine) 

The irony that lies in this situation is the fact that Adolf Hitler studied many of the United States’ policies implemented against American Indian people, as models for how he would deal with Jewish people. He studied the plans of Bosque Redondo, the concentration camp where over 8,000 Navajo men, women and children were sent after the Long Walk in 1864. According to, John Toland, Pulitzer Prize winning author, in his book Adolf Hitler (pg. 202) wrote: “Hitler’s concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America’s extermination—by starvation and uneven combat—of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity.” 

Hitler studied how the Native population rapidly declined due to starvation and disease when placed on reservations. There are so many parallels one can draw from Nazi and American Indian history– including death marches of Jewish people to concentration camps and the Navajo Long Walk and the many Native American Trails of Tears. The parallel of Nazis destroying Jewish art, music and books and burying people in mass graves and the Wounded Knee Massacre where generations of people and their knowledge, were also buried in a mass grave. My aunt Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs once said, “We can never measure the loss of language, stories, and culture we experienced when our relatives were buried that day” 

David E. Stannard, author of American Holocaust, argues that the genocide against the American Indian population was the largest genocide in history. Though it is hard to pinpoint an exact number of American Indian deaths since Columbus’ arrival, it has been estimated at anywhere from 10 million to a little over 100 million. 


(Bold mine) 

Pestilence and Genocide 

excerpted from the book 

American Holocaust by David Stannard 

Oxford University Press, 1992 

Terrible as such deaths must have been, if the lives that preceded them were lived outside the Spanish missions that were founded in the eighteenth century, the victims might have counted themselves lucky. Two centuries earlier the Puritan minister John Robinson had complained to Plymouth's William Bradford that although a group of massacred Indians no doubt "deserved" to be killed, "Oh, how happy a thing had it been, if you had converted some before you had killed any!" That was probably the only thing the New England Puritans and California's Spanish Catholics would have agreed upon. 

To have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970  

...Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans. Mourt's Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians' winter provisions as they were able to carry. Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people. 

Sunday, Nov 12, 2017 · 12:03:03 AM +00:00 · Winter Rabbit 

(Link to commenter’s web page is no longer up, it was at the time the comment below was made — ten years ago. It's not so much that our teachers lied to us, they had been lied to, and they were just repeating the lies without even knowing they were lies, he said) 

The Massacre For Which Thanksgiving Is Named (Update) 

My User Name is of the Wampanoag King, Pometacom 
(6+ / 0-) 

Recommended by:  
Sean Robertson, capelza, i like bbq, Winter Rabbit, mamamedusa, brentbent 

Son of Massasoit, brother of the murdered Wamsutta, best friend of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem of Nemasket. All but Massasoit were murdered by the Pilgrims. Wamsutta was murdered in prison (without explanation), Pometacom (King Phillip was shot and beheaded, and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados, Tispaquin was promised that if he surrendered his life and his family's life would be spared. When he did surrender, he was beheaded and his wife and children were sold into slavery to Barbados. 

I was born and grew up a few miles from Plymouth, Mass. These are the historical facts we were deliberately not told when going to school. It's not so much that our teachers lied to us, they had been lied to, and they were just repeating the lies without even knowing they were lies. 

In 2000, I finally wrote a poem to deal with my anger of how much I had been lied to as a young kid growing up in the home of the Wampanoag. It is here: 

Below is the story of Tispaquin, the Black Sachem: 

For those not wanting to click through, here is the poem: 


By Douglas Watts 

I was born on soil soaked with blood 

Where the head of King Philip was ground in the mud 

By the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and their first born sons. 

They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun. 

Shackled his children and family. 

Shipped them to Barbados and sold them into slavery. 

Now they taught me in grade school 

About the first Thanksgiving 

How Massasoit and Squanto kept the Pilgrims living. 

But the teachers never told us what happened next. 

How the head of King Philip was chopped off at the neck. 

The teachers never told us what happened next. 

How the head of Pometacom was sawed off at the neck. 

The teachers never told us what the Pilgrims did 

To Massasoit’s second son. 

They put his head on a spike and let it rot in the sun. 

The teachers never told us what they did 

To kids who swam in the same brooks as me. 

They put their legs in iron chains and sold them into slavery. 

My name is Douglas Watts. 

by Pometacom on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 10:00:02 PM PST 

Author is a member of the Metis Nation of the United States