By Darla McCammon
The humorous painting provided this week was done in 1905 as a Thanksgiving card by an artist named Raoul Hausmann, who was born in Austria in 1886. The work is in public domain, which means we are free to use it for educational purposes. Hausmann lived an interesting life and his work is identified as expressionistic. He lived in Berlin as well as Vienna and died in 1971 in Limoges, France. We will do a comprehensive column on this artist in the future, but as a gift to you, I have researched information I thought you might enjoy about our national holiday: Thanksgiving.
Did you know that Pilgrims were not the same as Puritans? They are often misidentified by people who write about that period in history. It turns out the pilgrims were not given that name early on. Instead, these people were called “separatists” due to their growing disagreement and questions bout their own style and belief of worship and that of the Church of England, which had recently split from the Roman Catholic church. The only difference between these two churches was that the Pope was the authority in Catholicism while the British King was the authority in the Church of England. The separatists differed from both and their lives became increasingly difficult as they were persecuted.
Many lost both their homes and their livelihoods. They eventually were called Pilgrims because of their founding of the Plymouth colony, but as they migrated to the new world, they were still considered separatists for many years. The Puritans, on the other hand, tried to continue their beliefs but under the umbrella of the Church of England. They felt they could work from within to have their beliefs accepted. It was not to be, however; and eventually, like the separatists (now called Pilgrims), the Puritans also fled from overseas and settled their Puritan houses of worship in the new world.
So, the Pilgrims were the first to arrive on the Mayflower, and they began the tradition we all share called Thanksgiving. That first feast was celebrated with the Wampanoag Native Americans. The menu was unique and included turkey but also lobster, seal and swan. A pilgrim named Edward Winslow recorded much of that first Thanksgiving and added that it lasted three days during which the Native Americans joined them and brought them five deer to increase the bounty of the feast. The pilgrims and the Wampanoag kept this remarkable alliance alive for over 50 years.
The pilgrims learned much from the generous natives, including how to prepare the food they had taught them to provide and how to acquire live game as well as successfully grow crops such as corn. George Washington made this a national holiday in 1789. I wish you all health, full stomachs and a happy Thanksgiving.
- Visit Al Disbro’s photography exhibit at Warsaw City Hall.
- The Lakeland Art Association fall member show is now open; watch for the popular Christmas boutique, coming in December.