21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgivings

from Lew Rockwell:

Long before the British Pilgrims held their Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, a Thanksgiving Mass was held in St. Augustine, Florida, on September 8, 1565, by the Spanish. There was also a Thanksgiving Mass in San Elizario, Texas, and a British Thanksgiving service in Charles City County, Virginia,  pre-Pilgrim. So why are these, and so many others, non-events? Because having taken place in the South, they had to be erased by Lincoln, who wanted to pretend that America started in New England, and tied his Thanksgiving to his war of aggression.


Athelstane said...

Lew Rockwell has done some useful work in reminding us all (or those who will listen) just how much damage Abraham Lincoln was willing to wreak on American civil liberties in 1861-65 - and, indeed, how much he *did* wreak - in his quest to subdue the South by armed force.

But this observation strikes me as an example of when a good argument is pushed too far. Whatever else is true about Lincoln's mythologizing antics, there's a far more likely explanation: America was founded as a Protestant society, and was still, for all intents and purposes, a very Protestant society in 1863. One can point to Charles Carroll, or the smattering of other Catholic leading light in Maryland, but to the extent Catholics were present in America at all, they were very much on the fringes: mostly poor, mostly recent, mostly despised (more in the South than the North, in fact), mostly Irish or German immigrants. But the cultural and political leadership of both North and South was very much Protestant. And it was natural that each society looked to its oldest origins for myth and inspiration. For the South, that was the Old Dominion. And for the North, that was, in no small part, New England.

Florida by 1863 was, of course, part of America, at least the Southern part of it; but if (Catholic) Spanish settlements there or in the Southwest were thought of at all, it was as curious and largely lamentable footnotes in the great story that was America - Northern or Southern edition.

So on this one - particularly as regards Plymouth Rock myth-making over St. Augustine or San Elizario myth-making - if I won't give Lincoln a pass, I'm inclined to make little of it, because he stands in very, very, grand company in 19th century America. And by and large, that company despised Catholics.

Long-Skirts said...


With prayer I start the Thanking Day
At dawn I kneel Te Deum pray.
I dress for Mass then wake a son.
He'll serve the priest a chosen one.

A hushed low Mass right after Matins
Our Lord above all sons' gold patens.
He'll lay upon my wicked tongue,
I pray forgive amidst among

Where in the pew with head bowed low
I give Him thanks 'till time to go
Back to the world with sin so murky
But now I've strength...

...to stuff that turkey!!

A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

thetimman said...

I agree that Rockwell sees causation here when there is not likely any. I just thought it was cool to see him say it without qualification, and I didn't know about the prior thanksgiving celebrations, so I found that interesting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peggy R said...

I tend to agree w/Athelstane. I do find this history of Thanksgiving masses interesting. But to make such a claim about Lincoln denying these events for a political agenda is silly.

The TH-giving Masses were not in English colonies. I never heard of Charles City, Va. I did google and confirm it was first official English Th-giving in Va. Both colonies (Plymouth, Charles Cty) appear to have been founded in about 1619. Hard to say which event came first. Charles Cty was a place for indentured servants and Plymouth was where folks who sought religious freedom came. Probably Plymouth provides a better story.

Brian said...

America couldn't have a national holiday of Thanksgiving on Sept 8th...Moloch wouldn't hear of it.

Happy St. Cecelia!