Thursday, November 27, 2014 - Berkley Plantation Virginia - America's First Thanksgiving
Hope everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving Day.
This is the “Plantation Home” at Berkley Plantation near Charles City, Virginia. The date of the building, 1726, and the initials of the owners, Benjamin Harrison IV and his wife, Anne, appear in a datestone over a side door. Harrison was the father and grandfather of two American Presidents, William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison who were both born here.
The real history at Berkley Plantation, however, is that it holds the distinction as the location of the first American Thanksgiving – on December 4, 1619.
Yes, America’s first official English speaking Thanksgiving occurred one year and 17 days before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts and almost 2 years before the pilgrims held a 3-day Harvest Feast with their Native American friends, which is referenced in many materials today as the First Thanksgiving.
The founding group's charter from the King of England required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving to God”. On that first day, Captain John Woodleaf held the service of thanksgiving. That service, as specified in the Charter of Berkeley Plantation, read: "Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."
History also records several other ‘firsts’ occurring at Berkley (near Jamestown & Charles City, Virginia). This is where the well-known and somber tune of TAPS originated and was first used. It was also the site of the first whiskey distillery (1621) in America, and it was here in one of the first ship yards of the New World where the 18-gun Man of War was constructed for the Revolutionary War.
From 2012-17 Daily Photos