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On arrival to the shores of Cape Cod, members of the native American Wampanoag Nation taught the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony how to cultivate crops, such as corn. So successful was the first harvest of 1621, that Governor William Bradford ordered a feast, now known as Thanksgiving. With the harvest festival sometimes lasting up to three days, Governor Bradford invited the native Americans to the feast, essentially so they wouldn’t get whacked by them. It worked.

The peace lasted fifty years, long enough to ensure the British colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts survived a dangerous infancy.

This year Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 26th November 2020 in the United States of America.

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 22.10.30A Turkey Cock and Other Birds in a Garden, by Melchior de Hondecoeter (Utrecht 1636 – Amsterdam 1695) - National Trust

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 22.02.15 copyA Turkey -  Artist: Anonymous, Dutch -  Former Attribution: Formerly attributed to Pieter Holsteyn II (Dutch, Haarlem, ca. 1614–1673 / 83) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 21.58.06A Turkey, by the artist Johann Wenzel Peter (1745-1829)

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 22.27.33Plucked Turkey, by Francisco Goya, 1812 (1746-1828)

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 22.00.06Emperor Jahangir's pet turkey, by Ustad Mansur, India - Mogul period, 1612 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).

Screen Shot 2015 11 25 at 22.36.00A Turkey by the artist Giambologna (1529-1608) - Florence: Bargello Museum (Italy)

Screen Shot 2015 11 26 at 00.09.23'Sealers Crushed by Icebergs' by American artist William Bradford (1823 -1892)

Governor William Bradford's 6th degree grandson William Bradford, was an American artist, photographer and member of the Hudson River School. He travelled to the UK in 1871, and returned the following year due to the great level of interest in his arctic paintings and photography. His trips to the arctic were funded by LeGrand Lockwood. On Lockwood's death in 1872, Sealers crushed by Icebergs was purchased at the sale of his art collection by the Marquess of Lorne, who's wife Princess Louise presented the painting for inspection to her mother, Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria then commissioned a work, the first Royal commission awarded to an American since the days of George III and Benjamin West. For additional information on William Bradford the artist, visit Sailing Ships and Arctic Seas.

Screen Shot 2015 11 26 at 01.02.04William Bradford, The 'Panther' in Melville Bay 1873 - Royal Collection (PD)

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