The Real First Thanksgiving

The James River at Berkeley Plantation

The James River at Berkeley Plantation


I had the distinct pleasure of being one of about 12 reenactors to portray the crew of the Margaret who landed on the James River near Berkeley Plantation and who celebrated the real first thanksgiving. Or at least the real first English Thanksgiving in Massachusetts.

I’ve written some about this before Now Thank We All Our God.

While there were unquestionably other thanksgiving celebrations, including the much commercialized berkeley1Massachusetts version, this celebration was the only one required by the charter of the company sailing to the new land, and was the only one specifically religious in nature.

Captain John Woodleaf celebrated that first thanksgiving on December 4, 1619. It is commemorated annually on the grounds of Berkeley Plantation.

I’ve always wanted to attend this celebration. Today I stood with his descendents and participated in the reenactment.

I hope to be there every year.

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