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Monday, November 20, 2006

Time to Talk Turkey

I don't know whether to buy Godfrey Hodgson's new book, A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the First Thanksgiving, after reading this excerpt. It states that "There was a feast in 1621, but not of turkey." A review provides Hodgson's argument, that "turkey couldn't have been served because the Pilgrims' heavy matchlock muskets simply were no match for the few wild turkeys inhabiting eastern Massachusetts at that time."

This would make a liar of my 10th great-grandfather William Bradford, who wrote that "besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc." In his defense, Bradford was reconstructing the Pilgrims' menu many years after the event, and may have been thinking of this painting.

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