Peyote Pilgrims

“Imaginatione and historie are a fine paire.”
Made up old-fashioned quote

Some believe that the accounts of the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 have been sanitized to leave out an extraordinary detail. Somehow, it is thought by some, the Native Americans at Plymouth had traded for peyote from Southwestern tribes and shared it with the colonists at that famous three-day meal.

First, here’s the version we have, from Edward Winslow in Mourt’s Relation, published in 1622:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

The omitted mention of psychedelics explains much. For example, the outlandish hats and clothing we associate with the pilgrims in fact did not exist in that community. Instead, it is possible that those in the midst of an experience began sketching the ridiculous fashions they thought they saw. “Tall hats with buckles,” William Bradford said. “Oh wow, such hats reflect our reaching to heaven.” “Awesome!” the others who were still capable of speaking might have exclaimed.

Happy Thanksgiving (yes, we all still call the holiday that).