Thanksgiving: Fact or Fiction?

Thanksgiving: Fact or Fiction?

In the minds of many Americans, when asked the question, “When was the United States first settled?” invariably the response will be, “In 1620 when the Pilgrims landed.”

This so-called “origin myth” has frequently been termed “the story of the first Thanksgiving” in many children's books about the subject.

However, beginning the story of America’s settlement with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony in 1620 leaves out not only the Native population but also the Spanish, African and French as well.

As a matter of fact, the very first non-Indian or non-Native settlers in this country now called the United States were African slaves left in Georgia in 1526 by Spaniards who abandoned a settlement attempt.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth By Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914) – Source Wikipedia

According to Jeannine Cook, in Columbus and the land of Ayll N: The Exploration and Settlement of the Southeast published in 1992, in the summer of 1526 approximately five hundred Spanish colonists and one hundred African slaves, and perhaps some free African colonists, under the command of Lucas Vazquez de Ayll N, founded a settlement in America called San Miguel de Gualdape.

The colonists had sailed from the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in July 1526 aboard six ships. In August, they had landed at Winyah Bay on the mouth of the Pedee River, in what is now South Carolina, near present-day Georgetown.

However, they failed to find an Indian village, which they felt from past experience would be necessary for food until crops could be planted and harvested, so they sailed further southward. On what would later become the Georgia coast, Ayll N and his colonists found a village of Guale Indians and chose to settle nearby.

Although physical remains of their settlement have not been found, historians and geographers have utilized surviving navigation logs and other records to reconstruct the 1526 voyage. Based on the latest research, the San Miguel de Guadalupe settlement probably was situated on the mainland of what today is McIntosh County in Georgia, opposite Sapelo Sound.

Disease and disputes with the local Guale Indian village caused many deaths in the settlement, and finally, in November 1526, the African slaves rebelled killed some of their Spaniard masters and escaped to live with the local Guale tribe. By now only 150 Spaniards survived, so they evacuated back to Haiti.

The former slaves elected to remain behind. Consequently, the first non-native settlers in this country we now know as the United States were Africans.

In 1564, approximately 250 French Protestants or “Huguenots” as they were called, established a settlement on the St. John’s River near present-day Jacksonville, Florida calling it la Caroline, commanded by Ran Goulaine de Laudonniere.

Then in August 1565, some 600 Spanish soldiers and settlers under don Pedro men ndez de avil s came ashore at the site of a Timucuan Indian village, fortified the fledgling village and named it Saint Augustine.


According to findings by Kathleen teltsch, published in the new york times in 1990 titled, scholars and descendants uncover hidden legacy of Jews in southwest, when the long arm of the Spanish inquisition established itself in Mexico city, some Spanish Jews, called Sephardim in Hebrew, (the descendants of Jews whose ancestors lived on the Iberian peninsula), fled with don Juan de o ate in 1598 and established permanent settlements in what is today new Mexico and Colorado.

In addition, beginning the origin story in 1620 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, omits recognition of the first British settlement in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, and also omits the Dutch, who were living in a settlement in what is now Albany, New York by 1614.

Just before the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts Bay, a process started in southern New England which would lay a foundation for the Plymouth colony which was to come later.

By 1617, British and French fishermen had been fishing off the Massachusetts coast for decades. After filling the hulls of the ships with cod, they would go ashore to gather firewood and fresh water, and perhaps capture a few native Indians to sell into slavery in Europe. It is now considered likely that these fishermen transmitted some illness to the native population.

The plague which started escalating in the southeastern coast of New England in 1617 made the “black plague” of 1348-1350, which killed an estimated 30% of the population of Europe, pale by comparison. Some historians theorize the New England plague was bubonic, others suggest it was viral hepatitis or influenza.

In any event, within three years the New England plague had wiped out close to 96% of the native population of coastal New England. Native tribal societies were devastated. During the next fifteen years additional epidemics, most of which we now know to have been smallpox, struck Native Indian populations repeatedly.

John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony at Plymouth beginning in 1629, called the plague, “miraculous.”

According to R.C. Winthrop in Life and Letters of John Winthrop, 2 volumes, 1864-67, Gov. John Winthrop wrote a close friend in England in 1634 saying,

“But for the natives in these parts, god hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by the smallpox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not 50, have put themselves under our protection…”

The result of the plague of 1617, which is said to have reduced the coastal Native tribes from 30,000 to approximately 300, helped to prompt the myth of the legendary “warm reception” the Pilgrims enjoyed in 1620 from the Wampanoag Federation of tribes.

In actuality, Massasoit (b. 1580 – d. 1661) of the Pokanoket Tribe, and leader or Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag Federation, was eager to ally with the Pilgrims that arrived in 1620.

He felt this because the plague had so weakened his villages, that he feared the stronger Narragansett Federation of tribes in Rhode Island and the Tarratine Federation of tribes in Maine that would likely take advantage of the situation. Especially since war had broken out between the Tarratines and the Penobscots in 1615.

When Nanapashamet, the Grand Sachem of the eleven villages of the Massachusetts Federation of tribes offered help to the Penobscots, the Tarratines of Maine hunted him down and killed him in 1619.

The Massachusetts Federation of tribes, around what is now Boston Harbor had been powerful enough to drive off Samuel de Champlain and his men when they tried to settle in Massachusetts in 1606, and in 1607. The Abenaki tribes successfully expelled the first Plymouth Company settlement from the coast of Maine.

However, by the time the Native populations of Southeastern New England had replenished themselves to some degree, after so many being killed by plagues in 1617; it was too late to expel the European intruders.

Bear in mind that the separatist Puritans on the Mayflower, later known as Pilgrims, numbered only 35 out of the 102 settlers on board. The other 67 persons on board were ordinary folk seeking their fortunes in the new colony at Jamestown, Virginia. Why the Mayflower never arrived in Virginia, but ended up in Massachusetts Bay, is still up to debate.

The “origin myth” states that the Mayflower was blown off course. However, a great majority of historians now believe that the Dutch bribed the Mayflower's captain and part owner, Christopher Jones, to sail north so the Pilgrims would not settle near their settlement of New Amsterdam, now known as New York City.


It is further believed that Massachusetts Bay was then chosen as a good site because of the known absence of Native Indians, as a result of the plague three years earlier, in addition to the good fishing known to be off Cape Cod. In fact, John Smith had studied the Massachusetts Bay area previously in 1614 and he published the result of his explorations on his land and coastal survey in a guidebook called A Description of New England printed in London in 1616.

The guidebook included a map drawn by Smith himself of the land he named New England. A guidebook one of the 35 Pilgrims carried with them on the Mayflower. (Note: a rare copy of this book was purchased at Sotheby’s Auction in New York in 1999 for $211,500.)

Despite having ended up many miles from other European settlements, the Pilgrims hardly “started from scratch in a wilderness” as the “origin myth” would have us believe. Throughout southern New England, Native Indian tribes had repeatedly burned the underbrush, creating a park-like environment.

After first landing at the tip of Cape Cod in what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts, the Pilgrims assembled a boat for exploring and began looking around for a site for their new home. They chose Plymouth perhaps because of its beautifully cleared fields, recently planted with corn, its sheltered harbor, and a brook of fresh water nearby. It was a great site for a town, because before the plague of 1617, this had been Squanto’s village of the Patuxent Tribe.

The new Plymouth colonists did not encounter a wilderness. In fact, in Three Visitors to Early Plymouth:  Letters About the Pilgrim Settlement in New England During its First Seven Years by John Pory, Emmanuel Altham, and Isaack Derasieres, edited by Sydney V. James, Plymouth Colonist Emmanuel Altham noted in a letter in 1622 that,

“In this Bay wherein we live, in former time, hath lived about two thousand Indians.”


In addition, the colonists received help and support from sources not fully known by the majority of Americans today. In his sailor's journal, written by a colonist on his second full day in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and published in the work done in 1901 by Azul Ames titled, The Mayflower and Her Log, July 15, 1620-May 6, 1621, Edward Winslow writes of he and a companion, saying,

“…we marched to the place where we had the corn formerly, which place we called Cornhill, and digged and found the rest, of which we were very glad. We also digged in a place a little further off, and found a bottle of oil. We went to another place which we had seen before, and digged, and found more corn, viz. two or three baskets full of Indian wheat, and a bag of beans, with a good many of fair wheat ears. Whilst some of us were digging up this, some others found another heap of corn, which they digged up also, so as we had in all about ten bushels, which will serve us sufficiently for seed”…. “The next morning we followed certain beaten paths and tracks of the Indians into the woods, supposing they would have led us into some town, or houses”…. ” When we had marched five or six miles into the woods and could find no signs of any people, we returned again another way, and as we came into the plain ground we found a place like a grave, but it was much bigger and longer than any we had yet seen. It was also covered with boards, so as we mused what it should be, and resolved to dig it up, where we found, first a mat, and under that a fair bow”….. “Also between the mats we found bowls, trays, dishes, and such like trinkets. At length we came to a fair new mat, and under that two bundles, the one bigger, the other less. We opened the greater and found in it a great quantity of fine and perfect red powder, and in it the bones and skull of a man”…. “We brought sundry of the prettiest things away with us, and covered the corpse up again. After this, we digged in sundry like places, but found no more corn, nor any thing else but graves.”

In Karen Ordahl Kupperman's book, Settling with the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640, published in London by J.M. Dent in 1980, she states that the Pilgrims continued to rob graves for years. However, more help came to the Pilgrims from an even more unlikely source named Squanto, also known as Tisquantum.

In the “origin myth,” Squanto was a solitary member of the Pawtuxet tribe, part of the Wampanoag Federation of Tribes, who had supposedly learned English from fisherman, and as a “god sent savior”, taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and fish in the new wilderness, which helped them survive their first winter in New England.

According to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, a leader of the Plymouth Company in England, around 1605 a British captain stole Squanto from Massachusetts when he was still a boy, along with four members of the Penobscot tribe, and took them to England. There Squanto spent nine years, three of them in the employment of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. After which, in 1614, he arranged for Squanto to be returned to Massachusetts.

Later in 1614, after skirmishing against and then making peace with the Pawtuxets, John Smith returned to England, leaving a second ship to fish for cod under the command of one Thomas Hunt. Luring Squanto and about twenty other Wampanoags on board, Hunt kidnapped them and then seized about seven others on Cape Cod before sailing for Milaga, Spain.

There Hunt began selling his captives as slaves until some priests intervened and redeemed the rest, including Squanto, in hopes of converting them to Christianity. Squanto's movements are unclear for the next three years until 1617, by which time he had somehow managed to get to London.

Living in the home of John Slaney, the treasurer of the Newfoundland Company, Squanto became immersed in the English language and culture, and he began to see in the colonial ambitions of Slaney and his associates the means by which he could return home.

Squanto's plans moved closer to realization when, on an expedition to Newfoundland, he became reacquainted with Thomas Dermer, an officer under John smith in 1614. Like Smith, Dermer had left Pawtuxet before the fateful kidnapping. Dermer took Squanto back to his former employer, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, then the most determined colonizer of New England.

Although he had already failed in several attempts to use kidnapped Indians to advance his endeavors, Gorges was persuaded by Squanto's evident knowledge of the region, his apparent standing among his people, and his professed loyalty. So with Thomas Dermer at the helm, Squanto finally sailed for Massachusetts in the spring of 1619.

Now Squanto set foot again in Massachusetts and walked to his home village of Patuxent, only to make the horrifying discovery that he was the sole member of his village left alive. All others having perished in the plague epidemic two years earlier.

By the winter of 1620, struggling to survive, half the unprepared Plymouth Colonists succumbed to starvation and disease during the harsh winter. Finally, in March of 1621, members of the Pokanoket and Nemeses tribe convinced Samoset, a visiting Abenaki with ties to English traders, to sound out the beleaguered colonists.

Finding them receptive, Samoset returned a few days later with Squanto, whose knowledge of the English and their language exceeded his own.

As translator, ambassador and technical advisor, Squanto was essential to the survival of the Plymouth colony in its first two years. In the book edited by Samuel Morrison in 1981 titled Of Plymouth Plantation: 1620-1647 the first governor of Plymouth colony, William Bradford called Squanto,

“…a special instrument sent of god for our good beyond expectation. He directed us how to set our corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also our pilot to bring us to unknown places for our profit.”

Their “profit” was the primary reason most Mayflower Colonists made the trip. Contrary to the myth, religious freedom was only a secondary motive. Squanto was not the only advisor for the Pilgrims either. As critical as he was to Plymouth's fortunes, Squanto's usefulness was limited because he had no power base among the remaining Wampanoag or other local natives.

In the summer of 1621 the colony invited a second Indian, a Pokanoket named Hobbamock, to live among them, and he stayed for several years serving as a guide and ambassador. In fact, Hobbamock helped the Plymouth Colonists to set up fur trading posts at the mouth of the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers in Maine, along the Aptucxet River in Massachusetts, and along the Windsor River in Connecticut.

All this brings us to Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims did not introduce the Fall Harvest Thanksgiving Ceremony.

Northeastern tribes had observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. However, in the fall of 1621, the governor of the Plymouth Colony, William Bradford, decided to have a harvest Thanksgiving celebration of his own and invited Massasoit, the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag Federation to come as a guest.

Massasoit arrived on the appointed day with ninety warriors, and gifts of more food, including apple cider, deer, lobster, clams, oysters, smoked eel, corn, squash, wild rice, smoked cod fish, and popped corn with maple syrup. The Wampanoags remained at Plymouth for three days and the celebration continued for several more days after they left.

When the next great wave of Puritans settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, there was such a shortage of food, that the new governor, John Winthrop, sent one of the ships back to England to purchase as much food as possible. When it returned in February 1631, Governor Winthrop ordered a day of Thanksgiving to be celebrated by all the settlements in the colony. The first such celebration to be held in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in ten years since 1621.

Other than in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they were held as a local custom every year from 1631 on, Thanksgiving celebrations were held sporadically in the European colonies in America during the 1600s and 1700s. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress recommended that each of the colonies observe a day of Thanksgiving every year, and when George Washington later became president, he proclaimed November 26th to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.

However, the custom fell into disuse in a short time, and the states that did observe an annual Thanksgiving Day celebration, did so on a day that best suited them, although they all observed it in the month of November.

During the civil war in 1863, when President Lincoln felt that the union needed all the patriotism that such as observance might muster, he proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be observed on the last Thursday in November. However, the Pilgrims and Plymouth colony were not included in the celebrations at that time. It would not be until the 1890s that the Pilgrims were included in the celebration traditions. In fact, Americans did not even use the term pilgrim until the 1870s.

Lastly, it is interesting to note that some historians believe that Thanksgiving became such an important holiday in the New England states because the Pilgrims and the Puritans wanted a festival to replace the Christmas holiday that they had refused to recognize or observe, and which was banned outright in the 1640s. Although this may have been the case in the early years, both holidays became important to all new Englanders after Christmas became a legal holiday in the United States in 1856.


Addison, Albert Christopher. 1911. The Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims. L. C. Page & Company: Boston, MA.

Ames, MD, Azel. 1901. The Mayflower and Her Log: July 15, 1620 – May 6, 1621. Houghton, Mifflin & Company: Boston, MA.

Anderson, Virginia de John. 1993. Migrants and Motives: Religion and the Settlement of New England, 1630-1640 in Katz, Ed. Colonial America. McGraw-Hill, Inc.: New York, NY.

Bercovitch, Sacvan. 1986. A Library of American Puritan Writings. Volume 9 – The Seventeenth Century. Ams Press, Inc.: New York, NY.

Bradford, William. Samuel Eliot Morrison, Ed. 1981. Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY.

Cook, Jeannine. Ed. 1992. Columbus and the Land of Ayll N: The Exploration and Settlement of the Southeast. University of Georgia Press, Darien, GA.

Davis, William T. 1883. Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth. A. Williams and Company: Boston, MA.

Deetz, James. 1996. In Small Things Forgotten: Archaeology of Early American Life. Anchor Books Doubleday: New York, NY.

Garvan, Anthony N.B. 1951. Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial Connecticut. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT.

Greene, Jack P. 1988. Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture. The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, NC.

Heath, Dwight B. 1963. Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Corinth Books: New York, NY.

Hume, Ivor N. 1969. Historical Archaeology. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, NY.

Kupperman, Karen Ordahl. 1980. Settling with the Indians: The Meeting of English and Indian Cultures in America, 1580-1640, J.M. Dent: London. (Reprinted 2000 as Indians and English: Facing off in Early America. Cornell University Press)

Perkins, Frank H. 1947. Handbook of Old Burial Hill: Plymouth, Massachusetts. Rogers Print, Inc.: Plymouth, MA.

Pory, John, Emmanuel Altham, Isaack Derasieres, Edited by Sydney V. James. 1963 (Reprint 1997). Three Visitors to Early Plymouth: Letters about the Pilgrim Settlement in New England During its First Seven Years. Apple Wood Books, Plymouth, MA.

Simmons, R. C. 1976. The American Colonies: From Settlement to Independence. W.W. Norton & Company: New York, NY.

Smith, John. 1971. Advertisements for the Planters of New England. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Ltd.: Amsterdam.

Young, Alexander. 1841. Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth: From 1602 to 1625. C.C. Little and J. Brown: Boston, MA.

Teltsch, Kathleen. 1990. Scholars and Descendants Uncover Hidden Legacy of Jews in Southwest in New York Times (Sunday, 11 No 1990, p. 30), New York, NY.

Winthrop, Robert Charles. Ed. 1864-1867 (Reprint 1971). Life and Letters of John Winthrop. Vols. 1-2, Boston, MA.



Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Paul G

24 Comments on “Thanksgiving: Fact or Fiction?”

  • Avatar for Sharone Walker

    Sharone Walker


    Pretty native american indians pictures art work your friends ands fans ands acctantaices ma ta hay sir edwardmwalker native american indians cassierunningwolf sharonewalker

  • Avatar for cay



    I might as well follow suite or I wont get published. Current world society that is. WHO were the peoples before the current nomad peoples? if it is the mound peoples; who was before them? our land has been occupied before current prevailing presence. So what will we do on thanksgivings to come?

  • Avatar for Cay



    For thousands and thousands of years we humans have been travelling around the world and settling here and there and pushing others out to settle. So here we are now; we may not look the same or do things a certain way : but we are here. What are we going to do with this world now. When we look at world society ; we look in the mirror of the human race. It is a bit scary. we got to be on the same page; with our good ideals that make it good for everyone. That sounds a bit scary too. People we got to wake up and wise up. We been on the planet long enough to know better! Don’t you think?

  • Avatar for Elaine M Wheeler

    Elaine M Wheeler


    OMG, what bullshit. All of a sudden all history is wrong…especially if it doesn’t include blacks or Spanish because that’s what being pushed in the media and society today. Sometimes they were not included because they weren’t there! So what. Everybody today just eats that $#@! up. End of rant. No further comment. Tired of the bull, people today are so gullible to the media today changing and twisting everything to suit their own agenda.

    • Avatar for Deb



      I understand. It was Spaniards then the British who started the destruction of Native life. I get tired of hearing its all white peoples fault. Just because someone’s skin is white/pale does not mean they are responsible for the atrocities that happened. Columbus was a Spaniard and there is now evidence showing that other people were here before him.

      I am part indian but am white. I have been researching roots and history and find people who write articles like these have an agenda and care nothing about the truth.

      I have also noticed some Native Indians want to side with the Spaniards yet they were the ones who initiated the destruction. Another fallacy being thrown around by some are that Natives were a peaceful people. While some tribes were peaceful there were also tribes who were violent and killed other tribes.

      I don’t understand the need to twist things. Blacks……..well the first slave owner was black and less than 3% of the population alive during those times ever owned a slave. When freed, they were given a choice to leave or take a small piece of land to live on.

      Not one culture or race is free of violence yet some seem to want to romanticize some cultures while trying to degrade others.

      Until we stop this type of articles and people start seeing people as humans all part of one race regardless of skin color or features………..we are going to continue to go down this path of hatred and destruction.

  • Avatar for Kevin



    Happy Thanksgiving! God bless America. I homesteaded in Alaska 1974 and am one of the last pioneers. There are no new oceans to cross, whose land will be stolen next?

  • Avatar for Mike



    I love to find I’ve been mislead my hole life, its great to know we are still giving credit to Columbus W/ a day of reflection, it is some of the most botched history ever wrote since the Bible .
    Hoping to have a chance to know everything on the fate full day of death,
    Michael D.McGill
    Native American-Irish

  • Avatar for Carrolee



    Thank you for this article. Once read but will be reading again and do some deep thinking. Very enlightening. My Great Grandmother was a Native American child sold into slavery from the St Meinrad Abby in Southern Indiana to a family in Boonville IN. At 13 she married and moved on with her life. That is all we have been able to discover about her origins. Makes me wonder how many more children out there wonder about the truth of their origins.

  • Avatar for Marianne Rudolfsen

    Marianne Rudolfsen


    I’ve learned that Danish/norwegian vikings went from iceland via Greenland, to north America. To a place they called wineland..

  • Avatar for robert Kern

    robert Kern


    the Native Americans were many nations.. NO COLONIES survived in North America for any commercial reason-ONLY the pilgrims stayed – that is the point-and the French Protestants and the Cryptic Jews-The Native Americans probably came here to escape religious persecution…freedom of religion settled America

    • Avatar for Mike



      It wasn’t freedom from, it was freedom to practice I think you meant, but that is nor here or there.

  • Avatar for dragonfly



    So all these “good christians” were liars, slavery mongers,kidnappers, brutal murderers, spreading bubonic plague and thanking their god for all the riches of this “new world” ripe for rape. The U.S. should remember why Russell Means poured pig’s blood over Plymouth Rock in protest.

  • Avatar for manyshoes



    of course there is also the ego centric issue the no European “discovered” this continent… considering that millions of ndns had already been living here for thousands of years (they keep pushing the date back, it’s at least 20000).

    Since all of these people were already here, it can hardly be said to have been “discovered” by the new comers, er uh Johnny Come Lately?. (there has even been some evidence of Phoenician artifacts being found, but that is a different story).

    To understand the stupidity and arrogance of it, consider if “you” having been raised in a state of total ignorance of geography, got on a sailboat and went across the ocean to someplace like, oh I dunno, how about a sparsely populated part of the England coastline.

    You hop out of your boat, plunk down a flag and decree that you are not only the “first discoverer” but also the new owner of the entire land of England.

    And when the local people, who seem to think that it actually belongs to them since they have been living there for a very long time, when the local people object to your declaration, you respond by killing them in various ways… unless of course you can con them into going along with your little ruse.

    That is exactly what happened here…

  • Avatar for manyshoes



    another great myth is that Columbus did not actually discover America — if he had discovered it, he probably would have named it after him. Columbus instead spent most of his time in the islands, he reached Cuba, and it is thought that he sailed along part of the coast of south america but did not land there and did not realize it was a continent. He had no idea at all that North America existed.

    A copy of his actual log book is available on-line. So why do schools persist in promoting the blatantly wrong belief that Columbus discovered america?

    • Avatar for DebRain



      If Columbus went around South America then perhaps he did name some place after himself; Colombia.

    • Avatar for Laura Culley

      Laura Culley


      “So why do schools persist in promoting the blatantly wrong belief that Columbus discovered america [sic]?”
      Because the imagined story is far more romantic, easy to remember/teach to young people and fits nicely into the overall American Creation Myth, which is pure propaganda. In this story, English settlers are all heroes of one sort or another.

    • Avatar for SirRay



      They don’t (I’m a teacher) and I wasn’t taught that as well.

  • Avatar for American Historian

    American Historian


    There was a Thanksgiving celebration at hatteras island North Carolina in the 1580 time frame which is well documented in Scott Dawson’s book, Croatoan birth place of America.

    There have been evidence of Vikings having came to America also. Leif Ericson is well known for his journey to America in the year 1000 time frame, 500 years of so before Columbus came to America and before the spainish which has been proven by artifacts found through the Va area.
    This account was originally published in Slafter, Edmund F., The Voyages of the Northmen to America (1877) reprinted in The Heritage of America, Commager, Henry Steele and Allan Nevins eds. (1939); Boorstin, Daniel J., The Discoverers (1983).

    In 1498 John Cabot, discoverer of North America, started on his second voyage and then coasted along the East shore of the American mainland to Cape Hatteras North Carolina. Explorations of later date found pieces of a broken sword of Italian workmanship, and that two silver earrings of Venetian make had been seen upon a boy who was a native of the North-West country in America which might indicate the destruction of part of Cabot’s fleet. Cabot’s lawyer was a Dalmatian from Dubrovnik-Ragusa.
    A Croatian traveling west in Europe or to the New World from 1300-1700 could have been identified in documents as Hungarian, Venetian, Austrian, Turkish, Italian-Venetian, Schiavon, Slavonian, Illyrian, Dalmatian or from the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik).
    The New England Coast was first called New Dalmatia by explorer Verrazano in 1524. This had been written about by French, Italian and American historians. Verrazano mentions Sclavonia, Dalmatia and names four islands after Dalmatian islands. Isola Lunga is Dugi Otok or Long Island, New York. Verrazano discovered New York and may have lost ships off the Carolina coast.
    Jean Alfonse in the Alfonse Voyages of the 1540’s along the Atlantic coast comments on passing Cap S. Blas, not naming it, with a notation of northeast of Florida in beautiful country at the port of Chatelain which would be Charleston, South Carolina. S. Blas is Saint Vlaho or Sveti Vlaho in Croatian. Saint Vlaho is the Patron Saint of Dubrovnik in Croatia.
    In 1565 Menendez de Aviles, the new governor of Florida, wiped out a colony of French Huguenots trying to settle near present-day Jacksonville. The “Levantine” mariners aboard the Flagship rebelled and took the ship and disappeared. Navigation would dictate that the ship went north and could have crashed off of Hatteras. Levantine mariners were usually Dalmatian-Croatian Catholics. Spain would not allow on her ships Greek Orthodox or Moslems.

    This leads us to when the English first came to america they landed at Hatteras island North Carolina…and on their map and writings they wrote about the Croatoan island and the indians of that island they called the Croatoans…these indians was later called Hatteras and also Lumbee Melungeons and many other names. Croatoan also being the name of the Croatatians who had been visiting this island since the 1400’s. With the island being named Croatoan we know this place had in fact been colonized and named by the Croatians..the indians found later at this settlement had grey/blue eyes, could read from english books and said their ancestors came there on a ship.
    Place names and names found in North Carolina associated with Croatia are: Croatamonge, Croatamung Island, Croatan Indians, Croatan Indian Park, Croatan National Forest, Croatan Sound, Croatan Township, Croatan Wildlife Area, Croatoan and Croatoan Island.
    Croato an–Croat an
    Croato-Croata-Croati is the Italian form of Croatia or Croatian. The Italian alphabet does not have a K. When a person is from a place such as Split, Dubrovnik, Ragusa, Zagreb, as examples —- you can say he is a: Splitcan, Hvaran, Dubrovcan, Ragusan, Zagrebcan, Trogiran, Hercegovan. Croatia was not a country in the 1500s but a part of Venice, Austria, Hungary, Turkey or the Republic of Dubrovnik-Ragusa. One could say they were: Croatians, Croatans or Croatoans. All historians and experts state that Croatoan is an Algonquin Indian name. Other experts state there is no CR or KR sound in the Algonquin language in that area.

    Is Ottorasko-Hrvatsko (Croatia)?

    Cape Hatteras: Place name variations included Hatarask, Hotoras, Hatorask, Hatorasck, Hatrask, Otterasco, 0ttorasko. Ottorasko was the earliest name given to this island south of Port Ferdinando with Croatoan southward from it again.


    The Melungeon, Lumbee, and Croatan groups in America claim to be a mixture of Indian and European mariners, liberated slaves, Lost Colonists, and remnants of Spanish and Portuguese settlements. There is considerable speculation as to the origin of the name Melungeon. The Melingi-Melingoi were Slavic groups in the Balkans that would have willingly served in Turkish fleets.

    Sir Frances Drake liberated hundreds of slaves in the Caribbean while plundering Spanish settlements. Drake brought material help to the Roanoke Colony and left the Turks and Moors and some European slaves at Roanoke. These liberated slaves far outnumbered the English Colonists; some left with Drake and were returned to Turkey. The Turkish slaves were captured in sea battles in the Mediterranean. Almost all Turkish admirals in the 1500’s were Croatian-Dalmatians. Bosnia-Hercegovina, one half of Croatia and parts of the Dalmatian coast, all part of the Croatian kingdom, were conquered by Turkey. Many Dalmatian mariners served in Turkish fleets; the second language at the Turkish Court for the military and marine was Croatian. Twenty two Great Viziers (Prime Ministers) of the Turkish Empire were Croatians.

    This is just many of the historically proven accounts of settlements in America and explorations in America dating back to 1000ad to the 1500’s. There was even one of sir francis drake’s fleet ship’s enitre crew trvaeling by foot from Florida up to the fench colonies in canada…only 2 people made it back…those 2 people wrote that their entire crew had went to live with various tribes between florida and canada along the east coast.

  • Avatar for panamabev



    OMG!!! This was so good!! Such valuable information. I loved learning the truth about my ancestors, African and Native American (tribe…Cherokee), the real truth about the first settlers!! The African part of my family on my grandmother’s side came from Somalia. My DNA results and some family photos, etc are included in the book, The Washington’s of Wessyngton Plantation, by: John Baker. It was so refreshing to read, ‘the first non-native settlers in this country we now know as the United States were Africans’.
    Thanks so much for the article.

    • Avatar for Linda Rock

      Linda Rock


      By non- Native settlers they don’t mean that the Natives weren’t already here they only mean that the Africans were the first settlers to an occupied Native land !

    • Avatar for Running Doe

      Our native american people were here first, our land, not thier that is why native americans today, dont have Thanksgiving, it is a time of moruning, for what happend long ago, i am Cherokke and proud,

  • Avatar for mark



    very interesting reading

    • Avatar for Satcatcher



      Jonathan Holmes, you really need to practice proper penmanship. Your credibility is in question as well as revisionist history is not believable. Go back to school fool.

      • Avatar for Ted ortiz

        Ted ortiz


        It’s hard for you and your mom beleaver too accept the truth.

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