Twenty years before the Pilgrims, the first events which could be called thanksgiving days in the history of English speaking America occurred in Virginia in the early 1600's. They follow a time of cutthroat politics and war on the tip of contact between two very different cultures.  The Algonquian and the Anglo-Saxon were not completely ignorant of each other.  Recent finds from Virginia have shown that a basic understanding of the Algonquian language family  was available to Europeans.   That said, great cultural misunderstandings on the part of the English settlers at Jamestown would bring on the greatest period of deprivation in the history of the English colonies  (Other than the earlier "lost colony".).  This period ended, forever, only with the marriage of John Rolfe to Rebecca Rolfe (nee Pocahontas), the establishment of the Tobacco economy, and a peace that lasted until 1622. 

Rather than write what others have covered with video I will present a selection of what I feel are the best video's which tell the story of the period from 1607 to 1622.  Today people like myself who's ancestors, not counting the natives, have been here for 12 to 13 generations thank God that through all these challenges they persevered.  We give thanks that they lived, fought, and loved just enough for our great nation to be here.    

This first video shows the context of the deprivations that the Jamestown settlers would face a couple years after 1607.  After a period of initial confrontation, Wahunsenaca, Weroance and Mamanatowick (paramount chief) of the Powhatan complex chiefdom, did offer to supply the English with food if they would provide him with weapons and tools.   Due to a series of missteps that arrangement did not work.  

This video speaks of a 14 year old girl/young woman who was present in the harsh winter of 1609.  She died of natural causes, and then was cannibalized. 

Last but not least this one speaks of the real event that underlies the mythology of my namesake ancestor Pocahontas.  She did not marry John Simith.  Years latter she married the much less known John Rolfe.  They were the father, and mother, of the Tobacco industry. 

As for the poor downtrodden Pilgrims who only wanted freedom to be puritanical?  They had to flee England in part because they were on the side of Oliver Cromwell who was a real tyrant.  According to this production Cromwell banned Christmas .. HE BANNED GOING TO CHURCH ON CHRISTMAS DAY!  Those are the people we choose to base the first Thanksgiving on.  

....All because the South Lost the USA's Civil war.