Reanimated History: The First Factsgiving

Reanimated History: The First Factsgiving

In this episode, Adam digs into misconceptions as old as pumpkin pie about Native Americans, including the truth about the first Thanksgiving, Pocahontas and John Smith and more. Here are his sources.

Sources

 

And a majority of people on the Mayflower weren’t Pilgrims. Only 1/3 of the passengers were seeking religious tolerance; the rest came seeking economic opportunity.”

James Loewen. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything You American History Textbook Got Wrong. Simon & Schuster, 1995.
 

“As a result, most of the work had already been done for them. It already had cleared fields, fresh water and pre-built homes.”

James Loewen. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything You American History Textbook Got Wrong. Simon & Schuster, 1995.
 

“And according to the own settlers’ journals, that’s exactly what they did.”

James Loewen. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything You American History Textbook Got Wrong. Simon & Schuster, 1995.
 

“His story is less heartwarming and more heartbreaking”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“Alone and without his people, Tisquantum was captured by the Wampanoag who put him to use as a translator.”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“Actually, Thanksgiving has only been a National Holiday for 155 years! It wasn’t until the woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb” started sending letters to Abraham Lincoln that Thanksgiving became”

Paul Quigley. “The Birth of Thanksgiving.” The New York Times, 28 Nov 2013.
 

“Because when John Smith arrived in Jamestown in 1607 Pocahontas was only ten years old.”

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“And Pocahontas never saved John Smith’s life, because no one was trying to kill him. Smith either made the whole thing up, or misunderstood a religious ceremony welcoming him to the tribe.”

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“The British threatened and harassed them so much that Chief Powhatan ended up moving the entire village farther from Jamestown so they’d be left alone.”

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“John Smith accidentally blew himself up with gunpowder”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“While in captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity, learned English and married a man named John Rolfe.

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“Yes. It was. And, unfortunately, after this visit to London, Pocahontas died of disease in 1617 at the age of 21. She’d never see her home or her people again.”

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“He also claimed in another book that Pocahontas and 30 other women in her tribe attacked him with a dance and demanded sexual favors.”

Camilla Townsend. Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma: The American Portraits Series. ‪Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005.

 

“There were hundreds of groups speaking thousands of languages spread across the American continents before European arrival.”     

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.

 

Actually, no! Before European arrival there were between 50 and 100 million people living in the Americas!”

William Denevan, editor. The Native Population of the Americas in 1492, Second Edition. The University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.
 

“Exactly! Some experts say there were actually more people in the Americas, than Europe!”
Lewis Lord. “How Many People Were Here Before Columbus?” US News & World Report, 18-25 Aug 1997.
 

And some tribes like the Iroquois even had complex political organizations.”

“Iroquois Constitution: A Forerunner to Colonists’ Democratic Principles.” The New York Times. 28 June 1987.
 

“Cahokia! A city once located in North America near what is now St. Louis. At its height around 1100 A.D., upwards of 30,000 people lived there. It rivaled London and Paris in population!

Annalee Newitz. “Finding North America’s lost medieval city.” Ars Technica. 13 Dec 2016.
 

“And they built massive earthworks in Cahokia -- the biggest being amound called Monk’s Mound that was larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza!”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“But they also spread infectious disease.”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“Some estimates say that 90% of the Native population died in just a couple hundred years.”

Stephen Stearns and Jacob Koella. Evolution in Health and Disease, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 2008.
 

“Before the arrival of Europeans, this was a bustling continent of tens of millions of people, and hundreds of complex societies. Disease changed it all.”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“Like did you know that John Smith’s second-in-command is the guy who ended up kidnapping Tisquantum! Small new world, huh?”

Charles Mann. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Knopf, 2005.
 

“Heck, a hundred years before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas, an explorer named Zheng He took a massive Chinese fleet across the Indian ocean, all the way to Africa!”

Evan Hadgiman. “Ancient Chinese Explorers.” NOVA. 1 Jan 2001.
 

“Zheng He was given 28,000 men and hundreds of ships. He was basically mayor of a floating city.”

“Shipping News: Zheng He’s Sexcentenary.” China Heritage Newsletter. June 2005.
 

“And these weren’t puny European ships either. He had 62 massive treasure ships that measured up to 400 feet long. Each of them had nine masts. You could fit all of Columbus’ ships on the DECK of one of Zheng He’s treasure boats.”

Frank Viviano. “China’s Great Armada, Admiral Zheng He.” National Geographic. July 2005.
 

Zheng He went on seven journeys from 1405 to 1431. First to nearby places like Sumatra. Later his journeys led him thousands of miles to the Swahili coast of Africa.”

“Shipping News: Zheng He’s Sexcentenary.” China Heritage Newsletter. June 2005.
 

“At one point even bringing a Giraffe all the way back to the Imperial court.”

Evan Hadgiman. “Ancient Chinese Explorers.” NOVA. 1 Jan 2001.


For More on This Topic

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-pocahontas-180962649/

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/03/1491/302445/

http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/articles.php?searchterm=002_zhenghe.inc&issue=002

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le7r93whykg