A somber event, it specifically recommended “that servile labor and such recreations (although at other times innocent) may be unbecoming the purpose of this appointment [and should] be omitted on so solemn an occasion.” Presidents Washington, Adams and Monroe proclaimed national Thanksgivings, but the custom fell out of use by 1815, after which the celebration of the holiday was limited to individual state observances.
Carried by Yankee emigrants moving westward and the popular press, New England’s holiday traditions would spread to the rest of the nation.NATIONAL FEAST The Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving in 1777.Florida, Texas, Maine and Virginia each declare itself the site of the First Thanksgiving and historical documents support the various claims.Spanish explorers and other English Colonists celebrated religious services of thanksgiving years before arrived.It was like having an extra Sabbath during the week. The holiday changed as the dogmatic Puritans of the 17th century evolved into the 18th century’s more cosmopolitan Yankees.
By the 1700s, the emotional significance of the New England family united around a dinner table overshadowed the civil and religious importance of Thanksgiving.However, few people knew about these events until the 20th century.They were isolated celebrations, forgotten long before the establishment of the American holiday, and they played no role in the evolution of Thanksgiving. Baker states in his book, , "despite disagreements over the details" the 3-day event in Plymouth in the fall of 1621 was "the historical birth of the American Thanksgiving holiday." So how did the Pilgrims and Wampanoag come to be identified with the First Thanksgiving? W.” (Edward Winslow) to a friend in England, he says: “And God be praised, we had a good increase….Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling that so we might after a special manner rejoice together….” Winslow continues, “These things I thought good to let you understand…that you might on our behalf give God thanks who hath dealt so favourably with us.” In 1622, without his approval, Winslow’s letter was printed in a pamphlet that historians commonly call (1841).Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life.