A few years back I learned that three of my ancestors were passengers on the Mayflower. Two of them–my 10th great-grandfather Edward Fuller and his wife, Ann–didn’t make it to the first Thanksgiving. They died during the first winter (April 20, 1621 and January 11, 1621, respectively), along with about half of the original Separatists (not Puritans) who sailed to the New World. The third, their son Samuel, did survive: he was raised by his uncle, Samuel Fuller, a physician. And Samuel (and Jane Lothrop) begat Hannah, and Hannah (and Nicholas Bonham) begat Hezekiah and after a lot more begetting, along came SWP.
Among many other things, I’m thankful that Samuel survived so that I could be begot. But mostly I’m thankful for my family, my friends, professional good fortune, and for being born in the United States. Recollecting the tribulations of people like the Fullers, and the ability of their survivors to rejoice in their meager blessings, I would be churlish to do anything but be deeply appreciative for the bounty conferred on me and mine.
In that spirit, I wish all of you in the Streetwise Professor community a joyous Thanksgiving, and a joyous holiday season to come.