Streetwise Professor

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Filed under: History — The Professor @ 3:58 pm

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.

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  1. In my family’s research of our heritage, not only did I find relatives who made the passage on the Mayflower, we found I am related to who probably was the first Englishman to be sentenced to death in the New World (Stephen Hopkins, for attempted mutiny. The sentence was not carried out). The story of this ancestor (and his mutiny) is believed in many circles to have been the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Hopkins is believed to be the only individual to have been at Jamestown and also a passenger on the Mayflower. I blame all my various peccadillos on my family lineage.

    Comment by Charles — November 27, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  2. Yes, Charles, the apple does not far from the tree–the tree that your ancestor escaped swinging from on the end of a rope. I’ll keep an eye on you. Thanks for the heads up.

    How did a rogue and adventurer (as most of the Jamestown lot were) get mixed up with a bunch of pious Puritans on the Mayflower? Was he one of the sailors rather than one of the Separatists?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 27, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

  3. Part of the Mayflower contingent were not religious at all. They were known as The Strangers. Hopkins was evidently quite a character. He was one of the few who had previously dealth with the Indians (from his Jamestown experience) so he was instrumental in dealing with Squanto and his friends. The records show while living in Plymouth, he was fined for such heinous offenses as serving alcohol and allowing shuffleboard playing on a Sunday. I’ll skip the story of the pregnant maidservant.

    Comment by Charles — November 29, 2010 @ 11:39 am

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