Tag Archives: Squanto

The Greatest North American Holiday is Upon Us

11/27/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Inflation in asset prices is beginning to appear at a breathtaking pace, and, while $1000 Bitcoins and 10% month over month increases in the London property market appear to scream “bubble,” the truth of the matter is that we are just getting starting.  The Federal Reserve and every other Central Bank on the planet have given up on any sort of meaningful restraint, and there are Trillions of fiat currency units that are just looking for a reason to stir up what passes for economic activity circa 2013.

There will be plenty of time to watch numbers tick higher and even more plentiful opportunities to be had for ventures of all sorts in the weeks and months ahead.  Today, we must pause, reflect, and give thanks.

For tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe
“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe

Thanksgiving is the Greatest North American Holiday, for, in an age where most holiday traditions can be only dimly observed beyond the lights of commercialism, it is one of the few that most purely reflects its heritage.

And what a heritage it is.  While the general idea of “Thanksgiving” has existed in religious and other faith centered communities from time immemorial, the Thanksgiving that we will celebrate tomorrow traces its origins to a three day feast held on the Plymouth Plantation in November of 1621, which was the culmination of a series miraculous events that came to pass for a group of Pilgrims who boarded the Mayflower in mid-July, 1620 and brave companions from the Speedwell who were determined to carry on despite the Speedwell springing a leak and being forced to turn back to England.

The Mayflower, like many ships of the day, was a trading ship, and the Pilgrims, who were English Dissenters (to give one an idea of conditions in England, Guy Fawkes Night had occurred a mere 15 years earlier, and religious tolerance was non-existent on the isles), were on their way to freedom having been financed by merchants eager to tap the riches of the New World.

The journey was perilous, and the storms in the North Atlantic took a heavy toll on the ship and its passengers.  At least twice during the more difficult stages of the journey the idea of returning to England was debated.  Frankly, anyone who has been on a journey that has become imperiled by weather conditions will understand the nature of such conversations.

The Mayflower, as we now know, pressed on and landed in the New World on November 11th, 1620.  After a difficult journey, they had now arrived on land, and their true perils were about to begin.

After failing to find land suitable for a settlement, the advance party again boarded the Mayflower and sailed down to what is now known as Plymouth Rock, where they found an area that was ideal for both settlement and agriculture.  As it turns out, the Patuxent tribe had inhabited this land until a plague wiped out all but one of its members just four years earlier.

The surviving member of the Patuxent tribe was named Squanto, and he was to play a key role in making the first Thanksgiving possible.

In November of 1620, the Pilgrims set about the first order of business to be tended to before the winter would set in, building a common house (in what turned out to be our own strange homage to this event, we spent today racing against the winter rains to complete a tree house/play structure/deck in our backyard).

Over the winter and early spring, 49 of the 101 who had made the journey on the Mayflower (during the journey, two perished at sea and one baby was born) had perished, and the prospects for the coming spring were grim, as there were now just 20 adults and 30 children.

It was then that a series of miracles began to occur.

First, a Native American named Samoset, who spoke English well enough to communicate, came to the settlement to welcome the Pilgrims.  Samoset then went to get Squanto, who was at first hesitant to come near to the settlement, as he had been captured and sold into slavery twice by English ships prior to this encounter.  However, he had been observing this group of Englishmen and found them to be quite different than the others.

{Editor’s Note:  You can read a bit more of Squanto’s fascinating story here.}

Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and other key survival tactics to the new inhabitants of his native land, who he now called his people.  He then brought Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag and the leader of the tribes of the region.  Massasoit provided foodstuffs to the Pilgrims and agreed to a peace treaty with them that would last for 50 years.

With the aid of the Native Americans, the Pilgrims survived and, in the fall of 1621, had a bountiful harvest.  They declared a feast of Thanksgiving that lasted for three days and was attended by Massasoit and 90 other Natives.  It was a feast of Biblical proportions in the sense that it was a true tithe, where the first fruits of the season were brought together and enjoyed by all in the community.

Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe
Massasoit and governor John Carver smoking a peace pipe

And the rest, for better and for worse, is history.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the miracles that occur in the lives of each and every one of us.  It is a time to reflect upon the people and the providence that have provided for us in miraculous ways throughout the year.

For each circumstance in which we live is a miracle simply because it is, and our lives are tapestries that are woven together by the Creator of such awe inspiring beauty that any difficulties encountered along the way simply pale in comparison to the whole.

Thanksgiving is a time to step back and celebrate this tapestry with the Creator, and, when contemplated along with the abundance that fills our lives if we would only pause, reflect, and open our eyes, join together with our loved ones and all of humanity, lifting songs of praise and Thanksgiving to the Father of us all.

As it was at Plymouth in the fall of 1621, so let it be with us tomorrow, for it is what our present circumstances call for each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 27, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.18
Oil Price per Barrel:  $92.25

Corn Price per Bushel:  $4.17
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.75%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $1,067.29
FED Target Rate:  0.09%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,238

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  16,097
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,516,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $10,921,000,000,000