|People have supposed,
because the Puritans had no public amusements,
that there was no fun going on, and that there
were no cakes and ale. They were never more
mistaken. There was an abundance of
well-considered merriment. The king of all
festivals was Thanksgiving.
We felt it's approach in all
departments of the household, the conversation
beginning to turn to high and solemn culinary
In those days there
were none of the thousand ameliorations of
housekeeping which have since arisen--no ground
spices and sweet herbs. Everything came into our
hands in the rough and in bulk, and the reducing
of it into a state for use was deemed one of the
appropriate labors of childhood.
The making of pies at
this period assumed vast proportions that verged
upon the sublime. Pies were made of everything on
and under the earth. Pumpkin pies, plum, custard,
apple and pudding pies--pies with and without
What chitterings and
chatterings there were all over the house as
aunties and uncles and cousins came pouring in!
Who shall do justice
the the dinner and describe the turkey, chickens,
and that endless variety of vegetables which,
without regard to the French doctrine of courses,
were all piled together in jovial abundance upon
the board. There was much carving, laughing,
talking and eating!
The dinner being
cleared away, in the evening the house was all
opened and lighted with the best candles--we were
to have a dance. The musician rosined his bow and
tuned his fiddle.
Werever it was that the
idea of the sinfulness of dancing arose in New
England, I know not; it is certain that at
Oldtown, the minister and his lady were present.
As nine o'clock struck,
the whole scene dissolved and melted; for what
well-regulated village would think of carrying
festivities beyond that hour?
And so ended
Thanksgiving at Oldtown.