Thanksgiving and Daylight Savings Time are time buddies. I sought to know how slavery was progressing in related time frames. The custom of giving thanks for the annual harvest is one of the world’s oldest celebrations and can be traced back to the dawn of civilization. We can find some times are determined Biblically by stating events, e.g. “harvest time”… American Thanksgiving tradition dates back to 1621;…not repeated until many years later…1789 George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on Thursday 26 November that year – setting the precedent making it the last Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving became a nationwide holiday…President Lincoln proclaimed the last 1863 Thursday in November a national day. Congress sanctioned it a legal holiday in 1941. Sarah Josepha Hale, writer of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’, led a 17 year campaign to get Thanksgiving declared a national holiday sending letters, which were ignored, then a letter to Abraham Lincoln convinced him to declare Thanksgiving holiday in 1863.
[Progression of slavery: June 3 1621: Dutch West India Company chartered and granted a monopoly to trade in the Caribbean. (Dutch slave traders had been operating with varying degrees of success since about 1600.) African History website maintained by: [http://www.brycchancarey.com Amazon] When the pilgrims gave thanks for their first bountiful harvest in Plymouth Rock. March 24, 1789: Publication of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African.
May 12, 1789: William Wilberforce delivers first major abolition speech before the House of Commons. August 1782. Publication of The Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African, (1729-1780) was said to have been born a slave on a ship crossing the Atlantic from Africa to the West Indies. His origins were African..his earliest memories were of Greenwich, near London, and forced to work as a child slave; persuaded the powerful Montagu family to employ him as their butler, before retiring to run a grocery shop in Westminster… a music composer, appeared on the stage, entertained many famous figures of literary and artistic London…first African we know of to vote in a British election,..wrote a large number of letters which were collected and published in 1782, two years after his death.
He was thought of in his age as “the extraordinary Negro”, and to eighteenth-century opponents of the slave trade he became a symbol of the humanity of Africans. In recent years there has been a great deal of interest in the life and works of Ignatius Sancho. [Daylight Savings Time dates bear some correlation.] Many sources credit Benjamin Franklin with being the first to suggest seasonal time change during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784″ it’s to make better use of daylight. I like DayLight Savings time better!
Dr. Jeanette is Superintendent/Founder of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 4514 Crenshaw BL. LA, CA 90043; 323-293-9826 Author: Will You Marry Me? Inquiring Minds Want To Know; © all rights reserved [email protected]