Thursday, November 26, 2009

First Thanksgiving in the Washington Territory

I was browsing the wonderful Washington Historic Newspapers project looking for some historical Thanksgiving cheer to share with you, Dear Reader, and came up with this curious piece from the November 9, 1860 edition of the Pioneer and Democrat [PDF], marking the first official Thanksgiving Day in the Washington Territory. It is a sentimental piece, as the author recalls Thanksgivings past with family in the east. How different it must have been on the gray and often impoverished Washington frontier. The piece is also interesting for some the obscure 19th century language.  What on earth does it mean when the writer says that after dinner "came the 'feast of reason and flow of soul' we all remember with delight?"

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!


Suzanne said...

It's Pope's imitation of Horace, and suggests a convivial, witty meal.

Larry Cebula said...

Ah, thanks Suzanne. So many 18th and 19th century literary roads lead back to Pope!