Tuesday, November 21, 2017

From the Archives: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issues annual Thanksgiving proclamation

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issues annual Thanksgiving proclamation
November 21, 2011 11:41 PM MST

On Wednesday morning in Richmond, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will preside over the annual ceremony at which the Commonwealth’s Indian tribes pay tribute to the colonial overlords who arrived beginning in 1607. In return for the taking of their land by the English settlers, the Native Americans pay the Virginia governor duty in the form of wild game, animal skins, and weapons.

Examiner.com Bob McDonnell Powhatan Indians Thanksgiving 2011
Richmond History Examiner Karen Graham writes that the “tribes are paying their yearly tribute to the government of the Commonwealth” in a ceremony that goes back nearly 400 years.

Graham explains that the “first time a tribute was paid was due to a treaty signed in 1646. This treaty ended the Anglo-Indian War.The words of the treaty required the Powhatan Indians to pay a tribute of 20 beaver pelts to the colonial government yearly. In return, they would be protected from their enemies.”

In advance of the ceremony and the nation’s annual celebration of Thanksgiving Day, Governor McDonnell on Monday issued his official Thanksgiving proclamation, which says in part:

“… to show their appreciation for the colony’s success and to take stock and give thanks for their own gifts and blessings, and in spite of tremendous adversity, the settlers in Virginia found time to celebrate the first Thanksgiving in America at Berkeley Plantation on December 4, 1619…

“… while reflecting upon the actions taken by the colonists at the first Thanksgiving, we also honor the Indian peoples, for without their presence, the survival of the colonists would have been ever more difficult; and…

“… it is a Virginia tradition for our citizens to come together in unity on Thanksgiving Day and give thanks for the great level of serenity, harmony and abundance with which we, as citizens of a free nation, have been blessed; the rule of law by which we peaceably govern ourselves and by which our civil and religious liberties are guaranteed; and the brave servicemen and women of our armed forces who risk their lives to defend the freedoms and blessings we cherish; …

“… I encourage all Virginians to give thanks to our Creator for our plentiful blessings, including the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as well as the unwavering strength of our families and communities.”

According to Governor McDonnell’s official schedule, he and First Lady Maureen McDonnell will participate in the annual tax tribute ceremony on the grounds of the State Capitol and the Executive Mansion at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23.

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on Examiner.com on November 21, 2011. The Examiner.com publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to Examiner.com since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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