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Note the structure connecting the main house with the Slave Quarters, on the left, and the two additions to the main house on the right. Slaves were brought into New England throughout the entire colonial period, and slavery existed throughout the colonies before the American Revolution.The majority of the slaves spent at least part of their lives enslaved, and were often bought as children in coastal cities.If you'd like to join us for Thanksgiving dinner, please visit our Thanksgiving Dining and Special Events page.Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life.From ancient times, Native People of North America have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child.Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for ceremonies or celebrations.Legally, their condition did not differ much from that of the slaves and they were usually included in the slave codes with Indian and black slaves.For nearly two hundred years the North maintained a slave regime that was more varied than that of the South.
A number of blacks in New England, as in the other colonies, held the status of freedmen. In some cases the slaves won their freedom by entering into formal contracts with their masters to serve them for a period of years in return for their freedom.
…a devastating experience of slavery in America had resulted in the condition of poverty of northern free people of color and the climate of persistent prejudice against them. The introduction of slave labor into the New England household economy enabled its expansion from small-time farms to large agricultural production, the expansion of local and regional markets, widespread entrepreneurial activity, and the rise of manufactories.
From the seventeenth century onward, slaves in the North could be found in almost every field of Northern economic life.
As with Native traditions in America, celebrations - complete with merrymaking and feasting - in England and throughout Europe after a successful crop are as ancient as the harvest-time itself.
In 1621, when their labors were rewarded with a bountiful harvest after a year of sickness and scarcity, the Pilgrims gave thanks to God and celebrated His bounty in the Harvest Home tradition with feasting and sport (recreation).
Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts.