Teaching Cleveland

Lesson 15

Transcription of "Thanksgiving Day Letter" - 1845

Thanksgiving day 1845

How many fond recollections cling around that word, calling to my mind the scene of older times when as a child I met a score of uncles, aunts, cousins, around the hospitable board of my dear old grandfather. How pleasant it was to hear the congratulations which resounded from all sides. Then with what staid and sober steps we all took our way to church as the old clock tolled eleven. With what impatience did we listen to the good minister as he expatiated on the blessings which a kind Providence had so lavishly showered upon us, and how often would our minds wander from his discourse to the kitchen of our grandmother, where we well knew, that the good things of this life were being "fixed', with a bountiful hand.

Scarcely were the last words of the benediction pronounced ere we were scampering back, though occasionally restrained by the voice of an uncle or aunt.

In due time the dinner would be announced and after all had taken their seats my grandfather would ask a blessing on the viands so bountifully provided.

A huge turkey graced one end of the table while a juvenile porker, reclined at the other. (chickens, vegetables, gravies, sauces, and a thousand and one etcetras filled up the intermediate space. A large pitcher of water? no, but good cider stood in the center.

Eating and drinking was the order of the day and well did we obey the injunction "eat drink and be merry." The first course finished and the dishes were removed to make room for the pies in all their variety. Apple, mince, cream, custard, and last though not least that pie of all pies in the estimation of a Yankee, the rich golden pumpkin pie. The dinner finally finished the "old folks" draw round the cheerful backlog fire to talk over family matters, politics, religion &c. while we the younger sprigs amused ourselves as we pleased till supper time, when strange to say there were few that had much appetite for that meal although now seemed wanting at dinner.

After supper we again resumed our sports. Hunt the slipper, blindmans bluff, puss puss in the corner, cross questions and cooked answers, goose and many other juvenile games were played and mirth and fun abounded.

Sometimes a sly kiss was stolen from half willing lips and amid the revelry the theft passed unnoticed save by the actors.

But alas those days have passed away. Thanksgiving day in the west "ain't what it used to was" in the good old "land of steady habits"

But while memory remain, I shall love to cherish the recollection of those "bye gone hours"

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