Monthly Archives: November 2014

Thanksgiving: Daniel Webster’s Plymouth Oration

Editor’s Note: As Americans gather on this day of Thanksgiving to be with family and enjoy delicious food, it is important to look back and and give thanks for our many blessings as a people. On December 22, 1820–200 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts–the great and legendary orator Daniel Webster gave a stirring and memorable speech at Plymouth Rock. This speech, once read and remembered by American schoolchildren, paid homage to New England’s Pilgrim forefathers who struggled, endured, and sowed the seeds of our civilization and its greatest institutions.  But this speech was not merely looking back on a great people. Webster was making a tribute to future Americans who, he hoped, would receive a “great inheritance of good government and of civil and religious liberty” from his own generation as well. This task remains for Americans today: to remember, give thanks for, and pass on our greatest and most cherished principles and institutions to posterity. Webster’s speech is printed below. Let us rejoice that we behold this day. Let us be thankful that we have lived to see the bright and happy breaking of the auspicious morn, which commences the third century of the