The Origins of Thanksgiving: Faith, Founding Principles and America’s Forgotten History:
We’ve got an enlightening journey to embark upon, folks! With the insightful Tim Barton as our guide, we’re all set to unravel the gripping history and significance of Thanksgiving in America. Unearthing the foundation of this cherished festival, we discover that it was established a whopping 150 years before our revered Declaration of Independence. Listen in as we emphasize the untold importance of Thanksgiving – a time of reflection on faith, culture, and constitutional principles.
Next, we invite you to an exceptional tour through American history at the WallBuilders Museum. Tim Barton, gives us a virtual tour through an awe-inspiring collection of over 100,000 original documents and artifacts from the founding era. Prepare to be riveted as we uncover the intriguing tales of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and more. Furthermore, we explore the fascinating relationship between Washington and Alexander Hamilton during the American Revolution.
As we delve deeper, we emphasize the efforts of WallBuilders, a non-profit organization that’s preserving America’s forgotten history and founding principles. Hear how they wield original documents and rigorous research to arm politicians and the public with accurate information in our age of rampant misinformation. We throw a spotlight on the profound influence of the Bible on our founding fathers and early American history. Strengthen your knowledge base and join us as we urge listeners to verify historical information and comprehend the full narrative. Together, we can discover the truth, find courage, and promote good amidst division. So buckle up, and let’s dive into an unforgettable journey through time!
Air Date: 11/21/2023
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders, where we’re taking on the hot topics of the day From a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution Coach, honored to serve here with David and Tim Barton David’s, of course, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders and all three of us want to ask you to have a great Thanksgiving this week, but also to share with your friends and family what Thanksgiving is all about. So our programming the rest of the week is going to be keying in on that. Today specifically, Tim is going to give us a lot of great history on Thanksgiving and just what America is all about, what the foundation was that was laid 150 years before we declared our independence. So this is going to be a really cool program today, actually recorded in The Tavern, and that entire interview with Tim is going to be released tonight on The Tavern, which you can get at Patriot U or at Warrior Poets Society Network Either one of those networks will be airing The Tavern every Tuesday night. We release it at roughly I say roughly because it’s usually at 8.30 central and 9.30 eastern, but sometimes we’re a little late getting it up there. Anyway, it’s a streaming service. Both of those are streaming services where you can get the program. Now The Tavern is an opportunity to basically talk about the strategies and the tactics that it’s going to take revolutionary strategies and tactics it’s going to take to save our country, to save our culture, to restore our constitutional republic and so much, like the founding fathers did and The Taverns of old, in the churches and the parlors of their homes. They got together, they talked about what it was going to take, they had the conversations, the civil discourse necessary to discover truth and then to fight for that truth, to encourage each other to do so. And that’s why we started the show The Tavern. We had some great guests from John Lovelett, John Cooper, kevin Freeman, Michele Bachman, all kinds of folks. But tonight we’re releasing an episode with Tim Barton and we’re going to be talking about Thanksgiving and as always, I love to bring you little snippets here on Wallbelders of those tavern interviews. Can I give you the whole interview? You got to go to Patriot U Order, where your Poets Society network, to get the whole interview and the commentary and the other things that happen there in The Tavern Plus. You’ll enjoy watching it, I think. So check that out. Today you can go to wwwpatriotacademytv or you can go over to www. Warriorpoetssociety Network. And, by the way, patriot U, which is our Patriot Academy TV, is now available on Roku. So if you go to Roku and search for Patriot Academy, you can get the programming there as well. That’s also where you can get all of our Constitution classes just a lot of great material and information and content to keep you encouraged and inspired and equipped and educated so you can get out there and make a difference in the culture, doing your part to make that difference. But today we’re going to share with you a part of The Tavern interview with Tim Barton. So we’re going to take a quick break here early in the program and when we come back we’ll be with Tim in The Tavern. You’re listening to Wallbelders.
Tim Barton: 3:10
Hey, this is Tim Barton with Wallbelders, and as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to Wallbelders live, you’ve probably heard the wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, about all the things that makes America exceptional. And you might be thinking, as incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the Wallbelders guys to come to my area and share with my group whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school or public school or some political event or activity. If you’re interested in having a Wallbelders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website At www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling and if you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bios to events that are already going on, and there’s a section where you can request an event to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties and freedoms. Go to the Wallbelders website and bring a speaker to your area.
Rick Green: 4:10
Welcome back to The Tavern. Thanks for staying with me. Great to have my good friend, Tim Barton with me from the WallBuilders Museum in Alito, Texas. Hey brother, hey man, you like a mug with me there? I got it. Appreciate you coming to The Tavern. Hey, it’s good to be with you, a WallBuilders mug. Hey, yeah, I’m going to, let’s say, I’m trying to figure out, let’s see, I’m wondering what the team gave me. Oh, that’s pretty good, that’s pretty good, okay.
Tim Barton: 4:31
So yes, I could have pulled out one of the mugs from the 1700s, but I think it would have leaked a little bit at this point.
Rick Green: 4:38
It might have been a weird taste too, just coming off the yeah. Yeah, could have been weird. Well, speaking of that for our viewers at Warrior Post Society Network that may not be familiar, they may not know you, you’re sitting around, I don’t know what are you at. Like 120,000 or 30,000 original documents, artifacts. You’re literally sitting in history right now.
Tim Barton: 4:56
Yeah, so at WallBuilders Museum, for those that might not know, we do an awful lot with American history, so it’s considered the largest private collection of original documents from the founding era. We have more than 100,000 items to collection and I think it’s somewhere between like 120 and 160. And we have a huge portion that are originals. So actual letters, writings, journals from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, benjamin Franklin, but basically any founding father someone can name. We have some of their original writings. We also have a lot of reprints of original things or copies of originals. So everything we have is focused on primary sourcing, whether it is a copy of or the actual original itself. But when it comes to the actual original itself, we have tens of thousands of the actual original. Only one handwritten letter, whatever. It might be. So pretty unique for us to be able to study history with the actual documents themselves.
Rick Green: 5:54
And the artifacts, the muskets, the hatchets for someone that’s hair challenged. You’ve actually got George Washington’s hair, which I was drawn to, you know, in the what is it Hamilton that he gave the ring to with the lock of his hair. How did that whole thing happen?
Tim Barton: 6:07
Yeah, so we have a lot of artifacts as well. We have weapons from every conflict America has been a part of since we were a nation. So we have muskets from the American Revolution. We have rifles from the Civil War. We have rifles that were a part of World War I. Rifles are part of World War II, as you mentioned. We have hatchets and swords and daggers and just incredible stuff. We have cannonballs and, again, just lots of amazing stuff. And then, along those artifacts, one of our favorites are things pertaining to George Washington, and one of the things we have from George Washington is we have a lock of his hair that when he died, martha cut off a lock, gave it to Alexander Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton had that lock of hair, was divided and a portion of that lock of hair went to believe. It was his daughter who took that hair, had it braided and put on a ring and it was known as a morning ring and they were mourning the death of George Washington. But very common back then that people might carry some hair of one of their heroes or friends or loved ones on some kind of brooch or a necklace or, in this case, a ring. So we have the actual ring from the Hamilton family that Hamilton’s daughter wore. That was from the hair cut at the death of George Washington by Martha, giving Alexander Hamilton this incredible connection, and it’s one of many things that we have pertaining to George Washington and it’s only one of several locks of hair we have from founding fathers, which seems kind of weird for most people that we have hair of dead people, but apparently it was a big deal back then.
Rick Green: 7:38
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Okay. So this is not even our topic today. We’ll get to Thanksgiving here in a second. But the Hamilton Washington thing, so like, wasn’t he almost like mentored by Washington? Wasn’t he one of his main aid to camps or something like that? I don’t remember the exact connection. I don’t even know if they talk about it in the musical, which most people, that’s how they know about Hamilton is the musical. But give us a little background on why his connection to Washington was so close.
Tim Barton: 7:59
Yeah. So first of all, don’t take your knowledge of Hamilton solely on the musical. They didn’t.
Rick Green: 8:05
And I promise not to break out and rap. We will warn the V. Don’t worry, Tim, and I will not be doing a rap during the program. Go ahead, yeah.
Tim Barton: 8:13
I know this thing from what we do. But right, like even in the musical, they kind of did the Hollywood version retelling with a lot of mis-portrails of some of the people, some of the players and some of what’s there, and they got several things right. And then you know it was entertaining. But when it goes back to Hamilton Washington during the American Revolution, he believed that any letter he got he should respond to it personally. And Hamilton was an aide to camp, served very closely with him during the revolution and kind of became almost like an adopted son. Washington never had any kids when he married Martha. Martha had some kids and so he had some some more or less like adopted kind of kid scenario. But he, he and Martha never had any themselves and Hamilton became similar to a son to him. Washington got to a point where he wasn’t able to keep up with the correspondence just writing all the time. So Hamilton actually wrote the majority of Washington’s correspondence but Washington would dictate to Hamilton. So Washington would have Hamilton, right, pull out some some paper and get the quill ready, this is okay, we’re writing to this person and Washington would dictate the letters. Hamilton wrote those down. So so many of the letters of Washington during the revolution is actually in Hamilton’s handwriting. Washington would sign them all to verify this is from him. But there there was a really unique connection. In fact, hamilton served in Washington’s administration and then in Washington’s second term as president. There was a lot of division. That happened over partly France was attacking America because France was in a a battle of that point with Great Britain and they thought America should send aid in Washington famously in his farewell address that we should avoid these foreign entanglements. It’s because of what had been going on where France was literally attacking American trade ships and there were people in his cabinet that said we should be supporting France and some that said look, england is one of our great allies now at this point because we’re years removed and we don’t need to do things to get ourselves back in. So his cabinet actually fractured and Hamilton ended up leaving his cabinet during the second term. It really damaged their relationship from all the years that were there. Nonetheless, he was still close enough to Washington that on the deathbed Martha thought who were really important people to him and Washington never had a resentment to speak of to Hamilton. It’s just that Hamilton had a problem with people in the administration and the fact that Washington wasn’t being strong enough to resolve this problem or whatever it was. So he got frustrated and left. But there’s a lot of really interesting Hamilton-Washington connections throughout early American history.
Rick Green: 10:49
Well, and you guys another rabbit trail here. But you guys actually have a reenactment of the whole Hamilton Burr duel and all that kind of stuff in one of the videos that you do from years ago, and so all that history is there. And you mentioned the documents and actually referring to the actual documents so much of what WallBuilders puts out the books, the videos, the audios, the advice that you give to Congressman all of that stuff you literally have a working library there where you go into these original documents. So if a Congressman calls and says, as we talk about in our constitutional live class, hey, should we be bailing out companies? Has that ever happened before? What did Congress do? You guys actually go dive into and go find the debates where Madison talks about that kind of stuff. So I just think that’s really unique. Most people get online. They go to Google or they go to some other online source and see what some professor says about it. You guys actually go to the original documents. That’s unique in the whole scope of policy and trying to figure out what are the right things to put into the culture, what are the right answers. Constitutionally, y’all are in a really unique position to be able to do that.
Tim Barton: 11:56
Yeah, and it’s something I mean. Obviously, Rick, we spend a lot of time together, we discuss this often. It’s something that’s becoming increasingly important in the culture we live in, when so much of the culture is being fragmented and everybody at this point knows that we’re being lied to by mainstream media, we’re being lied to by politicians, and we know we’re being lied to even by professors, by educators, and so it comes to the point where we’re kind of asking, like, who can we trust anymore? And one of the things that we openly will acknowledge is that you shouldn’t trust anybody. You shouldn’t trust us until you verify. Right, kind of the old Ronald Reagan adage that we trust but verify. And it’s the reason we put footnotes in everything we do. We encourage people please don’t take our word for this. Like, go look this up. And here’s the place where here’s the letter that John Adams wrote Thomas Jefferson, where he said this we want people to know because we don’t want people to continue to be misled by the lies in culture. And one thing that we recognize, too, is the reason we can, with incredible confidence, say please don’t trust us on this, let us show you. This is where you find the letter, this is where you find that proclamation. Whatever it is, truth is not insecure. Truth doesn’t mind being fact-checked because it knows what’s true. It is only people that are lying that want to prevent the honest presentation of truth and facts. It’s the reason Dr Fauci right when he was telling us just trust the science. You mean, you don’t want us to fact-check you? Right, like what are you trying to hide right now? That should have been a major indicator for many of us, and actually it was for many of us. Nonetheless, in culture we need to get the place that we don’t just trust somebody explicitly because they said it must be true. No, we gotta go back and actually let’s do a little due diligence. Let’s go back and look up and see what’s there, and we try to make that really easy for people. So whenever we write articles, whenever we write books, we will have thousands of footnotes that we will put to make sure when we’re saying somebody said something don’t take our word for it. Here’s the actual letter, here’s the actual writing where he said that, and we would encourage people to go back and read that whole letter, one of the things that we’ve often tried to point out to people as we make the case for a religious, a biblical influence in the founding of America, as we made the case for the founding fathers being incredibly honorable people, or whatever it is that we’re talking about in those given moments. We usually take, like the cliff notes, the highlights to present to people to make it very easy and palatable for them to understand. But we tell them there’s so much more to the story than what we’re telling and the more to the story actually even supports the premise that we’re trying to communicate. If we would take time and go back and look, we would see there’s so much more there. And the reason we encourage people to go back and look is not just to verify what we’re saying but to realize that we’re only giving you the tip of the iceberg. When we talk about, for example, the Bible was the number one influence in early America, the number one influence of the founding fathers, we can say that and then we can give you a few quotes and examples. But if you go back and look and professors actually did this back in the 1990s and they identified that over 34% of all of the quotes that they were able to identify in the founder’s writings came from the Bible it was the Bible.
Rick Green: 14:57
That’s a third. That’s one out of three. One out of three is they’re quoting directly from the Bible.
Tim Barton: 15:01
Correct, but I mean by far the most significant source that influenced them and who they were and what they did and their writings and the ideas, philosophies they put forward. These secular professors said that one third of everything they 34% of everything they found, came from the Bible, and they actually even went further and explained that they were only including things that were directly in quotation marks in those quotes. Those professors pointed out that there was far more Bible language and Bible references they saw but for the point of their study, they were only including was in quotation marks.
Rick Green: 15:32
Had they included things that they knew were from the Bible or Bible references, it would have been far more than Meaning, like they might have paraphrased something or they might have included a Bible verse in a story, but they didn’t quote the verse specifically. So that did that one. They didn’t even count, yeah.
Tim Barton: 15:47
Correct, like when Benjamin Franklin famously as his call to prayer at the Constitution Convention, and he says if a sparrow can’t fall to the ground, that is, notice, is it probably an empire could rise out of his aid. And he goes through and he’s quoting verses. Right? He talks about the learning from the Tower of Babel. Well, the Tower of Babel is in Genesis and in the Bible. What they pointed out was that if they included all of those kind of references, it would have been significantly more than 34%. But the reason again I’m even using this as an example is that the things that we’re telling people, this is stuff that is pretty identifiable and if people went back and looked they would find there’s so much more evidence and information there than just the small piece that we are presenting. But it’s also the reason that we want to footnote everything and say don’t take our word for it, go back and look. And that’s also kind of now full circle. What is so fun for us about being in this museum and this an active library is that we get to spend time every single day going through original writings and seeing. What do the founding fathers actually think about the constitution? Right, about the First Amendment, second Amendment. Whatever it is, well, if they wrote it down, we probably have their writings in our museum and our library and we can go to those original writings and verify. What did they actually say? What do they believe about the Second Amendment? Was it just a militia? Was it the people? How does that work? Well, they were very clear about the Second Amendment. We have a book about that. They were very clear about this, and this is where we are way too often confused in culture about the original intent and it’s only because we haven’t taken time to go back and read and study and we try to make that available for people to go back and learn the history, learn the foundation of America.
Rick Green: 17:20
And there’s so many things, man, that you’ve said that we could take off on. I mean, first of all, just for people to understand that. You know, when we teach all this kind of stuff, there’s like the surface level, like you’re saying where you can in a one hour presentation or in a television show or whatever, talk about it, but the depth of other quotes, and it’s why I love when a wall, when WallBuilders, comes out with a book, it’ll be like, okay, if the book is this thick, there’ll be like all this great information and then a quarter of the book is just the references. And all these hundreds and hundreds, sometimes thousands of references. And speaking of books and then speaking of lies, okay, so you got a book called the American Story. That covers all the things that we’re going to talk about on. Thanksgiving is so much more of that history. But let’s begin with the lies. I mean, of course you know our understanding of Thanksgiving is white man is the worst thing that ever happened to the world. The Indians were just frolicking in fields and happy whenever we came here and we reigned all of that right. I mean, that’s the true story of Thanksgiving, not all this stuff about, you know, indians and pilgrims eating together, and so let’s get the truth, man. What’s the story of Thanksgiving that you want people to be able to share with their families this Thursday? And I hope people know I’m being, you know, a little bit sarcastic, okay.
Tim Barton: 18:21
Well, I mean to your point, like I would even say there’s a reason that you are seeing some major cities coming out openly saying we shouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, for example Austin, Texas. Instead of Thanksgiving they say it’s a day of mourning. Well, that’s what. There are some native tribes that have pushed kind of this new woke ideology, saying that we shouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving because this is when the white people stole all of the native’s land and America’s bad and evil, et cetera, et cetera. And to your point, kind of the premise is that the Native American were this peaceful farming community who were unaccustomed to war. There was no violence in America, right, until the Western Europeans showed up and then it brought all of this danger and destruction. I mean there’s so many crazy things with that premise. As a Texan, there’s a great book that covers some Texas history, specifically with some of the native tribes and kind of the development of Texas. It’s called the Empire of the Summer Moon and it goes into a little bit of the Comanche’s and the early settlers and even Mexico was going on. It’s a fascinating book, but what it shows you is kind of what we should already know is that no people is perfect, no people group is perfect, that everybody has their own issues and sometimes there’s certain groups that have more issues than others. That’s absolutely true. But it’s not as if right the Disney version that these natives were only trying to like paint with the colors of the wind. That’s not really the accurate representation or depiction. But even to this, if you go back to the pilgrims, where the argument often is that the white man stole all the native’s land, this is so inaccurate when it comes to the pilgrims because when we look at the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims arrive in November of 1620, and I’m going to give kind of a brief thought and then we’ll back up and tell an unpack a little bit more of that story. But the first Thanksgiving is the fall of 1621. And when they have that first Thanksgiving that I think the Plymouth Historic Society said that there were 53 pilgrims that were still alive. They actually identify them by name so they know who these people were. Chief Massasoit was the chief of the Wampanoag Indians. He arrived and was invited to the first Thanksgiving. The pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians had a very good relationship at that point and Chief Massasoit came with 90 male Braves Now of the 53 pilgrims that were there. I think the Plymouth Historic Society said there were maybe 22,. What would be considered adult? The fighting age? Males, males between 13 and, I think, 60 years old. That could be considered kind of like war years if a fight came. And what’s worth noting is the argument that the white man stole all the land from the natives. Had the pilgrims stolen land from the Wampanoag? That first Thanksgiving could have gone real different, no doubt yeah. There’s 90 graves that are there, and the majority of the pilgrims are women, children and elderly, so they couldn’t defend themselves against these incredible warriors had they come to that, but the reality is that that’s not what happened in the first Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving lasted for three days. The pilgrims definitely had times of Thanksgiving to God, a thinking God that they had survived, that God had brought them friends and allies, and these friends were showing them how to survive in the new world. There was a time of prayer in Thanksgiving. Then there were times of feasting. There was athletic competitions. They would do races and shooting matches and wrestling matches all kinds of stuff they would do. What’s worth noting, though, is, if you’re hanging out at a party for three days, that’s a lot of food. Where did the food come from? The Wampanoag Indians brought the majority of the food. They brought the deer, they brought the eel, they brought the lobster. They brought the majority of the food because, to this point, the pilgrims still have not found any kind of abundance. They’ve grown enough crops, they’ve hunted enough that they might survive the coming winter, but they’re not living in this abundance that so often we think about the first Thanksgiving having a feast. The only reason they had the ability capacity to eat for three days was because of what the natives provided for them. And this again goes back to the point that the modern narrative that the white man stole all the land from the natives and the white man was so evil and all the things genocide and disease and whatever else they did it’s a very incomplete picture and it’s certainly not the picture of the first Thanksgiving.
Rick Green: 22:32
Man, tim. We hit so many things. I really want to encourage people. Follow WallBuilders. Tim and I do a daily radio program together. It’s just like a half an hour long. You can catch it on about 300 stations around the country. It’s available there at WallBuilders.com, but people need to plug in. Last thing I’ll ask you have you also noticed an uptick in interest in these topics that we’re talking about? People are more willing to look backwards to say, ok, what are the inputs? How did we become a great nation? Why are we falling away from being a great nation? How do I become a part of this? As our audiences are growing, it tells me that people are hungry for these truths that you’re talking about and not the sugar-coated stuff that they’re getting from the major media.
Tim Barton: 23:11
Yeah, I totally agree. There’s a lot of people waking up, many for the first time that are recognizing this is really bad. Somebody needs to do something. And we’re seeing people begin to pursue truth, recognizing that we can’t trust what the mainstream media is telling us. We can’t trust what we’re seeing on social media. We need to dig a little bit deeper. And so we’re seeing a lot of positive things. And, Rick, one of the things that we’ve talked about on our radio program before, I think it’s worth noting in American history there were times when the nation had a lot of problems and defining times. You look back that you had what was known as the first Great Awakening In the mid-1700s. It laid the foundation for America to be unified. That led to the American Revolution. The second Great Awakening was 1800, or roughly 1860. And in the second Great Awakening a lot of people think of the Great Awakening as kind of a unifying time in America, because that’s what we think of like revival or like God’s moving. People are waking up. Well, if you study the first and second Great Awakening, these were some of the most divided times in American history. It was polarizing. People didn’t always get along in an degree and yet the second Great Awakening has an easy example. The most famous pastor leader from the second Great Awakening was a man named Charles Finney. Charles Finney is a really outspoken evangelist in that period second Great Awakening but it’s believed, about 100,000 people converted to Christianity under his influence during the second Great Awakening. Well, during the second Great Awakening is also when the slavery issue is at an all-time high. In fact, the nation is being divided over position of slavery. You have the Kansas-Nebrast Act and you have the Missouri Compromise and the nation is literally being torn apart over what’s going to happen with slavery. And this was considered a second Great Awakening. And what’s worth noting from a historic standpoint is, if you look back at some of the most noted times that were considered Great Awakening, when God was on the move, it wasn’t times, they weren’t times of unity in America. They were times of clarity. They were times that people were debating truth and morality and ultimately truth and morality prevailed. Now, in a couple of these occasions it led to some pretty significant conflict for truth and morality to ultimately prevail. But what we’re seeing right now, I think, is very much reflective of, historically, what we consider a Great Awakening that man, god, is waking people up and people are beginning to pursue truth and recognize that we’re being lied to and that’s not right. People’s eyes are being opened, but awakenings are not times of unity. They’re times of clarity, and I think right now there’s a lot of people gaining some clarity that are recognizing right Like this is gender transition in kids that’s wrong. Sexualizing them kids that’s wrong. We’re gaining some clarity over a issue that’s dividing culture in a lot of respects, things that shouldn’t be all that dividing. We shouldn’t be all that divided to say that what Hamas is doing is evil, but that shouldn’t be dividing. And yet what we’re seeing is a nation divided over issues that shouldn’t be confusing. But for a lot of people they’re gaining some clarity to say that we recognize there’s some things that are right and wrong. And now more and more people are gaining courage to be willing to stand up and say that I’m not going to tolerate and stand by while evil happens, and I’m going to stand up and I’m going to encourage and promote the good, and that’s what we need in this nation. Hey, man, brother, what?
Rick Green: 26:19
a great, great discussion. There’s so much there, folks, so we only got a taste of it. You gotta get the rest by going and watching The Tavern, but for the rest of this week we’ll have some additional Thanksgiving programming for you. Right here on WallBuilders.