How many Mayflower Pilgrim women survived to prepare the feast we know as “the first Thanksgiving”?
The pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the successful fall harvest. Celebrating a fall harvest was an English tradition at the time and the pilgrims had much to celebrate.
The 53 pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were the only colonists to survive the long journey on the Mayflower and the first winter in the New World. Disease and starvation struck down half of the original 102 colonists.
Only four of the married women, Elizabeth Hopkins, Eleanor Billington, Susanna White Winslow, and Mary Brewster were among the survivors. These four women oversaw food preparation for the three-day harvest feast for the colonists, Massasoit, and his 90 Indian men — the feast that we now call "The First Thanksgiving."
Although the modern-day Thanksgiving feast takes place on the fourth Thursday of November, the first Thanksgiving did not. This feast most likely happened sometime between September and November of 1621.
No exact date for the feast has ever been recorded so one can only assume it happened sometime after the fall harvest. The celebration took place for three days and included recreational activities.