Views expressed in letters to the editor do not represent opinions of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.

To the editor:

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims; first Thanksgiving in America, and while the Pilgrims are probably best known today for the tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday, their true legacy goes well beyond that.

The Pilgrims wrote America’s first document of civil government; the Mayflower Compact. They introduced and successfully demonstrated many concepts, such as local self-government, a free market/free enterprise economic system, racial equality, religious freedom, education for all children, protection for religious conscience, due process rights and much else. The Pilgrims made sure their civil authorities did not run the church. This secured religious liberty and ended government’s control over the church.

The Pilgrims tried socialism in their early years, but were greatly frustrated by the many shortage it produced. Socialism in early Jamestown (1607) failed miserably.

The American Witch Trials of 1692-1693 were brought to a close because of these Christian leaders.

The Pilgrims did not take land from the indigenous people, but rather bought it at the price those people agreed to.

While the colonists of Jamestown were “professing” Christians, the Pilgrims were biblical Christians. The Pilgrims were serious students of the Bible. CHARISMA magazine, Nov., 2021, from the book The American Story, by David and Tim Barton at

American history should always teach the truth, which means the good, the bad and the ugly.

Betty Burton