10 Ways The History Of Thanksgiving Is Nothing Like You Imagined

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8. The Pilgrims Put The Native Chief’s Head On A Stick

One friendly meal didn’t exactly mean the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag had a lifetime of friendship. After the first Thanksgiving, the Wampanoag chief Massasoit passed away and left his sons, Wamsutta and Metacomet, in charge of the tribe—and things didn’t exactly stay peaceful.

The Pilgrims invited Chief Wamsutta over for a feast—but this time, it wasn’t about being friends. They thought Wamsutta was dangerous, so they slipped some poison into his meal. Shortly after sitting down to eat, Wamsutta keeled over and died.

Metacomet took over next, and again, the Pilgrims tried to invite him over for dinner. Metacomet, though, wasn’t about to fall for that one. Instead, he waged war, attacking more than half of the English settlements in America and killing 600 people.

In the end, though, the Wampanoag lost. The Pilgrims managed to run Metacomet down. They dismembered his body and put his head on a pole over Plymouth.[3] It stayed there for 25 years, looking down on the spot where his father and the Pilgrims had celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

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