In 1856, Puritan leader William Bradford's 1650 manuscript, "Of
Plimoth Plantation," was published after being lost for
about eighty years. The document briefly mentions the Plymouth
colony's famous 1621 harvest celebration:
Another colonial publication, Mourt's Relation, was rediscovered
in the 1820s and included Edward Winslow's detailed first-hand account
of the feast:
And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies,
of which they took many, besids venison, &c. Besids they
had aboute a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since
harvest, Indean corne to yt proportion.
[A]t which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised
our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst vs . . . with
some nintie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted,
and they went out and killed fiue Deere, which they brought
to the Plantation and bestowed upon our Governour, and upon
the Captaine, and others.
These documents fueled nineteenth-century interest in the Puritan
colony and also influenced the eventual association of the colony
with Thanksgiving Day.