November 22nd, 2007

Love Good Guys

A Long Line of Thanksgiving

Once upon a time, in merry ol' England, there lived a man named Stephen Hopkins. He was reasonably well off, with a rather adventurous (if not entirely virtuous) soul. In 1609 he came to America on a ship called The Sea Venture, to seek better opportunities at the colony called Jamestown. Unfortunately, the ship was wrecked by a hurricane, and he along with 150 passengers were shipwrecked on an island. Cool, huh?

Stephen was a rebel. He led a mutiny against the governor's authority while on the island (a 9 month ordeal), lost, and was sentenced to death. Thank god he was so good at begging for his life that he got out of that predicament, or we would have little to say to one another today, you and I!

The castaways succeeded in building a ship, which they sailed to Jamestown. After a few years, Stephen returned to England, remarrying after the death of his wife, and then taking the Hopkins clan aboard the Mayflower, bound for America, to make their own fortunes, their own colony.

Stephen and his family were not Pilgrims, per se. They WERE a part of the colony. Stephen was the father of the baby Oceanus, who was born during the voyage (but died before his 7th birthday at Plymouth.) Stephen drank, smoked, got into fights, overcharged for goods, and generally was a near-do-well, despite being (along with Miles Standish) the colony's ambassador between the Indian tribes. He was also the assistant governor of Plymouth for several years.

Without him, there would be no me: decendant of a penny-pinching, quarrelsome, mutinous, foul-mouthed, drunken rogue; proud American lineage stretching back to 1620. For him, I give thanks!
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