Miles Standish: This guy was gangsta. Short and stout, the Pilgrims' military leader does not back down in a fight. Feeling threatened by the Massachussett tribe, the Pilgrims send Standish and a small force on a bold raid.
Standish claims to be on a trade mission and lures Massachussett warriors Witmuwamat and Pecksuot into a settlement house for a meal. Standish signals for the door to be shut.
"He turned to Pecksuot and grabbed the knife from the string around the pniese's neck. Before the Indian had a chance to respond, Standish had begun stabbing him with his own weapon. The point was needle sharp, and Pecksuot's chest was soon riddled with blood-spurting wounds."
And that's just the beginning of the bloodshed.
No wonder we don't learn this whole story as school kids.
The Pilgrims and Indians were more complicated, more fully formed, more human than we often stop to consider.
It's been a long time since 1621 — and in many ways not so long at all. We owe much of the structure of our country to these people who were so determined to survive.
These days we're trying to agree to make the government run and figuring out if nationalized health care works.
But as we work out our differences, at least we're not demanding our rivals' head and hands or stabbing anybody dead with their own necklaces.
Have a great Thanksgiving, and if somebody shows up at your house with five freshly killed deer, by all means treat 'em with kindness.
Brad McElhinny is editor and publisher of The Charleston Daily Mail. Contact him at 304-348-5124 or bra...@dailymail.com. Follow him on Twitter