Our First Thanksgiving

30/11/13 9:04 PM

This Thanksgiving was our first at Belle Grove Plantation. We decided early on that we wanted to share the elegant mansion as a backdrop for such a festive holiday. So we opened the doors and prepared dinner for many old and new friends.

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When we decided to prepare dinner, we put a limit of 30 guests for our tables. Low and behold, we ended up with 45 guests!


We prepared four Turkeys with Gravy, Homemade Mash Potatoes, Green Beans Almondine, Stuffing and Rolls. We were also blessed with our dearest friend, Karen making her famous Sweet Potato Soufflé and Deviled Eggs. We followed this dinner with a choice of Pumpkin or Pecan Pies.

Brett started the dinner with a reading of a Presidential Proclamation by President George Washington. It was been requested by Congress on October 3, 1789.


Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington”

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After offering a prayer of thanksgiving, our guests made their way into the Formal and Small Dining Rooms for their meal. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and shared their meals not only with their family and friends, but new friends that sat with them at their tables.

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Brett and I would like to thank each of our guests for coming and sharing in our First Thanksgiving. You made it more special than we could have ever hoped for. We look forward to having many; many more special gatherings at Belle Grove Plantation, but this one will also hold a special place in our hearts as the first.

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History, Darnell History, Food and Recipes | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Our First Thanksgiving”

  1. Appears a grand time was had by all. Congratulations on another First! Very sorry I failed to make it by on my recent trip back to the east coast but hope to make up for that come next spring. Thank you also for reminding me of the Harrison Family in Virginia. It’s an avenue of inquiry I have yet to pursue in my genealogical studies. How and why I have no idea except that I got too engrossed in LA, TX and AR. Will make some slight corrections.

    Voted! And posted a link on my FB page. Happy Holidays!

  2. Michelle Darnell Says:

    Richard, We will look for you next time around! I am sure we will have tons to chat about once you arrive! Thank you for your support!

  3. Candace Says:

    Looks lovely. Congratulations on such a milestone.

  4. Michelle Darnell Says:

    Thank you!!

  5. Looks like everyone had a great time! The plantation is beautiful, the turkeys looked perfect and now that I’ve cast my vote, I hope you all make the top 100!

  6. Michelle Darnell Says:

    Thank you Barbara! We did have a good time and the turkeys could not have looked better! Thank you for voting!