Bruce’s Beat


A Thanksgiving Letter


Jennie Williams Douglas wrote a “Children’s Column” in the Christian Leader for nearly forty years.  (For a brief survey of her life and her contributions to young readers, see her story in the Profile section of this website).  In 1931, in the midst of the “Great Depression,” this woman shared a wonderful letter with her readers as Thanksgiving Day approached.  It is a good reminder of how we can be thankful, even as we witness the attacks of terrorists and turmoil on college campuses.

childrens column 001

Dear Children:

If the beautiful Indian Summer weather we Tennesseans are now enjoying continues a few days longer, we can pack our turkey and pumpkin pies, our sweet ‘taters and apples in a camp basket and go to the woods for Thanksgiving Day.  Wonder how it would seem to sit on a long in the woods and eat slices of turkey, chicken, or ham?  Have a campfire burning and reach over for a cup of hot coffee, cocoa, tea, or even milk!  It sounds delicious.  But it is usually snowing or raining here on Thanksgiving or cold as scissors.

What do you think old George Bradford and the other pilgrims would think of our beautiful store of provisions, if they could come to our homes Thanksgiving?  And if we were to start a conversation about the “depression,” the “panic,” the hard times, I imagine the grand and noble old George would fall upon his knees and pray for the salvation of our sin cursed souls and the sturdy pioneers would shout a fervent “Amen.”

This has been a fruitful year.  Our fertile fields have produced grain, fruit, and vegetables in abundance.  Forests now are full of grapes, nuts, muscadines, persimmons and ‘possums.  Our store rooms are full of canned supplies.  And how thankful we are!  Health,  joy of living, food, drink, faith in a Living God who watches over us, faith in Jesus the Christ who bore our sins, faith in the Holy Power that directs our path; For friends, loved ones, a shelter we call home.  For these and more, our Father, we thank Thee.

A cousin of my husband who often comes Thanksgiving will share our festivities again this year.  I plan for two other guests.  I have promised to help with a school program in the evening.  A nephew will be home from business college bringing good cheer.

I am hoping for letters and cards from our readers to otherwise brighten the day for me.  To each and all I wish a happy Thanksgiving.


Cousin Jennie

(“Children’s Column” Christian Leader  November 17, 1931: 15).