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Geese, pyes, wine, &c.: a 1798 Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the kitchen door of Davenport College! Most Yale students are away from campus, of course, but it wasn’t always that way. In a diary of his freshman year, Jeremiah Evarts, Class of 1802, offered this sketch of Thanksgiving at Yale in 1798:

Nov. 29. Thanksgiving Day. Went to meeting and heard the President preach from Psalms 2nd 11th. Ate dinner at half after 3 which was composed of roasted geese, pyes, and different kinds of sauce. After we had eaten awhile the bones of the fowls began to fly so that they darkened the room almost, until thanks were returned, when I came out. Drank some wine at dinner. Went to prayers—one of the seniors read a sermon. In the evening, went to a collection of our class, drank some wine, &c.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content, including any and all wishes of a happy holiday, does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

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