‘Twill soon be Thanksgiving, and we Americans, supreme masters of the Greatest Country in the World, will be toasting our exalted status by eating a heroic amount of potatoes and pointedly not thinking about all the Native Americans we had to kill to take possession of this bounteous land of ours. It’s a real neat holiday!
In preparation for the big day, I’ve decided to spend November posting stories about turkeys. I’m doing this for two reasons: 1) It’s my blog, so I can do pretty much whatever I want, and 2) this blog gave up any claim to respectability the moment I elected to post about penis origami.
Without further preamble, please enjoy the tale of Thomas Granger, Puritan America’s #1 Turkey Lover.
The Case of Thomas Granger
“There was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger. He was servant to an honest man of Duxbury, being about 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Scituate.) He was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey.”
-excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation, by William Bradford
Once upon a time, there was a young man named Thomas Granger. He was, according to his ninth great nephew, born in 1625/1626, most likely in England. Like many Puritans of the time, he left his native land and immigrated to the New World. His motives are open to speculation, but they may have been different from those of his peers.
GOODMAN GREEN: With all mine heart do I love this New World, sweet land of religious freedom. What say you, Goodman Brown?
GOODMAN BROWN: Indeed, Goodman Green. I, too, delight in the freedom to practice mine own religion.
GOODMAN GREEN: And you, Thomas? What be your favorite aspect of our adopted homeland?
THOMAS GRANGER: Probably the turkey sex.
GOODMAN BROWN: I beg your pardon?
THOMAS GRANGER: Er, religious freedom, I mean. Sorry, I have a stammer.
Thomas Granger was into animals. I mean waaaaaay into animals. Over the course of some indeterminate span of time, Granger managed to do the do with a horse, a cow, two goats, two calves, a turkey, and some sheep. (Bradford mentions five sheep, but the official court records say “divers sheep,” raising the delightful possibility that Granger had sex with so many sheep that he lost count.)
Discovery and Confession
In an entry titled “A Horrible Case of Bestiality” (as opposed to all the really awesome cases of bestiality), Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation details how Granger was found out:
“He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confessed the fact with that beast at that time, but sundry times before and at several times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictment.”
Granger could have copped to the horse sex and left it at that. Evidently, though, this was a young man for whom half measures simply wouldn’t do. He recited the full list of his animal conquests “not only in private to the magistrates…but to sundry, both ministers and others; and afterwards, upon his indictment, to the whole Court and jury, and confirmed it at his execution.”
All right, Thomas, we get it. Past a certain point, you’re just bragging.
But that’s not all. Hungry for more particulars, the court paraded a farm animal line-up past Granger and had him point out exactly which specimens he’d clutched to his sweaty bosom. The horse, cow, calves, and turkey he picked out fine. The sheep, apparently, “could not so well be known by his description of them.” That’s right: Thomas Granger couldn’t even remember which sheep he’d diddled. He was the binge-drinking frat bro of the 17th-century bestiality world.
Granger was the first person executed by the Puritans in the New World. In 1642, he was hanged by the neck until dead–but not before the court rounded up all his be-furred and be-feathered paramours and slaughtered them right in front of his face. Even if we take as granted that Granger wasn’t in love with any of those animals, it’s still a rather over-the-top eff you. And it sucks for the animals, of course, who have Leviticus 20:15 to thank for their untimely demise.
Per Bradford: “Upon the examination of this person and also of a former that had made some sodomitical attempts upon another, it being demanded of them how they came first to the knowledge and practice of such wickedness, the one confessed he had long used it in old England; and this youth last spoken of said he was taught it by another that had heard of such things from some in England when he was there, and they kept cattle together.”
You hear that, England? It was from you! We learned it from watching you!