Squanto Facts

Squanto Facts
Squanto was a Patuxet Native American most famous for helping the pilgrims during their first winter at Plymouth in the New World. Also known as Tisquantum, Squanto was born in approximately 1580 in Massachusetts near Plymouth. In 1605 Squanto was captured by Captain George Weymouth who took him to England, where he learned English. Squanto returned to America with John Smith in 1614. Thomas Hunt, an English explorer, kidnapped him in 1614 and sold him as a slave in Spain. By 1619 Squanto had escaped and returned to America. In the early 1620s he served as both a guide and interpreter for the pilgrims at Plymouth. Squanto died in Chatham, Massachusetts, in approximately November 1622.
Interesting Squanto Facts:
When captured by Captain George Weymouth and taken to England, Squanto lived with Plymouth Company owner Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Gorges taught Squanto how to speak English and then hired him as an interpreter and a guide.
When Squanto returned to America in 1614 he was captured again and taken to Spain to work as a slave. He was freed by monks and after living with monks for a couple years he returned to America once again.
The monks had hoped that Squanto would be able to help spread the ideals of Christianity among the Native people.
When Squanto returned to his tribe in 1619, they had all died from smallpox so he lived with the Wampanoags - a nearby tribe.
Because of Squanto's ability to speak English he was introduced to the pilgrims when they arrived at Plymouth, acting as interpreter between the Wampanoag chief and pilgrim representatives.
In 1621 the Wampanoag tribe and pilgrims celebrated the fall harvest with the first Thanksgiving.
In 1622 Squanto helped find a lost pilgrim boy. He also helped them to fish and plant their crops.
Squanto is believed to have allowed his position to go to his head, using it to his advantage with the Wampanoag Native people.
The Wampanoag captured Squanto when they discovered he had been giving information about them to Governor William Bradford.
The pilgrims learned that Squanto was alive and took him back to the Governor.
Squanto went on to work as an interpreter for Governor William Bradford in 1622, but in November he died from "Indian fever" while in Chatham, Massachusetts. He was 42 years old.
Some believe that Squanto may have been poisoned by the Wampanoag Natives. When his fever set in his nose began to bleed and he died within a few days.
Squanto taught the pilgrims many things about hunting, fishing, and farming, including teaching them to bury dead fish in the ground to act as fertilizer in the soil.
Some historians believe that Squanto played both sides - lying to the Wampanoag and to the pilgrims for his own gain.
Squanto was important in establishing peace treaties between the pilgrims and Wampanoag Natives, because of his abilities as an interpreter and as a mediator.
Squanto is remembered for his role in helping the pilgrims survive their first winter but also for his role in the first Thanksgiving.


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