Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tisquantum a.k.a. Squanto


That was his real name, but the Pilgrims called him Squanto. It is a story based on fact, but its telling through the centuries may have altered some of the events. Nevertheless, here is the story of Tisquantum, Squanto.

It was 1605 and the new world was just beginning to be explored by the great adventurers of Europe. An English crew under the leadership of Captain George Weymouth kidnapped Tisquantum, a Pautuxet Indian. He was taken to England and exhibited as a curiosity, often being led through the streets or placed in a cage. For nine years Squanto endured his capture and then was allowed to return to the new world with Captain John Smith's fleet in 1614.

His freedom was short. Most of Captain Smith's fleet returned to England, but one ship, the Orion, stayed to trade with the Indians. Its captain and crew were short on scruples and again kidnapped Squanto and several other Indians and made sail for Spain where they sold the Indians into slavery.

Squanto was given to some friars and as their salve they converted him to Christianity. Eventually he escaped, made his way to England and again returned to the New World with Captain Thomas Derner.

Six months later another vessel arrived on the shores of Massachusetts. It was the Mayflower. Squanto considered it his Christian duty to help and greeted them in English. We can only imagine their surprise.

1 comment:

Gabi K said...

What a great man, that he, after all he experienced, greeted the new arrived people.

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