This blog was added to the Top 50 Native American Literature Blogs. Scroll down to the "Rest of the Best" after the Top 5

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tisquantum (also know as Squanto)

Here's an article which examines and summarizes four biographies about Squanto

Quick look at Tisquantum's life (sources below)
As an adolescent, Tisquantum was kidnapped by Spanish slave traders. He was purchased on the slave block by monks, who taught him the Spanish language and the Christian faith. He lived with them for five years, until they secured a home for him with an English family, John Staney, in London. In England Tisquantum learned a second language, English, and waited another five years until he found passage back to North America. When he finally arrived home in 1618, he found the entire village of Patuxet destroyed by a plague and in his sorrow went to live in seclusion in the wilderness near his tribal village. In 1619, Tisquantum made contact with Massasoit and his brother Quadequina who were the heads of the Wampanoag Confederation. A year or so later, Samoset found him, told him of the Pilgrims who'd settled in his village, and encouraged him to meet with them. The Pilgrims the folks who left Europe because they wanted to practice their own religion. On the other hand, the Puritans wanted to practice their own religion AND to covert others.

In 1620, the Mayflower Pilgrims were arriving in Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims were in a strange land, and did not know how to survive. A man named Samoset walked into their colony, and informed them that another man named Tisquantum could help them. Tisquantum made his first appearance with Massasoit, who did not trust Tisquantum to be on his own, on March 22. In the absence of his own people Tisquantum took up residence with the Pilgrims. They used this time to establish a peace treaty and trading relations. Tisquantum became a very important part of the Plymouth Colony. He served as a guide, and taught the Pilgrims how to better use the natural resources. Tisquantum was a great value to the colonists during their early struggles, though Massasoit always kept Tisquantum within his supervision.

Children's Biographies by Ruth Conrad
Truth About Thanksgiving by James Loewen
Squanto: A Warrior's Tale at