, , , ,

After serving Capt. Thomas Dermer as an interpreter, and since his own people were gone, Squanto decided to remain with the Pokanokets—where Massasoit, the Grand Chief of the Wampanoag Federation, resided.

On Samoset’s third visit to Plymouth, on March 22, 1621, he took Squanto, who spoke better English. They arranged for a meeting between the Pilgrims and the Massasoit. The meeting lead to a treaty that lasted for over 50 years, in which the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people lived peaceably as neighbors.

Squanto became a valuable assistant, guide, interpreter and ambassador for the early settlers, whom he served from the time of his appearance until his death. He befriended the Pilgrims and taught them how to plant Indian corn, where to catch fish and eels, where to find the best berries and nuts, and many other things which would insure the successful establishment of the new colony.

Squanto acted as guide on many of their expeditions and explorations. On September 28, 1621, he was the Pilgrim’s guide when a group of them left under the leadership of Miles Standish for a trip to Boston Harbor, then known as Massachusetts Bay; “to discover and view that bay and trade with ye natives. . . partly to see the country, partly to make peace with them, and partly to procure their trucke, or barter.”

In June 1622 the young Pilgrim lad, John Billington, became lost. When Massasoit was contacted for help in the search that followed, he sent an Indian named Tokamahamon to go along with Squanto to serve as guides to the search party and as interpreters. On 11/21 June a group of Pilgims set out for Nauset territory. With the assistance of Squanto and Tokamahamon, friendly relations with the Nausets were established and the boy was recovered.

In November 1623, while on a trading expedition to the Massachusetts Indians, Squanto came down with Indian fever. He died suddenly, “attended with bleeding much at the nose.” Before his death, Squanto talked with Governor Bradford and asked him “to pray for him, that he might go to . . . God in heaven, and bequeathed sundry of his things to sundry of his English friends as remembrances of his love, of whom they had a great loss.”

God’s providence is throughout the tale of Squanto. Because he had travelled to England the first time, he learned to speak English and to understand their customs. Though kidnapped and taken a second time, he was spared the terrible  plague that destroyed his village. After the plague (I do not believe it was from God), other tribes feared the area, leaving it vacant for the Pilgrims to settle. Squanto returned one year before the Pilgrim’s arrival and was able to teach them the planting and fishing techniques that would help them to survive.

Bradford’s appreciation of Squanto was expressed in his history, Of Plimoth Plantation, when he says: “. . .Squanto continued with them [the Pilgrims] and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never left them till he died.”

“Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith,
Might work mighty miracles;
Therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.”
–Mosiah 8:18

part I here, or click on home page and scroll down. There is also another story for children about a Pilgrim boy on the Mayflower.