Who Was at the First Thanksgiving? Fun Facts about Squanto

Have you been following our Fun Facts series? We started last week looking at a special spin off of "Who was at the first Thanksgiving?" Be sure to check out our Fun Facts about William Bradford, Edward Winslow, and John Billington and Family (coming soon). Today we are sharing our fun facts about Squanto. 

  1. His name was Tisquantum. He was a Patuxet. He was born around 1580 AD near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. Not much is known about his early life.
  2. The Pilgrims called him Squanto.
  3. In 1614 Tisquantum was kidnapped by Thomas Hunt and his crew. He was taken to Malaga, Spain and to be sold as a slave. Tisquantum ended up living with local friars. I have heard he was sold to them but also that they took the natives that had not been sold when they realized they had been kidnapped. They taught them Christianity and Tisquantum helped in their fields. Tisqunatum grew fond of them but wanted to return home.
  4. Captain John Smith (of Pocohontas story) was in charge of the expedition. He published a map of what he called New England. After collecting a shipload of furs, oil and fish he returned to England and left the other vessel on the expedition in the charge of Thomas Hunt.
  5. Tisquantum found a way to London, England and lived with John Slaney in Cornhill, London. He learned English there as well as the ways of the English. He lived with John Slaney for two years before a ship was found to take him home.
  6. SquantoTravels
    Squanto's Travels By derivative work: Enonken (talk)BlankMap-World6.svg: en:User:Canuckguy (BlankMap-World6.svg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  7. In 1619 he returned to his home to find the old village empty. A plague (either smallpox or tuberculous) had wiped it out as well as decreasing the numbers of many neighboring villages.
  8. On March 22, 1621 Tisquantum made his first appearance in Plymouth Colony. He brought Massasoit and Quadequina. This is when the peace treaty was negotiated.

  9. Squantoteaching
  10. Squanto became a translator for the Pilgrims. With this he discovered great power and started to use this power for his own gain among the Wampanoag. When Massasoit discovered his deception, he demanded Tisquantum be turned over for his punishment which would be death. Governor William Bradford delayed this (which broke the peace treaty).
  11. The ship, Fortune, soon landed and brought an abundance of new settlers. Then in the spring another ship brought new settlers who founded a new colony at Wessagussett.  Tisquantum was needed once more for interpretations.
  12. In November 1622 Tisquantum’s nose began to bleed while on a trade excursion with Governor Bradford on Cape Cod. He apparently asked Governor Bradford to pray for him to go to the Englishman’s God in Heaven and to give various things to his English friends in Plymouth. Within a few days he was dead.