Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Squanto (1585?-1622), Native American of the Wampanoag tribe of what is now Massachusetts. Also known as Tisquantum, he proved an invaluable friend to white settlers in New England in the early 17th century. Early in his life he was captured and sold as a slave in Spain but eventually escaped and went to England. When he returned to New England in 1619 as pilot for an English sea captain, he escaped and discovered that his people had been destroyed by a plague. Two years later he helped the starving Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony to survive by teaching them both fishing and the planting of corn. He developed a friendship with the Massachusetts settlers and acted as interpreter at the Treaty of Plymouth, signed in 1621 between the Native American chief Massasoit and Governor William Bradford. While guiding a party under Bradford around Cape Cod the following year, he became ill and died.