Squanto

Squanto

Birth
Death 30 Nov 1622 (aged 37)
Chatham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial Site* Chatham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA

* A structure erected in honor of someone whose remains lie elsewhere.

Plot Unmarked
Memorial ID 6873048 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Folk Figure. Born to the Patuxet people of the Wampanoag Confederation, he was called Tisquantum. Little is know about him until 1605 when George Weymouth sailed to what is present day New England on a survey expedition. The Europeans coaxed or kidnapped five Patuxet aboard their vessel in order to display them in England. Once there, Tisquantum lived with Sir Ferdinando Gorges of Plymouth, a New World speculator. In 1614, he returned to America as interpreter for Sir Ferdinando's men as they mapped of the New England coast. Once returned, Tisquantum apparently continued to act as interpreter for visiting European explorers including Captain Thomas Hunt who brought 27 Nausets and Patuxets aboard ship under false pretenses. The ship sailed for Spain where Hunt attempted to sell his captives as slaves. Although some were sold, the remainder, including Tisquantum, were rescued by the friars of Malaga who gave them sanctuary and exposed them to Christianity. The remaining Patuxet became extremely hostile as a result, but were then decimated by what was likely a smallpox epidemic, leaving only those kidnapped to Europe to survive. Tisquantum made his way to England where he was hired by John Slaney, treasurer of the Newfoundland Company. He was sent to Newfoundland, where he worked for Captain John Mason, governor of the Newfoundland Colony. He was then employed by Captain Thomas Dermer, an agent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who wanted Tisquantum to act as liaison and interpreter for reestablishing trade with his people. In 1619 he returned home only to find it gone and his people dead. He would find refuge within other tribes of the Wampanoag Confederation. Less than a year later, the Mayflower made landfall at present day Plymouth and established their settlement. They met the man they called Squanto on March 22, 1621. He negotiated a treaty between the Wampanoag and the Europeans which stated neither would harm the other. He became indispensable for the Plymouth Colony; he translated and negotiated between Plymouth's governors and tribal leaders, taught the Europeans how to utilize native resources, where to catch fish and eels, and acted as their guide. Unfortunately, by 1621 he was using his position for his own gain; demanding tributes and sowing disinformation. When his deceit was discovered, the Wampanoag chieftains demanded his execution, but settlers stalled about handing him over. By November of 1622 he fell ill with a fever; and within a few days he died. He bequeathed his possessions as gifts to his English friends in Plymouth, and the peace he negotiated would last for anther half century.

Bio by: Iola


Advertisement

Planning a visit to Chatham, MA?

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Squanto?

Current rating:

89 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 23 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6873048
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Squanto (15 Nov 1585–30 Nov 1622), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6873048, citing Chief Squanto Memorial Marker, Chatham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .