Squanto

By James Clifton
  • Grades: 6–8, 9–12

Squanto, c.15801622, a Pawtuxet Indian later associated with the Wampanoag after his tribe was decimated by plague, was seized (1614) by a ship's captain and taken to Spain as a slave. He went from there to England and finally back (1619) to North America, where he was employed by the governor of Newfoundland. Squanto was later brought to Plymouth, where he taught the colonists to improve their crops by using fish fertilizer, but it has been questioned whether this was an Indian method or something Squanto had learned abroad. He served as interpreter at the 1621 treaty between the colonists and Massasoit. Soon after, he died of a disease that he had contracted while guiding Gov. William Bradford's expedition across Cape Cod.

James A. Clifton

Bibliography: Dockstader, Frederick J., Great North American Indians (1977); Ziner, F., Squanto (1988).

  • Subjects:
    Native American History, Colonial and Revolutionary America
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