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|Birthplace||Patuxet territory, Wampanoag Confederacy (now Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts, U.S.)|
|Known for||Helping the pilgrims during their first visit to North America|
Tisquantum,d. 1622, Native American of the Patuxet (or Pawtuxet) band, part of the WampanoagWampanoag
, confederation of Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the early 17th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. confederation. He is sometimes thought to be the Native American taken to England from the Maine coast by George Weymouth (1605) and returned by John Smith in 1615, but it is certain that he was kidnapped by Capt. Thomas Hunt in 1615, lived in England, and returned (1619) to North America with Capt. Thomas Dermer. In 1621 he acted as interpreter in concluding a treaty between the Pilgrim settlers and MassasoitMassasoit
, c.1580–1661, chief of the Wampanoag. His name was Ousamequin (spelled in various ways); Massasoit is a title of leadership. One of the most powerful native rulers of New England, he went to Plymouth in 1621 and signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, which he
..... Click the link for more information. , who had made Squanto a captive. Squanto became friendly with the Plymouth colonists, aiding them particularly in their planting and fishing. He later treacherously sought, and failed, to turn the Pilgrims against Massasoit. While acting as guide and interpreter on William Bradford's expedition around Cape Cod, he fell ill and died.
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Squanto(?1580–1622) Pawtuxet interpreter; born on Cape Cod. He is thought to have been the same as the Indian named Tisquantum who was first captured along the Maine coast and taken to England; he evidently lived there until 1614, when Captain John Smith took him back to Cape Cod. In 1615, Squanto was captured by another English sea captain and sold into slavery in Spain; he escaped and made his way to England. After a brief visit to Newfoundland, he was taken by another English sea captain to serve as a guide along the New England coast but Squanto escaped and made his way to his Pawtuxet homeland; finding his people wiped out by smallpox, he went to live with the neighboring Wampanoags. In 1621 he was introduced to the Pilgrims at Plymouth; he served as their interpreter in their treaty with Massasoit, showed them how to plant corn, where to fish, and generally helped them survive in an unknown environment. He died from a fever while guiding Governor Bradford's expedition around Cape Cod.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.