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Samoset, subordinate chief of the Abenaki tribe, is believed to be the first Native American to make contact with the pilgrims. By the time settlers arrived in Plymouth, Samoset was forging diplomatic relations with the chief of the Wampanoag tribe, Massasoit.
See the fact file below for more information on the Samoset or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Samoset worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The name Samoset literally means, “He who walks over much.’ Samoset was born in 1590 in today’s state of Maine, located in the New England region, part of the British colony before.
- He was a member of the Abenaki people, which means “People of the Eastern Dawn.” The Abenaki tribe spoke the Algonquian language and were geographically related to other tribes, such as the Nauset and Wampanoag people.
- Samoset, a lesser chief, or sagamore, of his tribe learned to moderately understand English through his interaction with English and French fishermen near Pemaquid Point.
ARRIVAL OF EUROPEAN SETTLERS
- On March 16, 1621, while visiting Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag people, Samoset is believed to have greeted the pilgrims when they arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
- The pilgrims were English people who escaped religious persecution in Europe, particularly in England. When they arrived in New England, about half died of diseases, especially during the winter.
- As the pilgrims began to plan for their settlement, Samoset walked through the encampment and greeted them.
- Accounts indicated that Samoset approached the settlers, saluted them, and spoke, “Welcome! Welcome, Englishmen!”
- The puritans described Samoset as a virtually naked, tall, and straight man. He only wore a loincloth at his waist and moccasins on his feet.
- He had long black hair and no beard. The pilgrims offered him a horseman’s coat and food to eat.
- Samoset was described in the Mourt’s Relation as “a man free in speech, so far as he could express his mind, and of a seemly carriage.”
- In the Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers, Samoset gave the pilgrims information regarding the land, people, and places. He also conversed about how the land was divided into provinces and sagamores.
- Moreover, he discussed that the region where the pilgrims planned to settle originally belonged to the Patuxet people who were ravaged by a plague four years before.
- Among the few who survived the plague was Squanto, whom he arranged a meeting for with the pilgrims. Squanto also had a good command of English after being kidnapped by Europeans and brought to Spain and England. In addition, Samoset also set the meeting with Massasoit, chief of Wampanoag Indians who was by then leading 300 Nemasket people.
- Samoset spent a night with the pilgrims and left in the morning with gist, including a knife, bracelet, and ring. In return, he promised to bring beaver and deer skins for trade.
- By the following day, Samoset brought five Indian men, who wore fur leggings and carried deer and wildcat skins.
- On March 22, 1621, Samoset introduced Squanto to the pilgrims. On the same day, Massasoit and his brother Quadequina, along with about 60 men, met the settlers at the top of the hill.
- Amidst initial reluctance, both parties exchanged gifts and began friendship through a defense pact.
TRADE AND LATER YEARS
- In 1624, Samoset engaged in business with Christopher Levett, an English trader. He personally decreed that Levett could be the only man to buy fur from his tribe. As a result, competing fur traders were angered and eventually attacked Samoset.
- As a leader, Samoset understood how alliances and treaties could help his people survive wars, plagues, and slave traders.
- On July 15, 1625, Samoset signed a land sale transaction between the settlers and eastern coastal Indians. The deed stated the sale of 12,000 acres of land to John Brown.
- By 1641 and 1652, land transactions between Indians and European settlers were signed by Samoset.
- He is believed to have died in 1652 at age of 63 and was buried in present-day Bristol, Maine.
- Many historians considered him the first emissary of the Native Americans to the pilgrims.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Samoset across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Samoset worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Samoset, subordinate chief of the Abenaki tribe, who is believed to be the first Native American to make contact with the pilgrims. By the time settlers arrived in Plymouth, Samoset was forging diplomatic relations with the chief of the Wampanoag tribe, Massasoit.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Samoset Facts
- Knowing Samoset
- Native American Profile
- pilgrims Board
- Distribution Mapping
- Meeting the pilgrims
- Through Accounts
- Chief Emissary
- It’s Samoset!
- About Plymouth
- Samoset and Thanksgiving
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Link will appear as Samoset Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 13, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.