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Squanto, also known as Tisquantum, was a Native American of the Patuxet tribe. He served as an interpreter and guide to the first pilgrim settlers who arrived at Plymouth in the 1620s. He is best known for helping them survive their first winter in the New World.
See the fact file below for more information on Squanto or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Squanto worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Squanto was born in 1585 in present-day Plymouth Bay, Massachusetts, and a member of the Patuxet tribe. He learned his skills in fishing and hunting by following and emulating adult men when he was a boy.
- The Squanto tribe occupied the coastal area of Cape Cod Bay and spoke the Eastern Algonquian dialect.
- In the early 1600s, European explorers arrived in North America led by Captain George Weymouth to explore the possibility of settlement in upper New England. He explored the coast of Maine and Massachusetts.
- Weymouth wanted to take some Native Americans back to England including Squanto.
- Weymouth brought Squanto and the other Native Americans to England. Squanto was hired by Ferdinando Gorges, owner of Plymouth Company, to be his interpreter and guide. Gorges also taught Squanto English.
- Squanto lived in England for a while. He worked as a scout for Captain John Smith who was also going to explore Massachusetts. In 1614, the expedition headed by Smith sailed along the coast of Maine and Massachusetts Bay.
- John Smith and Thomas Hunt asked Squanto to go with their expedition to help them map the coast of America and trade with the Native Americans. Squanto agreed to go and Smith brought him home.
- Smith returned to England and left Thomas Hunt in charge of the second ship to Málaga, Spain, where there was a market for dried fish. However, Hunt decided to sail to Plymouth Harbour to trade with the village of Patuxet.
- When Hunt arrived, he tricked a number of Nauset and Patuxet Indians, including Squanto, to board the ship under the promise of trade. However, the Indians were confined, and the ship sailed for Málaga, Spain, where he sold them as slaves in exchange for money.
- Smith and Gorges both disapproved of Hunt’s decision to enslave the natives. Squanto was rescued from slavery by local priests, who took custody of the Indians.
- The Nauset and Patuxet tribes were outraged by the kidnappings and became hostile whenever English ships visited Plymouth and Cape Cod.
- Squanto then joined another trip and made his way to England.
- In 1619, Squanto was able to sail again on John Smith’s vessel back to Massachusetts where he met another Native American named Samoset.
- Finally, John Smith’s vessel arrived in the harbour and Squanto eagerly went to his native village. However, things were not the same as he had left them. He found his village empty and the Patuxet tribe gone.
- Squanto found out that the people died in a plague and the impact of the epidemic was so devastating that the entire Patuxet tribe was wiped out. He learned that the disease smallpox had killed most of his tribe.
- Squanto joined the Wampanoag tribe and became the interpreter for Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief.
- In September 1620, 102 English settlers or Pilgrims left Europe and traveled to America in search of a new life and religious freedom. The voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took two long months until the Mayflower vessel finally made landfall.
- The Pilgrims searched the coast of New England and struggled to survive and build a settlement. They eventually found a good location on the site called Plymouth where they established the Plymouth Colony led by Governor John Carver. The colonists lived in the same area as the Native Americans.
- Squanto knew the Pilgrims language and customs and he became the interpreter between the two leaders and helped established a treaty between the colonists and the Wampanoag. He helped the Pilgrims communicate with the Native Americans.
- The Pilgrims were pleased to finally be in America, but things didn’t get easier for them as they weren’t prepared for the winter.
- Squanto realized that the Pilgrims needed help to survive and so he stayed and assisted them in many ways. He taught them how to catch fish, where to find nuts and berries and which wild plants could be eaten. He also taught them how to plant enough corn to last for the whole winter.
- Governor Carver died later on and William Bradford was elected as the new governor.
- The Pilgrims held a feast after their first harvest in 1621. The governor was so pleased that they invited some of the local Wampanoag people to join them.
- The feast was called the first Thanksgiving, which lasted for three days and where they had abundant fish and fowl, including turkeys. They continued the tradition and began to call it “Thanksgiving” when they celebrated the end of a long drought in 1623.
- In 1622, Squanto became ill, and in November of the same year, a disease took his life in Chatham, Massachusetts, while acting as a guide for Governor William Bradford.
- Squanto rarely makes appearances in literature or popular entertainment. However, in 1994 a film entitled Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale was released based on Squanto’s life prior to and including the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620. It was directed by Xavier Koller and Adam Beach played the role of Squanto.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Squanto across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Squanto worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Squanto, also known as Tisquantum, who was a Native American of the Patuxet tribe. He served as an interpreter and guide to the first pilgrim settlers who arrived at Plymouth in the 1620s. He is best known for helping them survive their first winter in the New World.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Squanto Facts
- Squanto Story
- Down & Across
- The Pilgrims’ Friend
- Series of Events
- Happy Thanksgiving
- Fill in the Blanks
- A True Hero
- Word Hunt
- Matching Game
- Real or Unreal
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Link will appear as Squanto Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 27, 2018
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.