) – late November 1622 o.s.), more commonly known by the diminutive variant Squanto, was a member of the Patuxet tribe best known for being an early liaison between the native populations in Southern New England and the Mayflower Pilgrims who made their settlement at the site of Squanto's former summer village.The Patuxet tribe lived on the western coast of Cape Cod Bay, where in 1614 Squanto was abducted by the Englishman Thomas Hunt and brought first to Spain and then England, where he lived for several years with a merchant involved in a project to settle Newfoundland.During that voyage, Squanto contracted what Bradford called an "Indian fever." Bradford stayed with him for several days until he died, which Bradford described as a "great loss." Considerable mythology and legend has grown up around Squanto over time, largely because of early praise by Bradford and owing to the central role that the Thanksgiving festival of 1621 plays in American folk history.
Unlike the native inhabitants living in northern Maine and Canada where the annual growing season was insufficiently long to reliably produce maize harvests (and they, as a result, were required to live a fairly nomadic existence Although their habitations were relatively mobile, being made of striplings fixed in a circle in the ground with their tops tied by walnut bark (with hole for smoke from central fire inside), covered with mats of reed, hemp and hides, the one main migration of the entire population of each tribe (including women and children) was a biannual one and took place only from winter residence (in warmer forested areas) to summer habitation (near the cornfields) and back again.He introduced the settlers to the fur trade, and taught them how to sow and fertilize native crops, which proved vital since the seeds which the Pilgrims had brought from England largely failed.As food shortages increased, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford relied on Squanto to pilot a ship of settlers on a trading expedition around Cape Cod and through dangerous shoals.In addition to contributing to the first two causes of calamity, the English created immense ill-will and eventually hostilities by their aggressive approach to settlement, the brutality of which was apparent even before the first settlers.Richard Hakluyt made plain the goals that the entrepreneurs would pursue in an "inducement" he wrote in 1585: "The ends of this voyage are these: 1, to plant the Christian religion; 2, To trafficke; 3, To conquer; Or, to do all three." The 1605 voyage of George Weymouth showed how cavalierly the English entrepreneurs and their agents treated American Natives to achieve the second and third goals.