In 1620, the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth, and Tisquantum and other Wampanoag taught them how to cultivate the varieties of corn, squash, and beans (the Three Sisters) that flourished in New England, as well as how to catch and process fish and collect seafood.
In 1621, Squanto was introduced to the Pilgrims at Plymouth, and subsequently acted as an interpreter between Pilgrim representatives and Wampanoag Chief Massasoit.
In 1614, before the arrival of the Pilgrims, the English lured a well-known Wampanoag — Tisquantum, who was called Squanto by the English — and 20 other Wampanoag men onto a ship with the intention of selling them into slavery in Malaga, Spain.
The Wampanoag are one of many Nations of people all over North America who were here long before any Europeans arrived, and have survived until today. Our name, Wampanoag, means People of the First Light. In the 1600s, we had as many as 40,000 people in the 67 villages that made up the Wampanoag Nation.
When the Wampanoags helped the Pilgrims bring in their first crop in the new world, there was a great feast during that harvest time. According to the Pilgrims, about 90 Wampanoags crashed the party and brought with them all sorts of delicacies. The Wampanoags usually celebrated their harvests with food and rejoicing.
The holiday feast dates back to November 1621, when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America’s “first Thanksgiving.” But what was really on the menu at the famous banquet, and which of today’s time-honored favorites didn’t
Squanto somehow escaped to England and joined the Newfoundland Company. He returned home in 1619 on his second trip back to North America only to find that his people had been wiped out by disease.
The Native Americans welcomed the arriving immigrants and helped them survive. Then they celebrated together, even though the Pilgrims considered the Native Americans heathens. The Pilgrims were devout Christians who fled Europe seeking religious freedom.
Helping the Pilgrims Squanto became the interpreter for Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief. When the Pilgrims arrived and built Plymouth Colony, Squanto was the interpreter between the two leaders.
Those three Native Americans came to the settlement made a peace pact with the Pilgrims, for mutual defense. Squanto spoke good English since he actually lived in Europe for many years. He became kind of a “liaison” between the native people and the Pilgrims. The natives taught the Pilgrims how to grow food like corn.
The symptoms were a yellowing of the skin, pain and cramping, and profuse bleeding, especially from the nose. A recent analysis concludes the culprit was a disease called leptospirosis, caused by leptospira bacteria.
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.
The Wampanoags’ enemies were most notably the Mohawks, a rival Native American group in western New England.