Squanto was born at Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1580 to the Pawtuxet band of the Wampanoag Indian tribe. In 1605, he and 4 other braves were ‘kidnapped’ by Captain George Weymouth and taken to England where they lived with Sir Ferdinando Gorges. It was here that Squanto learned the English language. He was hired to be an interpreter and Indian guide. They were treated well and eventually returned to Cape Cod. But in 1614, Squanto and 20 other braves were kidnapped by the English explorer Thomas Hunt. He sold them off as slaves in Spain. Spanish friars rescued Squanto from slavery. He then traveled to England where he met and lived with John Slaney, a wealthy merchant and Christian. When Slaney heard his story, he vowed to return Squanto home. It was here that Squanto became a believer.
In 1619, Squanto finally made it back to Cape Cod only to learn that his entire Paxtuxet tribe had been wiped out by disease. It was either smallpox or tuberculosis. A few months later, the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, at Cape Cod. Imagine their surprise when they were greeted by an Indian who spoke English. I can imagine their jaws hitting the ground when this Indian said ‘Hello’! They were especially surprised to find out that he was a believer in Jesus. The Pilgrims, who were sick and dying from a difficult journey, needed help badly. Squanto taught them how to plant corn, how to farm, introduced them to local Indian tribes and acted as an interpreter for trade between them and the local tribes. Because of his help in teaching the Pilgrims farming, he literally saved the lives of all of them.
In the diary of Pilgrim Governor William Bradford, he said Squanto “became a special instrument sent by God for our good…He showed us how to plant corn, where to fish and how to procure other commodities…and was our pilot to bring us to unknown places for our benefit, and NEVER left us until he died.” God can use even bad things (Squanto being sold into slavery) for good (Romans 8:28). He did this several times in Joseph’s life in the Old Testament (Genesis 45:1-8). Taking something bad or dead and using it for good is a GREAT example of His resurrection power (Colossians 2:13). The ultimate example of course is Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Squanto died of a fever in 1622, just 2 years after meeting the Pilgrims. He bequeathed his few belongings to God, to be used by the Pilgrims as remembrances of his love for them.
Who but God could so miraculously weave together the lives of a lonely Indian and a struggling band of Englishmen? While you’re sharing turkey and pumpkin pie this next Thanksgiving, be sure to share the stories of Squanto and the 2nd Thanksgiving (see blog#34) with your families. You will have a much fuller appreciation of Thanksgiving.
Reference: just google Squanto
Thankful for His Kingdom,