Have you ever heard the name before? Squanto? He was an important dude. I am thankful for Squanto. His real name was Tisquantum and he was a Patuxet Native American Indian. There are many variations of the story of Squanto's life. Some articles claim that as a young teenager Squanto was kidnapped by Englishmen who tried to sell him into slavery. Other information indicates that he simply made friends with some of the white settlers that moved into New Plymouth near his native village and voluntarily followed them to England to spend several years working for his new friends.
Either way, we do know that as a young man he left his tribe, left America and spent years in Europe working for the Englishmen before he finally gained passage back to the "New World" with Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame). As he was making his way back to his village, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Spain. Luckily, he fell into the hands of a group of friars at a Catholic Monestary. They taught him their religion and he became a Christian. The friars were able to get Squanto passage to England where he spent several years working as a servant.
Squanto was gone an approximate total of 10 years from his family and tribe before he finally arrived in North America again. Sadly, when he returned to his village he discovered that all of his people had died of a disease (accidentally brought to them by the English settlers) the previous year. He then befriended the settlers who lived near his old village. These settlers were the Pilgrims and they soon realized that Squanto was an invaluable friend. He helped them survive the winter by showing them how to build warm houses. He also taught them how and when to plant corn and showed the women how to cook the corn so that there was enough food for everyone. Most importantly, he acted as interpreter between the Pilgrims and their Indian neighbors. He advised them on how best to maintain a peaceful relationship with the Indians and made the first Thanksgiving possible.
After all the "white-man" had done to him and his people, he cared about human life enough to help the Pilgrims. Thank you, Squanto, for caring.