We all know the Thanksgiving story where friendly Indians, like Squanto, met friendly Pilgrims and everyone had a big, delicious dinner to give thanks, right? The real story is actually a lot more complicated.
“This is history that’s just been overlooked because people have become very, very comfortable with the story of happy Pilgrims and friendly Indians,” says Paula Peters, a member of the Mashpee Wompanoag tribe and an expert on Wampanoag history.
“They’re very content with that — even to the point where no one really questioned how is it that Squanto knew how to speak perfect English when they came.”
Peters gave theHuffington Post a full rundown of the real story.
In the year 1614, about six years before pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts, Thomas Hunt, an Englishman, kidnapped Squanto, also known as Tisquantum, from Patuxet, his village.
Hunt took Tisquantum and two dozen other kidnapped Wampanoag to Spain and attempted to sell them into slavery.
Many in Spain considered this to be fairly alarming. Many in the Church loudly expressed their dismay.
Tisquantum escaped slavery with the help of Catholic friars and found his way into England. In 1619, Tisquantum returned to his homeland in what is now Massachusetts.
As far as historians are able to tell, he’s the only one of the kidnapped Wampanoags to return.
During the 5 years Tisquantum was in bondage and traveling home, an unknown epidemic roared through New England. It was brought by French sailors who found themselves shipwrecked at Cape Cod.