Squanto: when miraculous journeys become history
by Aaron Hur
Squanto, at the young age of twelve would never have guessed what journey would later approach him. He lived in a tribe called the Patuxets, a friendly tribe in the 17th century. However, one day a mammoth piece of transportation came their way, approximately the size of a hundred canoes. Squanto, though, was not startled at this, because these were the men that came every few years, and they were just there to trade with them… so he thought. This is when things went from good to bad in about two minutes. So the tribe ran to the coastline to meet them, when the men seemed friendly at first, but then dragged the Patuxets to the ground, hauling ropes over them, and tying their wrists and ankles tightly. The men threw them beneath the ship’s deck, and laughed as they walked away, and locked the hatch, their only escape. Squanto had never seen this type of behavior and found himself questioning why they had done this to them.
Many days later, the ship stopped in Malaga, Spain. This is where the Patuxets were being sold in front of a jeering crowd to become slaves. You might think the situation couldn’t get any worse, and, well… you’d be right. God had a plan for Squanto. When it was time for Squanto to be sold, on the dock, a group of monks bought Squanto with a small bag of coins. It was a gift from God that Squanto had been bought by the monks, because the monks serve God, which is why they took him to their monastery, where he got fed, and a comfortable place to sleep. The monks taught Squanto their language, and their faith with God. But ultimately, Squanto wanted to go back home, so after five good years, he went to London, in hope to find a ship that would take him back to America. He went to the home of a London merchant named John Slanie. John promised Squanto a ship ride back to America, and to teach him their language. Again after five long years of suspenseful waiting, in 1618, Squanto boarded the ship that would take him to a large trading post, and eventually to another ship that would end him up in his home – America. When he got back to his tribe, he was deeply disappointed, because the whole place was completely deserted. Huh, not a great home reunion.
Confused, Squanto visited his neighboring tribe, where he found out that his tribe had died from an illness. He stayed with the neighboring tribe for a while, but the happiness of the families around him only made his sorrow deeper. This news was too much for Squanto to bear, so he sat in the forest, listening to the peaceful sound of the breeze, and the distant perching of birds, and the rustling of trees, and talked to God. Then a tribesman told him to go back to his tribe, because many families had settled there. When he went to the edge, he met English people, and they shared their sorrowful stories with each other. This is how they started their connection with each other, and bonded, because they both understood what it was like to go through tough times. When the fall hit, the English people, now known as the Pilgrims, set a time to thank God for his mercy, which would later become the national holiday Thanksgiving. They thanked God for bringing Squanto as their guide in a time of need, and being there for him in his trials, and hardships. Squanto was a memorable character in history, “who was God’s wonderful gift to America in the rosy dawn of its history.”