The Thanksgiving Miracle Of Tisquantum. I rarely go to movies anymore. Cost is the main reason I stay away. If I do go, it’s usually to see one in either the action/adventure or sci-fi/fantasy genera’s. I like movies as an escape from reality. The enjoyment for me is to simply turn off my brain for a few hours and just have fun.
Everyone Speaks English In Space
Sci-fi movies have always fit the bill when it comes to this. The unknowns of space make it easier to suspend belief about encounters that might happen with other worlds and species. It allows for great latitude when creating stories.
One of the things that has always amused me about these movies is that wherever the humans go in the universe, the aliens they encounter seem to always speak English. Oh sure, more and more there are different languages represented. Subtitles clue you in to what the other species are saying. Or the ever popular “Universal Translator” is used. But by in large, wherever humans travel, they are able to communicate.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to land on an alien world, and have inhabitants speak your language? It would seem extraordinary. Some would say even miraculous. But this same situation is what actually befell the Pilgrims when they landed at Plymouth Rock.
Enter a little know character in American history. Tisquantum, more commonly known as Squanto. Squanto’s birth year is unknown, but is estimated to be somewhere around 1585. He was a member of the Patuxet tribe that lived in what is now Massachusetts. And his story is nothing but amazing!
According to most popular accounts, Captain George Weymouth was exploring the New England coastline for Thomas Arundell and Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton in 1605. Gorges captured Squanto and four others and brought them back to England. Weymouth landed in Plymouth and delivered three of his captives, including Squanto, to Ferdinando Gorges, governor of the fort at Plymouth. Gorges taught Squanto English with the idea of using him as an interpreter.
Squanto Is Take Captive
Squanto was returned to New England in 1614 on an expedition led by John Smith. He didn’t make it home however. Shortly after landing, Squanto was abducted along with another group of natives by Thomas Hunt. Hunt was one of Smith’s lieutenants, and he intended to sell corn, fish and the captured natives in Spain.
This wasn’t uncommon. It’s a sad fact of American history that many natives were taken to Europe as slaves. But there were people opposed to the practice. And rather than meet the sad end that other natives did, Squanto was about to receive help. A group of Franciscan monks found out what Hunt was up to, and bought the natives from him twenty pounds.
Squanto’s Freedom Is Secured By Franciscan Monks
The monks had no intention of keeping Squanto in captivity, however. They taught him the Catholic faith. Eventually they helped him reach England. Squanto worked for several years before earning passage back to America. He returned to his homeland in 1619.
If you’re thinking this story is heading for a happy ending, you’re going to be disappointed. Yes, the storybooks would have had Squanto return home and live out the rest of his life with his family. But that didn’t happen. When Squanto finally returned to his village, he found it had been entirely wiped out by disease.
Meeting The Mayflower Settlers
No one knows exactly how Squanto wound up with the Massachuset tribe. But he was with them as they engaged a group of European settlers from the Mayflower. The Europeans had only had some fleeting, hostile encounters with native Americans to this point. So you can imagine their shock when they were approached by the natives, and one of them Spoke English! Just imagine how surprised they must have been!
Squanto wound up becoming an ambassador between the settlers and the Native Americans. He is credited with showing the settlers how to bury a fish with their seeds to improve the quality of their crops. If it hadn’t been for this remarkable man, it’s doubtful that group of settlers would have survived. Squanto continued to help the settlers, eventually dying from disease in late November of1622.
This man most definitely had an eventful life. He could very well have been a slave, but he was rescued from that fate. Had he stayed at home, it’s likely he would have died of the same disease that took the lives of the rest of his tribe. And he just happened to be in the right place at the right time when the Mayflower settlers arrived in America.
A Miracle Or Pure Chance?
People will no doubt chock this up to coincidence. But what an amazing coincidence that would have to be! Think of all the small things that could have altered the course of Squanto’s life. And had just one of those things gone differently, then American history would look very different! This is the very definition of a miracle.
Has the United States had a less than desirable history of treating Native Americans? Yes they have. Undoubtedly. But it’s not a stretch to say that the U.S has also been the greatest force for good the world has ever seen. And without the miracle that was the life of Tisquantum, we might never have existed as a country!
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