The Pilgrims - HISTORY
Some people, many of them seeking religious freedom in the New World, set sail from England on the Mayflower in September That November, the. Samoset (also Somerset, c. –) was an Abenaki sagamore and the first American Indian to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. We questioned him of many things; he was the first savage we could meet withal. Indian Country Today The Pilgrims settled in an area that was once Patuxet, a Wampanoag village abandoned four In September/October , the Pilgrims had just harvested their first crops, and they had a good yield.
The Pilgrims settled in an area that was once Patuxet, a Wampanoag village abandoned four years prior after a deadly outbreak of a plague, brought by European traders who first appeared in the area in The plague, however, killed thousands, up to two-thirds, of them.
Many also had been captured and sold as slaves. In the Wampanoag ways, they never would have brought their women and children into harm. So, they saw them as a peaceful people for that reason. The English, in fact, did not see the Wampanoag that first winter at all, according to Turner. Samoset, a Monhegan from Maine, came to the village on March 16, The next day, he returned with Tisquantum Squantoa Wampanoag who befriended and helped the English that spring, showing them how to plant corn, fish and gather berries and nuts.
That March, the Pilgrims entered into a treaty of mutual protection with Ousamequin Massasoitthe Pokanoket Wampanoag leader. Turner said what most people do not know about the first Thanksgiving is that the Wampanoag and Pilgrims did not sit down for a big turkey dinner and it was not an event that the Wampanoag knew about or were invited to in advance.
Vietnam War-era denunciations of the Pilgrims as imperialist or racist simply replicated the error in a new form. Whether the cause was the Pilgrim God, Pilgrim guns or Pilgrim greed, Native losses were foreordained; Indians could not have stopped colonization, in this view, and they hardly tried.
But beginning in the s, historians grew dissatisfied with this view. Their work fed a tsunami of inquiry into the interactions between Natives and newcomers in the era when they faced each other as relative equals.
The Dawnland More than likely Tisquantum was not the name he was given at birth. The Wampanoag, in turn, were part of an alliance with the Nauset, which comprised some 30 groups on Cape Cod, and the Massachusett, several dozen villages clustered around Massachusetts Bay.
All of these people spoke variants of Massachusett, a member of the Algonquian language family, the biggest in eastern North America at the time. In Massachusett, the name for the New England shore was the Dawnland, the place where the sun rose. The inhabitants of the Dawnland were the People of the First Light. Ten thousand years ago, when Indians in Mesoamerica and Peru were inventing agriculture and coalescing into villages, New England was barely inhabited, for the excellent reason that it had been covered until relatively recently by an ice sheet a mile thick.
As the sheet retreated, people slowly moved in, though the area long remained cold and uninviting, especially along the coastline. Because rising sea levels continually flooded the shore, marshy Cape Cod did not fully lock into its contemporary configuration until about b.
By that time the Dawnland had evolved into something more attractive: By the end of the first millennium A. Scattered about the many lakes, ponds and swamps of the cold uplands were small, mobile groups of hunters and gatherers. Most had recently adopted agriculture or were soon to do so, but cultivated crops were still a secondary source of food, a supplement to the wild products of the land.
Because extensive fields of maize, beans and squash surrounded every home, these settlements sprawled along the Connecticut, Charles and other river valleys for miles, one town bumping up against the other.
Along the coast, where Tisquantum and Massasoit lived, villages tended to be smaller and looser, though no less permanent. Unlike the upland hunters, the Indians on the rivers and coastline did not roam the land; most shoreline families would move a minute walk inland, to avoid direct exposure to winter storms and tides.
Each village had its own distinct mix of farming and foraging—one adjacent to a rich oyster bed might plant maize purely for variety, whereas a village just a few miles away might subsist almost entirely on its harvest, filling great underground storage pits each fall. Bragdon, an anthropologist at the College of William and Mary. Tucked into the great sweep of Cape Cod Bay, Patuxet sat on a low rise above a small harbor, jigsawed by sandbars and so shallow that children could walk from the beach hundreds of yards into the water before it reached their heads.
To the west, maize hills marched across the sandy hillocks in parallel rows. Beyond the fields, a mile or more away from the sea, rose a forest of oak, chestnut and hickory, open and park-like, the underbrush kept down by expert annual burning. But the most important fish harvest came in late spring, when the herring-like alewives swarmed the fast, shallow stream that cut through the village.
A fire burned constantly in the center, the smoke venting through a hole in the roof.
It was also less leaky than the typical English wattle-and-daub house. Going to sleep in the firelight, young Tisquantum would have stared up at shadows of hemp bags and bark boxes hanging from the rafters.
Voices would skirl up in the darkness: In the morning, when he woke, big, egg-shaped pots of corn-and-bean mash would be on the fire, simmering with meat, vegetables or dried fish to make a slow-cooked dinner stew. Pilgrim writers universally reported that Wampanoag families were close and loving—more so than English families, some thought.
Europeans in those days tended to view children as moving straight from infancy to adulthood around the age of 7 and often thereupon sent them out to work. Indian parents, by contrast, regarded the years before puberty as a time of playful development, and they kept their offspring close by until they married.
Boys like Tisquantum explored the countryside, swam in the ponds at the south end of the harbor, and played a kind of soccer with a small leather ball; in summer and fall they camped out in huts in the fields, weeding the maize and chasing away birds.
Archery began at age 2. By adolescence, boys would make a game of shooting at each other and dodging the arrows. The primary goal of Dawnland education was molding character. Men and women were expected to be brave, hardy, honest and uncomplaining. Chatterboxes and gossips were frowned upon. When Indian boys came of age, they spent an entire winter alone in the forest, equipped only with a bow, hatchet and knife.
These methods worked, Wood added. To master the art of ignoring pain, prospective pniese had to subject themselves to such experiences as running barelegged through brambles. And they fasted often, to learn self-discipline. After spending their winter in the woods, pniese candidates came back to an additional test: Patuxet, like its neighboring settlements, was governed by a sachem who enforced laws, negotiated treaties, controlled foreign contacts, collected tribute, declared war, provided for widows and orphans, and allocated farmland.
The Patuxet sachem owed fealty to the great sachem in the Wampanoag village to the southwest, and through him to the sachems of the allied confederations of the Nauset in Cape Cod and the Massachusett around Boston.
Meanwhile, the Wampanoag were rivals and enemies of the Narragansett and Pequots to the west and the Abenaki to the north. Sixteenth-century New England was home toNative people or more, a figure that was slowly increasing.
Most of them lived in shoreline communities, where rising numbers were beginning to change agriculture from an option to a necessity.
These larger settlements required more centralized administration; natural resources like good land and spawning streams, though not scarce, needed to be managed.
In consequence, boundaries between groups were becoming more formal. Sachems, given more power and more to defend, pushed against each other harder. Political tensions were constant.
The catalyst was usually the desire to avenge an insult or gain status, not conquest. Most battles consisted of lightning guerrilla raids in the forest. Attackers slipped away as soon as retribution had been exacted. Losers quickly conceded their loss of status. Women and children were rarely killed, though they were sometimes abducted and forced to join the victors.
Captured men were often tortured.
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Examining the captives, Corte-Real found to his astonishment that two were wearing items from Venice: The earliest written description of the People of the First Light was by Giovanni da Verrazzano, the Italian mariner-for-hire commissioned by the king of France in to discover whether one could reach Asia by rounding the Americas to the north.
The ship anchored in Narragansett Bay, near what is now Providence. Verrazzano was one of the first Europeans the Natives had seen, perhaps even the first, but the Narragansett were not intimidated. Almost instantly, 20 long canoes surrounded the visitors. Cocksure and graceful, the Narragansett sachem leapt aboard: His reaction was common. Time and time again Europeans described the People of the First Light as strikingly healthy specimens.
Eating a nutritious diet, working hard but not broken by toil, the people of New England were taller and more robust than those who wanted to move in. The British and French, many of whom had not taken a bath in their entire lives, were amazed by the Indian interest in personal hygiene.
Much of the time was spent in friendly barter. But up north the friendly welcome had vanished. The Indians denied the visitors permission to land; refusing even to touch the Europeans, they passed goods back and forth on a rope over the water.
Verrazzano had grabbed one himself, a boy of about 8. Byone historian has estimated, Britain alone had about vessels operating off Newfoundland and New England; hundreds more came from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
The Wampanoag Side of the First Thanksgiving Story - dubaiairporthotel.info
With striking uniformity, these travelers reported that New England was thickly settled and well defended. He abandoned the idea. Too many people already lived there. A year later the British nobleman Ferdinando Gorges tried to found a community in Maine.
Nonetheless, the local Indians, numerous and well armed, killed 11 colonists and drove the rest back home within months. Tisquantum probably saw Champlain and other European visitors, but the first time Europeans are known to have affected his life was in the summer of A small ship hove to, sails a-flap. Out to meet the crew went the Patuxet. Almost certainly the sachem would have been of the party; he would have been accompanied by his pniese, including Tisquantum.
John Smith of Pocahontas fame. According to Smith, he had lived an adventurous and glamorous life. As a youth, he claimed, he had served as a privateer, after which he was captured and enslaved by the Turks.
He escaped and awarded himself the rank of captain in the army of Smith. Later he actually became captain of a ship and traveled to North America several times. On this occasion he had sailed to Maine with two ships, intending to hunt whales.
The party spent two months chasing the beasts but failed to catch a single one. His account is vague, but it seems likely that the Indians were hinting at a limit to his stay.
In any case, the visit ended cordially enough, and Smith returned to Maine and then England. He had a map drawn of what he had seen, persuaded Prince Charles to look at it, and curried favor with him by asking him to award British names to all the Indian settlements. Then he put the maps in the books he wrote extolling his adventures. Smith left his lieutenant, Thomas Hunt, behind in Maine to finish loading the other ship with dried fish.
Without consulting Smith, Hunt decided to visit Patuxet, and, once there, he invited some Indians to come aboard. Several dozen villagers, Tisquantum among them, canoed to the ship.
Without warning or pretext the sailors tried to shove them into the hold. The Indians fought back. Its crew built a rude shelter with a defensive wall made from poles. The Nauset, hidden outside, picked off the sailors one by one until only five were left. They captured the five and sent them to groups victimized by European kidnappers.
Another French vessel anchored in Boston Harbor at about the same time. The Massachusett killed everyone aboard and set the ship afire. In consequence, as Smith later crowed, the hapless Mayflower spent several frigid weeks scouting Cape Cod for a good place to land, during which time many colonists became sick and died. Landfall at Patuxet did not end their problems. The colonists had intended to produce their own food, but had neglected to bring any cows, sheep, mules or horses.
They may have had pigs. To be sure, the Pilgrims had intended to make most of their livelihood not by farming but by catching fish for export to Britain. But the only fishing gear the Pilgrims brought was useless in New England. Only half of the people on the Mayflower made it through the first winter. How did even that many survive? The Mayflower hove to first at Cape Cod.
An armed company of Pilgrims staggered out. Eventually they found a deserted Indian habitation. The newcomers—hungry, cold, sick—dug open burial sites and ransacked homes, looking for underground stashes of food.
After two days of nervous work, the company hauled ten bushels of maize back to the Mayflower, carrying much of the booty in a big metal kettle the men had also stolen. Expeditions from France and Spain were usually backed by the state, and generally staffed by soldiers accustomed to hard living.
English voyages, by contrast, were almost always funded by venture capitalists who hoped for a quick cash-out. Even when they focused on a warmer place like Virginia, they persistently selected as colonists people ignorant of farming; the hope of fleeing religious persecution uppermost in their minds, the Pilgrims, alas, were an example.
Multiplying the difficulties, the would-be colonizers were arriving in the middle of a severe, multiyear drought. The same held true for the adventurers in Plymouth. Inexperienced in agriculture, the Pilgrims were also not woodspeople. After February, glimpses and sightings became more frequent.
Scared, the Pilgrims hauled five small cannons from the Mayflower and emplaced them in a defensive fortification. But after all the anxiety, their first contact with Indians went surprisingly well.
Within days Tisquantum came to settle among them. And then they heard his stories. Smith took six weeks to cross the Atlantic to England. There is no reason to think Hunt went any faster. There he intended to sell all of his cargo, including the human beings. In fact, Hunt managed to sell only a few of his captives before local Roman Catholic priests seized the rest—the Spanish Church vehemently opposed brutality toward Indians. In any case, this resourceful man convinced them to let him return home—or, rather, to try to return.
He got to London, where he stayed with John Slany, a shipbuilder with investments in Newfoundland. Slany apparently taught Tisquantum English while maintaining him as a curiosity in his town house.