Saturday, November 10, 2007

Squanto

I was reading a storybook to the children the other evening about Squanto and was moved nearly to tears by the suffering and struggles this man went through during his life. He is the Indian who came to the aid of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts and taught them what they needed to know in order to survive. I guess what touched me was that all those years of hardship and sadness were not useless -- they were equipping Squanto and situating him so that he would be prepared to save the lives of the English settlers.

For those of you, who, like me, may have forgotten Squanto's story, here is a brief rundown:
  • Squanto was born and raised in Massachusetts
  • He was captured by explorers and taken to England where he worked for 9 years and learned English. Eventually he made it back to his own people in America
  • He was captured a second time by other explorers and taken to the slave market in Malaga, Spain
  • He was rescued from the slave market by friars who showed kindness to Squanto and eventually helped him get to England and look for a way home
  • When Squanto finally returned home he found every last member of his tribe had been wiped out by disease; he was forced to find refuge in a neighboring tribe
  • He then discovered the Pilgrims, living on the very land where he had grown up. He decided to befriend them and taught them all they needed to know in order to survive.

The Pilgrims must have been astounded to find an Indian who spoke English, understood their ways, and was willing to be their friend. I suppose our nation owes much to this man whose suffering brought life to so many.

The kids and I are enjoying reading about Columbus, Jamestown, and the Pilgrims. We're following a history textbook, but making use of all the books we can order from the library. And, it just so happens that Thanksgiving is around the corner. The children will be well-educated just in time to participate in a day where history meets the present. We, too, have much to be thankful for this year.

Photo courtesy of Karen Reyburn

3 comments:

Mrs J said...

So glad you are feeling much better! My first visit to Walmart almost knocked me off my feet (Oxford, Maine I think -everything was so cheap!)

Lovella said...

I'm glad you are able to enjoy the joys of reading to your children. What a gift to be able to teach them that Thanksgiving is more than Turkey and all the fixins.

Heather said...

I heard a very strange song on the radio about Squanto - have you heard it yet? The kids were thinking it was pretty disrespectful and I had to agree. My hubby was listening to a game or something in the van and left it on when he came home - otherwise we wouldn't have heard it. I just wonder what people are thinking these days!