Squanto YT-194 - History

Squanto YT-194 - History

(YT-194: dp. 260; 1. 100'10"; b. 25'0'', dr. 9'7; s. 12
k.; cpl. 10; cl. Pessacus)

Squanto (YT-194) was built in 1942 by Ira S. Bushy- Son, at Brooklyn, N.Y. She was placed in service early in 1943 in the 10th Naval District, covering the area around the Virgin Islands. Squanto was redesignated a large harbor tug, YTB 194, on 15 May 1944. She was reclassified a medium harbor tug, YTM-194, in February 1962.

Squanto served the Navy just over 20 years and spent all her time in the 10th Naval District. The exact date upon which she was inactivated is unknown; but, since the 1962 Naval Vessel Register/Ships Data Book lists her as active and in service in the 10th Naval District and since her name was struck from the Navy list in May 1963, she must have been placed out of service in 1962 or early in 1963. No documents have been found giving the details of the final disposition of her hulk; however, the 1965 NVR shows her as scheduled to be sunk as a target. That is probably what happened to her.

The story of Squanto

Tisquantum was born in 1580 and became known as Squanto, though little is known of his early life.

Some believe Tisquantum was captured as a young man on the coast of what is now Maine by Captain George Weymouth in 1605. Weymouth was an Englishmen commissioned to explore the American coastline and thought his financial backers might like to see Native American people.

It is said by some that Tisquantum was captured and brought to England along with four others. Whether or not this is the case, he was in his homeland again by 1614, watching another English explorer called Thomas Hunt arrive on his people’s shores.

Hunt lured 24 Native Americans on board his ship under the premise of trade. Their number included Tisquantum. Hunt locked them up below deck, sailed for Spain and sold these people into the European slave trade.

It is thought Tisquantum was liberated some years later, when it is thought he returned to America in 1619 working as an interpreter for Captain Thomas Dermer.

Tisquantum later searched for his homeland but tragically, he arrived as the Great Dying reached its horrific climax. His tribe had all been wiped out. His home village, Patuxet, was lost.

Squanto Timeline

Squanto was a Native-American who helped the Mayflower pilgrims survive their first year at Plymouth Colony. Squanto was a member of the Patuxet tribe and was born in a village in modern-day Plymouth, Mass.

The following is a timeline of Squanto’s life:

  • Squanto’s exact date of birth is unknown but it is estimated that he was born sometime between 1580 and 1600 in the village of Patuxet in Plymouth, Mass.
  • In April, Squanto and 26 other Native-Americans are captured in Plymouth, Mass by Captain Thomas Hunt, a lieutenant for Captain John Smith, and taken to Malga, Spain to be sold as a slave.
  • Squanto travels to England with Captain John Slaney, treasurer of the Newfoundland Company, whom he is employed by for a number of years.
  • Slaney sends Squanto to work in an English colony at Cuper’s Cove in Newfoundland.
  • A deadly epidemic breaks out in the Native-American villages of coastal New England. Squanto is spared because he is overseas.
  • Squanto meets Captain Thomas Dermer in Newfoundland.
  • Dermer takes Squanto back to England to meet with Sir Ferdinando Gorges about joining an expedition to New England.
  • In the spring, Gorges sends Squanto to work as an interpreter for Captain Dermer on a trip to New England where they will join Captain Rocraft and trade with local Native Americans.
  • In March, Dermer and Squanto arrive in New England and sail along the coast looking for Captain Rocraft. They later meet a ship from Virginia and learn that Rocraft has died.
  • In May, Dermer and Squanto discover that Squanto’s village, Patuxet, in Plymouth, Mass, has been wiped out by the epidemic that broke out in 1616. The village is deserted and skeletons litter the ground.

Squanto teaching the pilgrims to plant maize, illustration published in The Teaching of Agriculture in High School, circa 1911
  • The expedition continues on to the village of Nemasket where they encounter the Pokanoket tribe who display great anger towards the English, due to being treated badly by an English ship captain a few years before, and Squanto has to persuade them not to harm Dermer.
  • In June, Dermer and the crew return to Maine where Squanto leaves the expedition at Sawahquatooke, in modern-day Saco, Maine, to stay with some of the local natives.
  • Dermer and his crew continue the expedition without Squanto and are captured by the Pokanoket and Nemasket tribes but escape, taking three natives as hostages, which they ransom back to the tribe.
  • The expedition continues on to Martha’s Vineyard where Dermer meets a Nauset leader named Epenow, who had been had previously been enslaved by Gorges in 1611 but escaped and was thought to be dead.
  • In September, Dermer reaches Virginia and spends the winter at Jamestown.
  • In May, Dermer leaves Jamestown and returns to New England.
  • In June, Dermer makes a second trip to Plymouth, Mass before sailing to Maine.
  • Sometime in the summer of 1620, Squanto rejoins the expedition.
  • Later in the summer, Dermer returns to Martha’s Vineyard with Squanto where they are attacked by Epenow and his followers because Epenow fears Gorges sent Dermer there to enslave him again. Most of the crew are killed in the attack, Dermer is wounded but escapes to Virginia where he dies of his wounds and Squanto is enslaved by the Nauset.
  • In the fall of 1620, the leader of the Nauset and Wampanoag tribes, Massasoit, transfers Squanto from Martha’s Vineyard to the village of Pokanoket where he remains a prisoner.
  • In December, the Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth and the Wampanoag watch them from a distance throughout the winter, fearing they are there to avenge Dermer’s death.
  • On March 16, Samoset befriends the Mayflower pilgrims.
  • On March 22, Samoset introduces Massasoit, Squanto and the rest of the tribe to the pilgrims.
  • Massasoit signs a treaty with the pilgrims and agrees to help the colony survive if the pilgrims agree to help protect the Wampanoags from their enemies.
  • Massasoit frees Squanto so he can serve as a guide and interpreter for the colony, teaching the pilgrims what they needed to know to survive in New England.
  • In the summer, the pilgrims appoint a second Native-American adviser, Hobbamock, possibly to assist Squanto or to keep him in check.
  • On June 11, Squanto and a group of colonists embark on a search and rescue mission for a young boy, John Billington, who had wandered away from Plymouth colony and gotten lost.
  • On June 12, Squanto and the colonists meet an elderly Native-American woman at Cummaquid, in modern-day Barnstable, who said Captain Thomas Hunt captured her three sons, around the time Squanto was captured in 1614, and she hasn’t seen them since. The pilgrims apologize on behalf of the English and condemn Hunt as a “bad man” and vow they would never treat a native like that. The colonists find John Billington with the Nauset tribe later that day.

Squanto returning John Billington, illustration published in the children’s book Good Stories for Great Birthdays, circa 1922


Squanto was born around 1580 in the area of present day Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was a member of the Paxutet people. Little is known about his early life. Squanto is thought to have been kidnapped as a young boy along the coast of Maine, and taken to England in 1605. He was taught English. He was hired as a guide and interpreter. He returned to his homeland with John Smith in 1614. [1]

In 1614, Squanto and 23 other Indians were kidnapped by a lieutenant under Smith. This lieutenant sold him and the rest of the Indians as slaves in Malaga, Spain. Many historians have disputed what happened in this period of his life, as there is no written record. One theory is that once the Spanish found out these slaves were from the New World, Spanish friars rescued the remaining Indians, including Squanto, by purchasing them. They sent him on his way to England. It is not known what happened to the others. This is where he was taught English and the ways of the white man. He was employed by John Slaney of the Newfoundland Company, and was sent to Newfoundland around 1617, as an interpreter. He returned to his homeland in North America in 1619. [2]

Upon Squanto's arrival, he discovered his people had been wiped out by disease he was the sole survivor of the Paxutet people. The Wampanoag people adopted him, although not without hesitation. The chief, Massasoit was suspicious of Squanto due to his exposure with the white man and his new ability to speak their language. He knew Squanto's knowledge of English would help with trade, so he kept him.

In the spring of 1620, the Mayflower made landfall in Cape Cod, then mainland. They set camp on the same grounds of Squanto's people--they called this colony, Plymouth. After the harsh conditions of winter, about half of the colonists died. In the spring of 1621, an Indian who made friend with the English settlers, Samoset took Squanto to the Pilgrim settlement of Plymouth. Samoset could only speak broken English, while Squanto was seen as a master. Squanto was soon living with the people of Plymouth. [3]

He joined them in meeting with Indian tribes. He helped to keep the peace. Tradition says he taught the Pilgrims to catch eels. [4] William Bradford wrote that Squanto was of great help in the first year's spring planting of corn. He showed the Pilgrims both how to plant it and how to tend it. He showed them how to use fish as a fertilizer. [5]

Over the year, Squanto's power went to his head. He told the natives that he had the power to send the white man's plague or to make them attack.This was one of many shady deals he conducted with both the Pilgrims and the natives. He was found out, and barely escaped an Indian execution. [6]

In November 1622, Squanto fell ill with a fever while on a trip around Cape Cod with William Bradford. [3] He may have been poisoned by the Wampanoag. [7] He bled at the nose, and said it was a certain sign of death. He asked Bradford to pray to the Christian god so he might enter Heaven. He gave some gifts to others. He died a few days later in what is now Chatham, Massachusetts. [6]

A Disney Movie loosely based on Squanto's Life: Squanto: A Warrior's Tale was released a year before Pocahontas.

Squanto Facts: Resources

Thursday 28th of November 2019

It was mentioned in the number of articles I read that’s going to look for three years with Franciscan Friars in Spain and was instructed in the Christian faith. I was told but have not been able to confirm yet that he did become a Catholic at that time. Certainly, living in England would not have encouraged his practice of Catholicism however, his subsequent life, of service and as a peacemaker among Indian tribes suggest that he brought Christian principles which would have predisposed him to help the Pilgrims in a way that resulted is there surviving your first winter Living. His history is fascinating. I never realized how many trips he made back-and-forth between Europe, and especially for Spain and England during this relatively short a lifetime. He certainly is a historical figure who should be better knowing by all Americans especially since he was a true native American. I don’t think he was ever given me a claim to the degree that he deserves. Repairs that he was a man of character. Is life of service despite all of this personal tragedies and his willingness to help other European immigrants Is an awe inspiring story of what it means to be a true American.

Saturday 30th of November 2019

I did not realize the true history of Squanto until I began research for that article a few years ago. You are right that his willingness to help despite his own experiences shows a level of humanity that is rarely seen from anyone.

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This book is well-done and it is a shame that copyright issues have prevented it from being published. The writing style is literary and the author weaves in details about how the various New England tribes lived into the tale. She puts on flesh to the historical characters and they come alive. Wherever Squanto travels, the reader feels planted into that time and place. Rather than a one-dimensional focus on the Pilgrims--the last and shortest episode of Squanto&aposs life--she shares his full story This book is well-done and it is a shame that copyright issues have prevented it from being published. The writing style is literary and the author weaves in details about how the various New England tribes lived into the tale. She puts on flesh to the historical characters and they come alive. Wherever Squanto travels, the reader feels planted into that time and place. Rather than a one-dimensional focus on the Pilgrims--the last and shortest episode of Squanto's life--she shares his full story. Squanto interacts with tribes from Maine to Massachusetts and, because of two different kidnappings, he travels to England and Spain. He lives in Conception Bay, Newfoundland for a time before returning to what is left of his home in New England.

The author provides a detailed bibliography and, in her notes, cites specific primary documents. She notes where she took poetic license or had to fill in gaps based on her personal insight.

I'm so glad Internet Archive dropped their loan queues so that I could read this treasure. . more

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Samoset Facts: Life and Legacy

  • Samoset was a sagamore (subordinate chief) of an Eastern Abenaki tribe that resided at that time in what now is Maine. An English fishing camp had been established to harvest from the bountiful area now called the Gulf of Maine.
  • Samoset learned some English from fishermen who came to fish off Monhegan Island and he knew most ship captains by name. The Abenaki language is an Algonquian language related to the Massachusett language of the Nauset and Wampanoag people of the area around Plymouth Colony.
  • Samoset was visiting the Wampanoag chieftain Massasoit at the time of the historic event. On March 16, 1621, Samoset entered the encampment at Plymouth, greeted the colonists in English, and asked for beer. After spending the night with the Pilgrims, he left to return with five others, who brought deer-skins to trade.
  • As it was Sunday, the colonists declined to trade that day, but offered them some food.
  • On March 22, 1621, Samoset came back with Squanto, the last remaining Patuxet tribesman, who spoke much better English than he.
  • Squanto arranged a meeting with Massasoit. In 1624, English Captain Christopher Levett entertained Samoset and other Native American leaders in the harbor of present-day Portland, Maine.
  • Samoset is believed to have died around 1653 in what today is Bristol, Maine.

'Widespread' enslavement

Though there are varying versions of Squanto's story, historians seem to agree that prior to the pilgrims' settling in 1620, Squanto was captured by English explorers in 1614 and sold into slavery in Europe. He spent a number of years in England where he learned English.

The enslavement of Indigenous people "was very widespread," persisting throughout the 17th century, according to Coombs. She pointed to King Philip's War of 1675, the bloody conflict that pitted Indigenous people in New England against the English colonists.

According to a 2017 study by Brown University's Linford D. Fisher, New England colonies routinely shipped Indigenous people as slaves to parts of the Caribbean and other regions during the war, clearing land for colonists to claim.

The exact number of people who were enslaved is unknown, but Fisher estimates that between 1492 and 1880, "between 2 and 5.5 million Native Americans were enslaved in the Americas, in addition to 12.5 million African slaves."

Those figures are echoed by scholar and historian Andrés Reséndez, who told NPR he estimates "2.5 to 5 million Native Americans [were] enslaved throughout the Americas since Columbus to 1900."

Squanto eventually made it back to Patuxet in 1619, says Coombs, only to find his tribe wiped out by an epidemic brought over by the Europeans. It is not known what caused this widespread death and devastation. Varying theories include smallpox, yellow fever, bubonic plague and influenza.

The disease affected about four different nations, destroying entire populations, according to Coombs.

Between 1616 and 1618, Coombs says the Wampanoag nation was made up of 69 villages with an average of about 1,000 people per village. She estimates about 50,000 people died in two years.

"As far as we know," said Coombs, "Squanto was the only survivor [of the Patuxet band]."

"So when he came home in 1619, he literally stepped off the ship and was looking at broken down homes, overgrown cornfields, and bones were literally strewn all over the place."

Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, island country lying in the Indian Ocean and separated from peninsular India by the Palk Strait. It is located between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 268 miles (432 km) and a maximum width of 139 miles (224 km).

Proximity to the Indian subcontinent has facilitated close cultural interaction between Sri Lanka and India from ancient times. At a crossroads of maritime routes traversing the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has also been exposed to cultural influences from other Asian civilizations. Ancient Greek geographers called it Taprobane. Arabs referred to it as Serendib. Later European mapmakers called it Ceylon, a name still used occasionally for trade purposes. It officially became Sri Lanka in 1972.

The distinctive civilization of Sri Lanka, with roots that can be traced back to the 6th century bce , is characterized by two factors: the preservation of Theravada Buddhism (the orthodox school of Buddhism having its literary traditions in the Pali language) and the development over two millennia of a sophisticated system of irrigation in the drier parts of the country. This civilization was further enriched by the influences of Hinduism and Islam.

In 1948, after nearly 150 years of British rule, Sri Lanka became an independent country, and it was admitted to the United Nations seven years later. The country is a member of the Commonwealth and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Colombo, which emerged as the main urban centre during British rule, remains the executive and judicial capital of Sri Lanka Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, a Colombo suburb, is the legislative capital. For administrative purposes, the country has been divided into nine provinces and subdivided into 25 districts.

Sri Lanka is densely populated. The majority of its people are poor, live in rural areas, and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. A physical environment of wide-ranging diversity makes Sri Lanka one of the world’s most scenic countries. As the home of several ethnic groups, each with its own cultural heritage, Sri Lanka also has a highly varied cultural landscape.

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