Native Americans in the United States and Squanto Essay

790 WordsOct 18, 19994 Pages
Squanto Squanto is a Native American who lived in the early seventeenth century in what is now the Northeast United States. When the English came to this area of America to settle, they became very fond of Squanto and used him as a translator due to his unique knowledge of the English language acquired through an earlier voyage to Europe. Squanto helped the Pilgrims adapt to their new surroundings by providing them with the knowledge that he and his ancestors used to survive when they first settled in this area. He became known as a friend to the English and a spokesman for his Native friends (Johnson p.2). However, in helping the English, Squanto realized the power he had obtained through his position and used it for his own gain…show more content…
He also acted as an interpreter and a guide to help make the English more comfortable around the indigenous people (). "Without Squanto's help, the Pilgrims would probably have had severe famine over the next year, and would have lived in constant fear of their indian neighbors"(Johnson p.2); the English could not have survived without the knowledge that Squanto had given them. However, the friendly side of Squanto is traditionally the only one taught to the American public, in which he is portrayed as an extremely friendly Native American who devoted much of his time and effort to helping the European settlers adapt to their newly acquired land. It is true that Squanto was a great help to the English settlers, however many modern texts, articles, and essays concerning Squanto neglect to include his betrayal of many Native American tribes in what is now Connecticut and Long Island(Vine p. 201 ). Many elementary educated students are led to believe that Squanto simply "saved the newcomers from starvation … and [taught] the Pilgrims how to survive"(David p. 24). This misconception of Squanto is the exact opposite of what many Natives thought of him(Vine p.201). He became aware of his position with the English and began to threaten the indians by telling them he would "release the plague" (Johnson p.2) on them if they did not do what they were told. He also provided the English with certain secrets that allowed them to easily defeat other

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