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In 1605, Squanto, a Native American from the village of Patuxet and a member of the Pokanokit Wampanoag nation traveled to England with an explorer named John Weymouth. He experienced high adventure and learned some English.

But on his return to America--the tide began to turn against Squanto. He was captured from Massachusetts and taken, along with other Indians, by an English ship captain and sold into slavery in Málaga, Spain.

There, Squanto was bought by a Spanish monk, who treated him well, freed him from slavery, and taught him the Christian faith. Squanto eventually made his way to England -- where he improved his English --and worked in the stables of a man named John Slaney. Slaney sympathized with Squanto’s desire to return home, and he promised to put the Indian on the first vessel bound for America.

It wasn’t until 1618 -- ten years after Squanto was first kidnapped --that he was on a ship returning to America as a free man

There he learned of the second blow delivered by the English. His tribe had died from an epidemic, probably of smallpox brought by the earlier colonists. He and another Indian, Samoset, went to live with the neighboring tribe of the Wampanoag near present-day Plymouth, MA. There he was introduced to the new Pilgrim settlers.

And there, Squanto became a picture of forgiveness. Eventhough he had been captured by the English, and deprived of family and friends because of their disease, he still chose to help the 47 of 102 Pilgrims who had barely survived their first, harsh winter. He helped them build warm houses, he taught them when to plant their corn crop and how it should be planted. Without his help, there would not have been 20 acres of corn produced that year....

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