“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chatham in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story

The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, October 4, 2020
1. The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story Marker

Tisquantum (also known as Squanto), the most famous Native American to encounter the Pilgrims, died near here in 1622, roughly 40 years before William and Anne (Busby) Nickerson established their homestead on this site.

Born at Patuxet, a Wampanoag community that would later become the site of the Pilgrim’s settlement at Plymouth, Tisquantum led a remarkable life. After being stolen from Patuxet and sold into slavery in Spain, he was freed and spent five years as a servant in London and Newfoundland. When he returned home in about 1619 he discovered that his community had been decimated by disease – Tisquantum himself was spared, living in London . As he had learned to speak English, he acted as a liaison between the natives and Pilgrims, who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. During the Pilgrim’s first winter and spring he taught the newcomers to catch eels and to grow corn by fertilizing the poor soil with dried herring and shad.

Governor William Bradford’s journal referred to Tisquantum “as a special instrument sent by God for their good beyond their expectation.”

Yet even as he mediated
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the sometimes-treacherous arena of Native American-Pilgrim relations, some said he was hatching intrigues of his own, and the powerful Wampanoag sachem Massasoit came to hate him, writes Nathaniel Philbrick in Mayflower (2006).

In November 1622 Tisquantum traveled with Governor Bradford from Plymouth to Chatham, then known as Monomoit, on a mission to trade with the Monomoyicks for eight hogsheads of corn and beans. Their sloop, the Swan, anchored in Pleasant Bay, perhaps at jackknife Cove, about a quarter of a mile from here. The trip was a success but just before departure Squanto feel ill, bleeding from the nose and within a few days he died. Tisquantum asked Bradford to pray for him that he might go to the Englishmen’s God in Heaven.

After he died, Tisquantum was placed in an unmarked grave. But where? One theory, by Warren Sears Nickerson (1880-1966) is that Tisquantum is buried at Jackknife Cove at Pleasant Bay.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 41° 42.54′ N, 69° 59.22′ W. Marker is in Chatham, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is on Orleans Road (Massachusetts Route 28) 0.1 miles west of Seapine Road, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located on the grounds
The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brandon D Cross, October 4, 2020
2. The Tisquantum (Squanto) Story Marker
of the historic Nickerson House. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1107 Orleans Road, Chatham MA 02633, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chatham’s Wampanoag History (a few steps from this marker); Site of First Settlers Home (a few steps from this marker); Squanto, Indian Guide (a few steps from this marker); The Nickerson Family (within shouting distance of this marker); Operations Building (approx. half a mile away); Chatham Radio/WCC (approx. half a mile away); Antenna Trail Exhibits (approx. half a mile away); The 1914 Marconi Radio Station Complex (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham.
Also see . . .  Squanto at the Encyclopedia Britannica. (Submitted on October 31, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 31, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 237 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 31, 2020, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 23, 2023