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#ThrowBackThursday: The 1614 Capture of Squanto

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#ThrowBackThursday: The 1614 Capture of Squanto
The 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in 1620 will undoubtedly receive much attention from across the globe in 2020, but this year marks the 400th anniversary of another critical yet seldom-told piece of the story of Plymouth Colony; the 1614 capture of 27 Native men from Patuxet and Nauset.
Why is this important?
Everyone knows the part of the Thanksgiving story where a “friendly Native” comes to the Pilgrim village and teaches the Europeans to hunt and fish. These storybook versions (found in actual nonfiction textbooks) of the first encounters of the Wampanoag Natives and the Mayflower Pilgrims fails to explain a key piece of the story; how were the Natives so well-versed in the English language that they were able to communicate with and help the Pilgrims survive their first winter?
The answer? It all started in 1614. 
Captain Thomas Hunt, a European Explorer who had accompanied Captain John Smith on an expedition to the New World, ignored Smith’s instructions to collect fish and furs from the New World and instead captured twenty Natives from Patuxet and seven from Nauset. Tisquantum, or Squanto, was among the captured. They were taken to Spain to be sold as slaves, but Squanto is believed to have served as an indentured servant for three years before returning home to Patuxet in 1619.
Want to learn more? Check out Captured: 1614, a new exhibit at Plymouth Public Library that tells this incredible story through powerful images, excerpts from journals and writings dating back to 1614, and reenactments performed by members of the Mashpee Wampanoag and Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head portraying their ancestors.
This exhibit will be open to the public at Plymouth Public Library from November 14, 2014 through March 15, 2015.
 
 

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