PRI: Exhibit tells story of Indian men sold into slavery in 1600s

A depiction of a meeting between the Wampanoag people meet European explorers. Photo from Plymouth 400

Captured: 1614 shares the story of Indian men, including Squanto, who were kidnapped and sold into slavery by European explorers:
A new exhibition that opened Friday in Plymouth, Massachusetts, highlights this other slave history. It’s an integral part of the town’s preparations for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620, and it focuses on the story of one man in particular: Squanto.

You might remember Squanto for his role in the Thanksgiving legend. He stepped out of the woods in the spring of 1621 and greeted the Pilgrims in perfect English. He became their interpreter and guide, and helped negotiate a treaty with the most powerful local Native American confederation, a peace that lasted more than 50 years.

The colony’s governor and first historian, William Bradford, wrote that "Squanto continued with [the Pilgrims] and was their interpreter and was a special instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation. He directed them how to set their corn, where to take fish, and to procure other commodities, and was also their pilot to bring them to unknown places for their profit, and never left them till he died."

What’s less well-known is how he came to learn English, and why he was there at the right place and time.

Captured 1614: I Must Save Hope from SmokeSygnals on Vimeo

Get the Story:
Native Americans get the chance to tell their side of the Pilgrim story (Public Radio International 11/17)