The Truth You’ve Never Heard About Plimoth Colony and the First Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving story you know probably goes a bit like this: English Pilgrims, seeking religious freedom, landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where they found a rich land full of animals and were greeted by a friendly Indian named Squanto, who taught them how to plant corn.

The true story is more complicated. Once you learn about the real Squanto — also known as Tisquantum — you’ll have a great yarn to tell your family over the Thanksgiving table.

How is it that Squanto knew how to speak perfect English when the Pilgrims arrived?

Then the Pilgrims showed up in what is now Plymouth in 1620 and promptly started starving to death.

Columbus landed in 1492 on the island later called Hispaniola. Our history books seem to indicate that nothing else happened for 128 years until the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. Yet the Tisquantum story gives you this tiny peek into that all the people involved had been interacting for more than a century. The truth is that French sailors were on Cape Cod in 1620 and apparently sailors and explorers of other nations had been up and down the Atlantic coast for years. The Pilgrims from England (and even earlier from Leyden in the Netherlands) were only one of many groups in the area.

You can read more in an interesting article by Nick Baumann in the Huffington Post at:


Good read, Dick. Thank you. I’ve always wondered about Squanto’s motivations.


Already knew about this years ago. It’s current education problem that it is omitted.


    I completely agree, and history is being re-written everyday now or so it seems. Sad.


    It’s a shame because, as the article says, the full story is so much more interesting (and human) than the stripped-down myth. Our schools seem to be going out of our way to make history as flat and boring as we possibly can. The bureaucratic fear of doing or saying anything that anyone might possibly consider the least bit controversial, I guess.


FYI – The best “story” I have heard about Plymouth.

Explains a lot!

THANKS for sharing!!!

Dorie Sheppard


If the quarterly is still available I thought this was pretty good. From Dick Eastman Newsletter, November 17, 2017


Interesting indeed. But, to me, it seems rife with conjecture with little proof of any substance. Having said that there may well have been Europeans who already knew about the North American continent and visited it on occasion. To inject motives into a story which has so little documentation is hardly credible, IMO, entertaining of course.


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