MARCH 16, 1621


Samoset (“He Who Walks Over Much”), a sagamore (subordinate chief) of either an Eastern Abenaki or Mohegan tribe, was visiting the great Wampanoag chief Massasoit when he entered the English settlement at Plymouth greeting the colonists in English, saying “Welcome! Welcome! Englishmen!” and asked for beer.  He had learned English from fishermen who came to Mohegan Island and he knew most ship captains by name.  Spending the night with the Pilgrims, he left the next morning, but returned the following day with five other Indians who brought deer skins to trade.  As it was a Sunday, the colonists declined to trade, but offered the men food.  Samoset came back on March 22 with Squanto, last remaining member of the Patuxet tribe which had been wiped out by a plague a few years earlier.  Squanto spoke better English than Samoset.  He had been kidnapped and brought to Spain and England before being returned home.  He arranged a meeting with Massasoit later that day.

Source:  "Samoset Biography," Encyclopedia of World Biography.  Retrieved 6/24/2019,
Engraving:  Author unknown, 1853.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.

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