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Letter: The first Thanksgiving

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Have you ever heard of a man by the name of Tisquantum? Historians tell us that he was born a Patuxet Indian in 1585, and he lived on Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts before he was kidnapped by English explorer Thomas Hunt and sent to Spain. He returned to America in 1619, where he found his tribe wiped out by an epidemic. He was the last of the Patuxet.

When the Mayflower landed in 1620, Tisquantum worked to broker peaceable relations between the Pilgrims and the local Pokanokets. He was invaluable because he spoke English, and the Pilgrims could learn many things from him. And on many occasions he was a translator, guide and advisor to the Pilgrims.

He also introduced them to the fur trade, and how to grow and sow their crops successfully as well. It has been said that Tisquantum died of Indian Fever in 1622. And he will be long remembered as a true Indian diplomat who played a pivotal role in creating our first Thanksgiving as we know it today.

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