Later, The Pineapple Mom sent me this link. I'm guessing that someone on the email list sent this to the German to prove that the story her student told her was true. The part that struck me as hilarious was this: On March 16, 1621, an Abnaki Indian named Samoset entered the Plymouth settlement. He welcomed the Pilgrims in English, and the next day returned with another American Indian named Squanto, who spoke English well.
Weren't the pilgrims lucky that the native folk (that according to this story, they had no prior contact with) spoke English so well? Might they have learned this perfect English from the French traders? In fact, Squanto was kidnapped and sold as a slave by Thomas Hunt, one of John Smith's lieutenants. After living in England and Ireland (thus learning English), he was finally able to return home to discover that his entire tribe was dead. And it was true that he lived with the pilgrims and taught them how to grow corn and catch fish and eels. However, he was sent by the Pokanoket tribe, to keep an eye on the pilgrims. The aforementioned Samoset, who was an Abnaki, did make the first contact with the Pilgrims and asked them for beer. He was visiting Chief Massasoit of the Pokanoket tribe.
The pilgrims didn't like or trust Squanto and neither did the tribe that sent him to act as a liaison between the two. In the end, Squanto was probably poisoned by one of the two during negotiations in 1622 since the English and the Native Americans had been killing one other off for years prior to this fairly tale like bout of helpfulness that we celebrate every November. So now we celebrate a holiday based on a mythical story of a helpful Native American that was hated by everyone that knew him. Poor Squanto.