Wampanoag and Pilgrims

The Wampanoag and Pilgrims

Although they occasionally caught glimpses of Native People, it wasn’t until four months after their arrival that the colonists met and communicated with them.

In March 1621, they made a treaty of mutual protection with the Pokanoket Wampanoag leader, Ousamequin (also known as Massasoit to the Pilgrims). The treaty had six points. Neither party would harm the other. If anything was stolen, it would be returned and the offending person returned to his own people for punishment. Both sides agreed to leave their weapons behind when meeting, and the two groups would serve as allies in times of war. Squanto, a Wampanoag man who had been taken captive by English sailors and lived for a time in London, came to live with the colonists and instructed them in growing Indian corn.

In the fall of 1621, the colonists marked their first harvest with a three-day celebration. Massasoit and 90 of his men joined the English for feasting and entertainment. In the 1800s this famous celebration became the basis for the story of the First Thanksgiving.

Over the next six years, more English colonists arrived and many of the people who had to stay behind in England or Holland when Mayflower left England were able to join their families.

By 1627, Plymouth Colony was stable and comfortable. Harvests were good and families were growing. In 1627, about 160 people lived in Plymouth Colony.

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