DARK PILGRIM: The Story of Squanto by Feenie Ziner
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DARK PILGRIM: The Story of Squanto

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Squanto is usually relegated to the role of earnest go-between in Thanks-giving pageants. This book, based on meticulous research (the bibliography is exhaustive), is a serious attempt to reconstruct the peculiar chain of events in which he became trapped and to guess at his feelings. The final notes delineate what can be accepted as fact, what has been reconstructed from circumstantial evidence, and what is pure invention (details like a beautiful Indian maiden don't really twist the facts at all, and the dialogue is readable and perfectly convincing in fictional terms.) Squanto's odyssey began when he was a boy, visiting with a neighboring tribe, and was smuggled with four other Indians to England where he was educated and learned to speak like a gentleman. He finally returned to America as Captain John Smith's pilot, but was captured and sold as a slave to a Spanish monastery. He managed to escape to England and was sent to assist in a troublesome settlement in the bleak area of Newfoundland until he was finally rescued and used as translator in his home territory. The Mayflower landed where his tribe, now extinct, had lived, and he finally managed to effect a peaceful relationship between the two groups of people he had known. The book offers a great deal of information about the English colonists in the early 17th century. It is also an excellent conception of the feelings of a man in unusually disjointed circumstances.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1965
Publisher: Chilton