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    During that voyage Squanto contracted what the governor called an "Indian fever." Despite their urgent need for food for the colony, Bradford stayed with Squanto for several days until he died.

    Bradford wrote that his death was a "great loss." Considerable mythology and legend has grown up around Squanto over time, largely because of early praise by Bradford and owing to the central role that the "Thanksgiving" festival of 1621 plays in American folk history.

    "[T]he time and circumstances of Squanto's birth are unknown." But given that first-hand descriptions of him written between 16 do not remark on his youth or old age, it has been suggested that a reasonable presumption is that he was in his twenties or thirties when he was forcibly embarked to Spain in 1614, The interrelated societies that lived in southern New England at the time of English settlement attempts at the beginning of the 17th century referred to themselves as Ninnimissinuok, a variation of the Narragansett word Ninnimissinnȗwock, meaning roughly "people" and signifying "familiarity and shared identity." Since the Patuxet had been decimated by disease before European settlement (see below), there are no written records of Patuxet life by first-hand observers.

    In such a case reasonable conclusions about a culture's organization and beliefs may be made by reference to other tribes in the same area "which may be expected to share cultural traits." In this case the Southern New England tribes were closely related linguistically (through similar Algonquin languages), politically (by the Pokanoket suzerainty), economically (by trade) and ethnically.

    Despite the treaty Squanto helped broker between them, the settlers' governor, William Bradford, had been reluctant to part with Squanto, owing to his value to the colony.

    One of the last surviving people of the Patuxet tribe—who had lived on the western coast of Cape Cod Bay and were annihilated by an epidemic infection—he acted as a translator, guide, and advisor while he lived with them for 20 months.Or perhaps the name was selected at the time of his 1621 encounter with the English settlers either as a defense to their cultural or religious influence or because he was entering a cultural no-mans-land.Almost nothing is known of Squanto's life before his first contact with Europeans, and even when and how that first encounter took place is subject to contradictory assertions.He eventually was sent there, where he met an associate of John Smith, Thomas Dermer, who was acting for the London merchants involved in settling New England.In 1619 Dermer brought Squanto to his native village, which he found to be destroyed by an epidemic.

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