Although it is difficult to determine the exact course of events, Squantum has tentatively has been identified as "Tisquantum", one of five Native Americans of the New England Coast taken to England in 1605 by Captain George Weymouth who was employed by Sir Ferinando Gorges of the Plymouth Company to discover the north-west passage. Along with four others, he was carried to England where he remained for several years. 1
Captain Weymouth returned to Plymouth, Devon (in England) without having found the North West Passage, but he did bring interesting stories from his voyage along the New England coast. He also brought the five Native Americans that he had captured. He had kidnapped two of the Native Americans in a very brutal manner grabbing them by the hair. The three other Native Americans were lured to the ship through bribery. He is said to have written the following:
We gave them a can of peas and bread, which they carried to the shore to eat. But one of them brought back our can presently and staid aboard with the other two; for he being young, of a ready capacity, and one we most desired to bring with us into England, had received exceeding kind usage at our hands, and was therefore much delighted in our company. 2
The Native American he was describing was most likely Squantum. He turned all the Native Americans over to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, then commander of the fort at Plymouth on the coast of England. Gorges kept three of the Native Americans, and sent the other two to Chief Justice John Popham. Some sources content that one of the Native Americans that Gorges kept was Squantum, who would have been about fourteen years old at that time.
Gorges had a large financial stake in the Plymouth Company. That company, in the First Virginia charter of 1606, was granted the southern part of Maine. He was determined to search the area for valuable resources; as a result, he was eager to learn all he could about the New World.
Gorges took Squantum into his own home, teaching him some English, so that Squantum could "communicate to him a knowledge of their (the Native Americans') county." 3
As well, Georges hoped he would be a guide and interpreter for his sea captains and New World explorers.
1.Ebenezer W. Pierce, Indian History, Biography and Genealogy Pertaining to the Good Schem Massasit of the Wampnoag Tribe and His Decendants. Book 3, 1878.
2. Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web Page from Mourt's Relation which was written mainly Edward Winslow (although William Bradford appears to have written the descriptions above) between November 1620 and November 1621. It was first published in London in 1622, presumably by George Morton (hence the title, Mourt's Relation).
3. John A. Garraty, "Tisquantum" Dictionary of American Biography, 703, quoting J.P.Baxter, "Sir Ferdinando Gorges," Prince. Soc. Pub. 18-20 (1890)