On July 15, 1625, my 10th great paternal grandfather, John Brown of New Harbor, Maine, was the beneficiary of what was likely the first land sale transaction between the Native Americans and the colonists. John Brown was deeded 12,000 acres land on what is known as Pemaquid Point by Samoset, an Eastern Abenaki (Wabenaki) tribal leader. Questions remain unanswered as to the true authenticity and propriety of the deed.

Remarkably, Samoset is believed to be the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony.  According to numerous accounts, on March 16, 1621, Samoset walked into the encampment of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony, saluted them, and announced, “Welcome! Welcome, Englishmen” in English! Samoset had acquired a rudimentary understanding of English from English fishermen and traders along the Maine coast.

Days later Samoset returned with Squanto (Tisquantum), who along with Massasoit, are credited with providing the Pilgrim’s knowledge of agricultural and other skills that allowed for their survival.

Additional Resources:

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

Samoset Biography

(John Brown) The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 51

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