Squanto and the Pilgrims

I have this little book.  “Squanto and the Pilgrims”.  It arrived here one day in a box… a surprise gift from a dear friend who knew how much the book meant to me.  (Thank you again, Robin!)

My memories of the book and the story always focus on the final pages… the tragic death of Squanto.  It was my favorite book in the 2nd grade.  I only know this for sure, because I can picture myself reading this book, time and again.  And I was in a tree in the front yard of a house in Las Cruces.  We lived there that year while my father was finishing a degree at New Mexico State.

Down through the years it kind of amazed me that I had such vivid memories of selecting that book from the library repeatedly, bringing it home, climbing the tree, and crying at the ending.  I’ve always loved books, but the memory seems a bit dramatic for a seven year old.

That time in history is hauntingly beautiful to me.  Sacrifice, bravery, determination… it’s hard to fathom.

A couple of years ago I learned the most spine-tingling news.  My sister and brother-in-law were exploring around in Ancestry.com.  They decided to start tracing back through my great-grandmother, Cora Calton, because they knew more about her ancestry than any of our other great-grandparents.  Thanks to the modern marvel of the internet, the path was already clearly laid out, and the line went straight back to Mary Allerton, a tiny four year old girl who arrived on the Mayflower.  My grandmother with ten “greats” in front of that title.

I’m sure she knew Squanto!


7 Responses to “Squanto and the Pilgrims”

  1. Robin Green says:

    That gives me the chills, Sandy!

  2. Sandy says:

    Gives me the chills too! I love that book, and I thank you so very much for your amazing thoughtfulness!

  3. Betty Williamson says:

    What a great Thanksgiving story! And that was one of MY favorite books, too. My edition was paperback…probably selected from the old Weekly Reader order form. I think I still have it somewhere, and it is very dog-eared. But the family connection is fantastic. I love it.

  4. Sharon says:

    Hooray for Mary Allerton and Squanto! Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday and knowing that Granny came from such hearty stock is not a surprise to anyone. I’m sure Mary Allerton would have been in awe of her 104+ years and the changes she lived through.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Funny how the reaction can be so similar…I got goose bumps on my arms when I read your story. Now I’m wondering about the physiologic reason for that. Sure would be easy if we could just get God to explain these sorts of things…how/why He made things work the way they do. You were and are one special little/big girl!

  6. Lawanda Calton says:

    It is mysterious how we can be attracted to things at very young age! When I was in about 6th grade I was strongly drawn to anything Viking! It started with a good book. …To date I have not found any ancestral connection! Still like the books and movies though! And I’m so proud of your Calton connection to the Pilgrims!

  7. Pam says:

    I love this story and can so relate! I can remember being in second grade and choosing to go to the library and read rather than play on the playground. My best friend, Terri, would choose books about horses and I was always reading “The Bobbsey Twins” or “Nancy Drew”. Sweet memories.

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