The New World Tapestry

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cene Two
    1621-23 PANEL


As depicted on the 1619 panel, scene 4, Captain Thomas Dermer brought back the Indian Squanto from England for the Virginia colonists to use as a guide and interpreter. However, this best laid plan backfired. Freedom beckoned and Squanto quickly vanished off to rejoin his own tribe the Patuset in the forests but his dream became a nightmare over the following months. Whether or not he carried a white man’s deadly virus with him can only be guessed at, but whatever the cause, some mysterious plague tragically wiped out the Patuset, leaving him the sole survivor. His story only comes to light now, two years later when, much to the amazement of the nearly starving colonists at the New Plymouth plantation, Squanto reappears amongst them, together with Samoset, another English speaking Indian. This time he stays for good to help and proves to be their saviour, for he teaches the Pilgrims how to plant their corn, where best to fish and hunt.

At the news of the development of the Plymouth plantation spreads among the native Americans, braves from different tribes begin to drift into the area and visit the site. They are peaceable enough at first but soon the frequency of and numbers involved in the visits increases and the settlers become alarmed. Precautions are taken, Governor Carver orders Captain Myles Standish and his few soldiers to build a fort on high ground. Finished, it’s called Fort Hill. The timing is perfect for Squanto and Samoset bring news of the intended visit to the plantation of Massasoit the powerful paramount leader of all the local tribes. Governor Carver desperately wants a peace treaty with him so on his arrival puts on a big flag-waving show with trumpets and honour guard, then cunningly presents him with a large pot of brandy. Massasoit swallows the firewater in one gulp, breaks out in an immediate sweat and signs the treaty. They are now allies. The treaty will last for fifty years. Carver will die within weeks from heat stroke.

In November the Fortune arrives from England with 98 more settlers but meagre winter supplies. Meanwhile back in his Portsmouth home in England (top scene) Captain John Mason is planning another settlement in Virginia. The butterflies shown either side of the house are the Female Mazarine Blue (Cyanaris semiagus) and the Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus).


CRAB APPLE  Malus sylvestris.  The juice of wild apples or crabs taketh away the heate of burnings, scaldings and all inflammations. Gerard.

RUNNER BEAN  Smilax hortensis rubra.   Boiled together before they be ripe, and buttered, and so eaten with their cods …do not ingender winde as other Pulses doe’. Gerard.

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