How Did the Pilgrims Become Friends With the Wampanoag?

According to, the pilgrims became friends with the Wampanoag after deciding to create a mutually beneficial treaty. Their friendship began a few months after the pilgrims landed in the New World. They came in contact with the Wampanoag during the harsh winter months that had taken a toll on them, reducing their numbers.

After their first encounter, the chief of the Wampanoag, Massasoit, came to visit Plymouth. According to, he met with the leaders of Plymouth and exchanged gifts. Then they all signed a peace treaty that would last for more than 50 years. This treaty set up trade as well as mutual protection between the two groups. Both sides agreed not to bring weapons to trade meetings. If any of the pilgrims harmed the Wampanoag, they would be sent to them for punishment, explains The reverse was also true, if any Wampanoag harmed a pilgrim, they would be sent to the pilgrims for punishment. The pilgrims also agreed to come to the aid of the Wampanoag if they were attacked by other Native American groups. At one point during their friendship, pilgrim leader and ambassador Edward Winslow even went to visit a very sick Massasoit and nursed him back to health.