The Pilgrims were aided on their arrival to the new world by the Wampanoag Confederacy, specifically a Native American by the name of Tisquantum, or Squanto. He was a Native American who could speak English and had recently escaped from captivity in England.
The first winter the Pilgrims experienced was brutal. Nearly half of the settlers died from starvation and inadequate shelters that could not keep out the cold. On March 22, 1621, the Abenaki sagamore Samoset, introduced Squanto to the Pilgrims. Squanto subsequently taught them how to fish and how to grow corn. He also taught them where and how to hunt beaver. The Pilgrims shared their harvest with the Native Americans, which became the basis for the American Thanksgiving holiday tradition.