“a proper lustie man, and a man of accounte for his vallour & parts amongst ye Indeans” (Bradford)
Hobbamock (referred to in a variety of spelling derivations) was a Native American who served as a guide, interpreter, and aide to the Pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Like Tisquantom (Squanto), Hobbamock was essential to the survival and diplomatic success of the English in New England.
Hobbamock actually played a much larger role in relations with the English than Squanto, although Squanto tends to get most of the attention in history books.
Hobbamock was a pneise (a warrior of great courage and wisdom) who served as the sachem’s counselor, collected the annual tribute from subject tribes, and advised him on decisions about going to war. The pniese among the Wampanoag equate to the European concept of a noble knight. Winslow describes this class of warrior:
In 1621 a peace treaty was negotiated between John Carver, first governor of Plymouth Colony and Wampanoag sachem Ousamequin of Pokanoket, better known as Massasoit. The chief sent his trusted councilor, Hobbamock, who could speak some English, to move his large family to just outside Plymouth’s palisade.
Hobbamock was part of the Wampanoag tribe, which, in the Algonquian language, means “People of the Dawn.” Other Indians feared Hobbamock so much that when they saw him in a battle, they would immediately leave
Hobbamock was specifically asked by Massasoit (the leader of the Wampanoag) to help the Pilgrims. Hobbamock became the chief interpreter because Massasoit mistrusted Squanto.
Hobbamock converted to Christianity. He once exclaimed, “Now I see that the Englishman’s God is a good God, for he has heard you, and sent you rain, and that without storms and tempests, which we usually have with our rain, which breaks down our corn; but yours stands whole and good still; surely your God is a good God.” (Henry White in The Early History of New England)
Native Americans were an important part of the success of the Plymouth Colony, for it was Samoset who first paid the Pilgrims a friendly visit in the year of 1621. Massasoit, a great chief, was also a friend of the Colonists and signed a treaty with them which lasted for many years.
Hobbamock and Squanto were Indians who acted as guides for the Pilgrims and helped them in their hunting and planting. (Al Vermeer, Hoosier State Chronicles)
They not only served as interpreters and intermediaries with the other Indians, but taught the colonists how to plant and manure the native corn and where to catch fish, acted as guides about the country, and made themselves generally invaluable.
These services were not regarded wholly with favor by some of the Indians who were opposed to the whites, and the settlers had to teach the sachem (chief) Corbitant a sharp lesson, to make them leave their two Indian friends alone. (Adams, The Founding of New England, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1921)
Captain Standish led his triumphant little band back, accompanied by Squanto, and many other friendly Indians. The heroic achievement taught the friendly Indians that they could rely upon the protection of the white men, and was a loud warning to those who were disposed to be hostile. The enterprise occupied but two days.
As the result of this adventure, many Sachems sent in the expression of their desire to enter into a friendly alliance with the Pilgrims. Corbitant himself was frightened by such an exhibition of energy, and by his own narrow escape. He sought reconciliation through the intercession of Massasoit, and subsequently signed a treaty of submission and friendship. (Abbott)
Rose, the first wife of Myles Standish, died at Plymouth, January 29, 1621, about a month after the landing. She was among the first to succumb to the privations of that terrible first winter. He married a second wife (Barbara), who survived him.
After his second marriage, Standish moved to his house on Captain’s Hill in Duxbury, and here he drew around him a devoted class of friends, among whom were the elder Brewster, George Partridge, John Alden, Mr. Howland, Francis Eaton, Peter Brown, George Soule, Nicholas Byrom, Moses Simmons, and other settlers of Duxbury.
The Indians also loved as well as feared him, and the faithful Hobbamock ever kept near to minister to his wants and was the faithful guide in his travels.
This devoted Indian died in 1642, having faithfully served with Standish for twenty years. He is supposedly buried on the south side of Captain’s Hill, near the great rock called ‘The Captain’s chair.’ Tradition fixes his wigwam between two shell mounds on the shore near the Standish place, till taken home to the house of Standish, where he became a resident until his death. (Abbott)
Click the following link to a general summary about Hobbamock: