A conversation with Pokanoket Historian Strong Turtle at the Somerset Historical Society

(Above) Pokanoket Historian Strong Turtle (Po Menuhkesu Menenok) sits down with Somerset Historical Society Past President and Treasurer John Larsen for a conversation about what really happened between the Pokanoket Tribe and the Pilgrims in the first year following their arrival in 1620. Click here for a 56-minute video of their talk that took place and the Society headquarters on November 13, 2023. Click here for a video of Strong Turtle presenting with Richard Pickering of Plimoth Patuxet Museum.

(Above) John Larsen welcomes the audience before Strong Turtle pointed during the discussion that it was the 1621 Instrument of Commission (frequently referred to as the “Wampanoag Treaty“) that set the stage for a fifty year period of peace and mutual support between the Tribe and the Plymouth Colony and supported the survival and eventual growth of the colony.

(Above) Somerset resident Lloyd Mendes poses a question during Strong Turtle’s presentation in which he detailed many of the events of the first year that both cemented the relationship between the Massasoit Ousamequin and Separatist Leader Edward Winslow. That good will gradually eroded after both of their sons took over, leading to the outbreak of the conflict known as King Philip’s War.

(Above) Strong Turtle talks the Lloyd Mendes again after the talk while John Larsen looks at a coin honoring General George Washington and his Pokanoket Bodyguard Simeon Simons shown by Pokanoket Sagamore Winds of Thunder. (Above, right) Pokanoket Tribe members Donna and Roger (Gray Fox) Desrosiers talk with Strong Turtle’s mother, Dancing Star, following the presentation.