King Philip's War

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In 1620 when the English first settled in New England, relations between the Amerindians and the colonists were friendly.

Massasoit, sachem of the Wampanoag tribe, brought food to sustain the newcomers through their first winter and helped them adjust to life in this strange, new world. As more and more colonists flooded into New England, strains in the relationship began to appear. The English were convinced that the various tribes should be under colonial control. Unless the Amerindians were willing to surrender their independence, conflict was inevitable. Finally, in 1675, the battle was joined. Massasoit's son, Metacomet, called Philip by the English, led his tribe into a final struggle.

In 1676, the battle was over. Philip was slain, his body drawn and quartered, and his head paraded in triumph in Plymouth. Philip's son, Massasoit's grandson, was sold into slavery in Bermuda. The generosity of Massasoit in 1620 indirectly resulted in the enslavement of his grandson 56 years later.


The individual INCIDENTS featured here are isolated events that occurred during one year in the Connecticut River Valley. The war that is known as King Philip's War ranged from the Mt. Hope peninsula in Rhode Island to the outermost colonial settlement of Northfield, Massachusetts.

General References:

Cronon, William. 1983. Changes in the Land. Hill and Wang, New York.

Leach, Douglas Edward. 1958. Flintlock and Tomahawk. Parnassus Imprints, East Orleans, MA.

Bacon, Edwin M. 1907. The Connecticut River. G.P. Putnams's Sons, New York and London.

Parsons, Herbert Collins. 1937. A Puritan Outpost. MacMillan Co., New York.

Temple, J.H. and G. Sheldon. 1875. History of the Town of Northfield, Massachusetts, 150 Years. Joel Munsell, Albany, New York.

Lincoln, Charles H. 1913. Narratives of the Indian Wars. Barnes & Noble, Inc., New York, reprinted 1966.

Johnston, D. H. L. 1909. Famous Indian Chiefs. Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, New York, reprinted 1971.

Ellis, G.W. and J.E. Morris. 1906. King Philip's War. The Grafton Press Publishers, New York.