King Philip's War


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King Philip's War,

1675–76, the most devastating war between the colonists and the Native Americans in New England. The war is named for King Philip, the son of MassasoitMassasoit
, c.1580–1661, chief of the Wampanoag. He was also known as Ousamequin (spelled in various ways). One of the most powerful native rulers of New England, he went to Plymouth in 1621 and signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, which he faithfully, if warily, observed
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 and chief of the WampanoagWampanoag
, confederation of Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the early 17th cent.
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. His Wampanoag name was Metacom, Metacomet, or Pometacom. Upon the death (1662) of his brother, Alexander (Wamsutta), whom the Native Americans suspected the English of murdering, Philip became sachem and maintained peace with the colonists for a number of years. Hostility eventually developed over the steady succession of land sales forced on the Native Americans by their growing dependence on English goods. Suspicious of Philip, the English colonists in 1671 questioned and fined him and demanded that the Wampanoag surrender their arms, which they did. In 1675 a Christian Native American who had been acting as an informer to the English was murdered, probably at Philip's instigation. Three Wampanoags were tried for the murder and executed. Incensed by this act, the Native Americans in June, 1675, made a sudden raid on the border settlement of Swansea. Other raids followed; towns were burned and many whites—men, women, and children—were slain. Unable to draw the Native Americans into a major battle, the colonists resorted to similar methods of warfare in retaliation and antagonized other tribes. The Wampanoag were joined by the Nipmuck and by the NarragansettNarragansett
, Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). Part of the Eastern Woodlands culture (see under Natives, North American), in the early 17th cent.
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 (after the latter were attacked by the colonists), and soon all the New England colonies were involved in the war. Philip's cause began to decline after he made a long journey west in an unsuccessful attempt to secure aid from the Mohawk. In 1676 the Narragansett were completely defeated and their chief, Canonchet, was killed in April of that year; the Wampanoag and Nipmuck were gradually subdued. Philip's wife and son were captured, and he was killed (Aug., 1676) by a Native American in the service of Capt. Benjamin Church after his hiding place at Mt. Hope (Bristol, R.I.) was betrayed. His body was drawn and quartered and his head exposed on a pole in Plymouth. The war, which was extremely costly to the colonists in people and money, resulted in the virtual extermination of tribal Native American life in S New England and the disappearance of the fur trade. The New England Confederation then had the way completely clear for white settlement.

Bibliography

See G. M. Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip's War (1891, 3d ed. 1906, repr. 1967); G. W. Ellis and J. E. Morris, King Philip's War (1906); J. T. Adams, The Founding of New England (1921, repr. 1963); D. E. Leach, Flintlock and Tomahawk (1958, repr. 1966); R. Bourne, The Red King's Rebellion (1990); J. Lepore, The Name of War (1998); D. R. Mandell, King Philip's War (2010).

References in classic literature ?
From that period down to the time of King Philip's War, which will be mentioned hereafter, there was not much trouble with the Indians.
Here, also, were the veterans of King Philip's war, who had burned villages and slaughtered young and old, with pious fierceness, while the godly souls throughout the land were helping them with prayer.
I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's war.
KING PHILIP'S WAR (1675-76), KING WILLIAM'S WAR (1689-97), QUEEN ANNE'S WAR (1701-14), KING GEORGE'S WAR (1744-48), ROGERS' RANGERS, PONTIACS WAR/CONSPIRACY (1763-5), KING'S MOUNTAIN, SHAY'S REBELLION, JAY'S TREATY, HARPER'S FERRY, PICKETT'S CHARGE, CUSTER'S LAST STAND, CHIEF JOSEPH'S WAR
King Philip's War [1675-16761 was fought not on battlefields but on the pathways through Nipmuck country that the English had only recently begun to traverse.
Settlers insisted that Indians' dreams were demonic in origin--an early emphasis that later intensified during King Philip's War.
By 1675, area tribes, led by Metacomet, known as King Philip, rebelled, and King Philip's War broke out.
Warren chronicles the King Philip's War from the perspective of the colony least affected by its violence: Connecticut.
Shortly before the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675, a group of sachems approached English officials in Plimouth, desiring an alliance.
Another probes the daunting problems involved with reconstructing shattered pieces of native life after King Philip's war.
explores King Philip's War, between Europeans and Native Americans from 1675-1676, and describes how colonial expansion and encroachments on Wampanoag Indian sovereignty caused the war and how the leader Metacom (Philip) sought to enlist the aid of other tribes against the colonists in Plymouth.
But the fact of the matter is there was King Philip's War [a bloody conflict between settlers and Indians 55 years after that first Thanksgiving]--and that undercuts that lesson.