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Massasoit(măs'əsoi`ĭt, măs`əsoit'), 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 observed until his death. He befriended Roger Williams and was a friend of Edward Winslow. In 1632 he fought his enemy, Canonicus, ruler of the Narragansett. Massasoit's son, Metacomet, became famous as King Philip (see King Philip's WarKing 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 Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoag. His Wampanoag name was Metacom, Metacomet, or Pometacom.
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See biography by A. G. Weeks (1919).
died 1661, Wampanoag Indian chief, who negotiated peace with the Pilgrim Fathers (1621)