Philip, King (b. Metacomet)(?1639–76) Wampanoag leader; born at Pawkunnakut in present-day Rhode Island. Son of Massasoit, he became chief in 1661, and although he did not at first engage in open hostilities, he gradually came to resent the English colonists' increasing restrictions on the Indians' use of their own lands. In 1675 an Indian informer told the English he was planning a revolt; when the informer was killed, supposedly by three Wampanoag, the colonists executed them, and this led to immediate war by angry Wampanoags. Although this war came to be known as "King Philip's War," there is some question as to whether he actually was the initial or major leader. In any case, it soon led to a major uprising of tribes from Rhode Island all the way to the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts; 12 colonial settlements were completely destroyed, and thousands of settlers were killed, but the English gradually wore down the Indians. In the final battle in April 1676 near Mt. Hope (now Bristol, R.I.), Philip was killed (by another Indian fighting for the colonists). The colonists' victory effectively broke up the tribal structures and ended Native Americans' resistance in southern New England.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
worships “tickling Commodity”; perjures himself. [Br. Lit.: King John]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.