1675-1676King Phillip’s War (1675-1676)People and Communities, Government and Public Service, Military, Indigenous People's History

King Philip’s War started between Plymouth Colony and the Indigenous people living on land in Rhode Island that the Plymouth settlers wanted. Conflict soon spread throughout southern New England between the Wampanoag and their allies and the English and their Indigenous allies. Metacom (Pometacomet), sometimes called Philip or King Philip, was Massasoit’s second son. He led the Wampanoag after his father’s death and the execution by the English of his older brother Wamsutta. During the war, many Pawtucket in Agawam crossed the Merrimack River into northern New England to avoid conflict and honor their neutrality. Others served as scouts, interpreters, and spies for the English. Many factors contributed to this war, which was the deadliest in colonial history. The war in southern New England ended when Metacom was killed by a “praying Indian” in Rhode Island on August 12, 1676. Afterward, all “Indians” came to be viewed as enemies and Indigenous people were enslaved, confined to reservations, or executed. Displaced families scattered to the villages of relatives, making neutrality impossible. Men, women, and children were separated and assigned to towns or shipped to Charleston for transport to slave plantations in Jamaica, Barbados, and Bermuda.

Lincoln, Charles P. Narratives of the Indian Wars, 1675-1699. C. Scribner’s Sons, 1913, https://catalog.hathitrust.org/api/volumes/oclc/669424.html. Lepionka, Mary Ellen. “Politics of the Archives Redux: Indigenous History of Indigenous Peoples of Essex County, Massachusetts.” Historic Ipswich (blog), December 17, 2021. https://historicipswich.org/2021/12/17/politics-of-the-archives-redux-indigenous-history-of-indigenous-peoples-of-essex-county-massachusetts/.
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