King Philip's War

     20 June 1675 - 12 April 1678

    Philip, son of the sachem, Massasoit, was named chief of the Wampanoag tribe upon the death of his brother, Alexander in 1662. The Wampanoag tribe, along with the Mohegan, Podunk, Narragansett and Nipmuck, were being pushed out of their homelands by the expansion of Euro-American settlements. Tensions naturally were developing between the five tribes and the Euro-Americans.

    In the spring of 1671, the authorities of the Plymouth Plantation requested of Philip that he surrender his arms to them so as to ensure peace. On 10 April, Philip delivered some, but not all, of the weapons his tribe possessed. He was accused, by an inhabitant of the Plymouth Plantation, that he was forming a conspiracy against the settlement, and thereafter the accuser was found murdered. Three Indians were captured, blamed for the murder and condemned to be executed on 08 June 1675.

    Philip launched an attack on the village of Swansea that took place over the 20th to the 25th of June 1675. In retaliation, forces from Plymouth Plantation and Boston attacked the Wampanoag village of Mt. Hope on the Taunton River on the 28th of June. Philip's army of Wampanoag warriors was joined by those of the Nipmuck tribe. They made incursions all along the southern frontier, attacking Mendon on 14 July, Brookfield on 02 to 04 August, Lancaster on 19 August, Deerfield and Hadley on 01 September, and Northfield on the 2nd of September.

    On 09 September 1675, the New England Confederacy declared war on the Indians. In response, the Indians attacked and scored a victory at the battle of Bloody Brook, near the village of Hadley, on 18 September. They also raided the towns of Springfield on 05 October and Hatfield on 16 October.

    Between 02 November 1675 and January 1676 a force of New England settlers under Josiah Winslow, of the Plymouth Plantation, undertook the Narragansett Campaign. The settlers attacked the Narragansett stronghold located at present-day South Kingston, Rhode Island. Roughly three hundred women, children and old men were killed in the campaign, but the most of the Indian warriors had escaped. The settlers destroyed food supplies of the Indians, and by the middle of the winter, the Indians were forced to retaliate. On 10 February 1676 the Narragansett warriors, along with those of the Nipmuck tribe, attacked the town of Lancaster. They took many of the inhabitants captive.

    Strikes were made by the Indians against the towns of Andover, Bridgewater, Chelmsford, Groton, Marlboro, Medford, Providence, Rehoboth, Scituate, Seekonk, Sudbury, Warwick, Weymouth and Wrentham. The Indians also attacked Plymouth Plantation on 12 March 1676.

    Near the town of Deerfield in the Connecticut Valley, in May 1676, a force of one hundred and eighty men under a Captain Turner attacked and equally large force of Indians. Although initially successful, the Euro-Americans were ambushed and slaughtered. But the Indian offensive was nearing an end. Major Talcot led a force of two hundred and fifty Euro-Americans allied with two hundred Mohegans against the Indians from the Connecticut Valley. On 12 June, the colonists defeated an Indian force near the town of Hadley and chased the survivors into the New Hampshire hills. They followed that victory with one over a force of two hundred and fifty Indians near the town of Marlboro.

    The defeats suffered by Philip's followers was devastating. Many of them started to surrender their arms to the Euro-American settlers. Between 16 June and 06 July, approximately four hundred and ten Indians surrendered. King Philip, though, would not give up. He fled into the Assowamset Swamp with his family, and it was there that he was shot on 12 August 1676. His wife and nine year old son were captured and sent to the West Indies to be sold into slavery.

    Sporadic fighting between the Indians and the Euro-Americans continued until 12 April 1678 when a treaty of peace was negotiated by Sir Edmund Andros.