King Philip's War Facts

King Philip's War Facts
The idea commonly held in the United States that the Mayflower Pilgrims and the indigenous peoples of what would become New England were friendly is actually historically accurate for the most part. Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag Indians, did in fact maintain friendly relations with European colonists, but as more colonists arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 1600s, racial tension increased. Different Indian tribes saw the increasing European numbers as a threat, while at the same time the colonists thought that the Indians should turn over their guns as part of a 1671 peace treaty. When Massasoit died in 1661, his son decided to end the alliance with the colonists and began raiding isolated settlements and farms. King Philip's War, which was named for Metacom's English name, began on June 20, 1675 and raged until April 12, 1678. The colonists won the war and drove the belligerent tribes farther west, but learned that not all Indians would so readily accept European colonialism. Since it was the first major Indian war in North America it is sometimes call The First Indian War.
Interesting King Philip's War Facts:
Siding with the Wampanoags were the Nipmucks, Podunks, Narraganset, and Nashaway tribes. The Mohegan and Pequot tribes sided with the colonists.
At the time, New England was actually four colonies: Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Have. A confederation of all four colonies formed in 1643.
The European population of the colonies had grown exponentially after the arrival of the Pilgrims. There were about 80,000 colonists, primarily in Massachusetts Bay colony, when the war began.
In contrast, due primarily to diseases they had no immunity to, the Indian population in the colonies had decreased to between 10,000 and 20,000.
The war began when a band of Wampanoags attacked and destroyed the village of Swansea.
Although the Indians were more accustomed to fighting, most of the male colonists were trained in firearms and were required to serve in the colonial militia.
After the shock of the initial raids wore off, the colonists regrouped and used their numbers against the Indians.
King Philip/Metacom and his most loyal warriors were chased into Assowamset Swamp in what is today southeastern Massachusetts. He was shot and killed by a Christian Wapanoag named John Alderman on August 12, 1676.
As a reword for killing King Philip, Alderman was given his head and one of his hands. He preserved the pieces and later charged people fees to see them.
Metacom's body was quartered and hung from trees in Plymouth.
After the death of Metacom, the Indian tribes continue to raid and sack many colonial outposts. Women and children were often taken captive and ransomed, starting a uniquely genre of American literature in the process.
The Indian tribes in what is today Main were often supported by French traders and missionaries.


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