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King Philip

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Collier's Encyclopedia, 1991, Vol. 14

King Philip's War, a war between a coalition of the Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Nipmuck Indians against the New England colonies, lasting from July 1675 to August 1676. The war was named after King Philip or Metacomet, the youngest son of Massasoit, who became Sachem of the Wampanoags in 1662, and who for many years maintained inviolate the treaty of friendship with the colonists signed by his father.

The rapid spread of white settlements, and the encroachment of the colonists on Indian fishing and hunting grounds, led, however, to Philip's decision to war against them. The Indian attach which opened King Philip's War was that made on the Quaker settlement at Swansea, in Rhode Island, on July 4, 1675, and soon all central and southeastern New England had taken up arms. In alliance with the Narragansett and Nipmuck tribes, Philip attacked Deerfield, Northfield, Springfield, and Hatfield, Massachusetts and other towns, murdering women and children, burning houses, and destroying crops. About 600 colonists were killed in battle or murdered twelve towns were entirely destroyed, and much of the countryside was laid waste. The Indians suffered even more heavily, losing over 1,000 warriors in a single battle, the Swamp Fight of December 1675, while famine and quarrels among themselves at length also seriously weakened them. Philip's allies, blaming their losses on his ambition, deserted him and surrendered, while he himself was killed at his Indian stronghold, Mount Hope, Rhode Island, on Aug. 12, 1676. King Philip's War was thus brought to an end, but it took many years before New England recovered from the devastation and ruin, the economic and industrial setback, occasioned by it.

Caleb W. Davis

Note: Collier's V.15, p 525, 2nd C. 1st paragraph. [King Philip's] followers were sold into slavery.

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