Brief History of King Philip's War by George M. Bodge
(George Madison) 1841 to 1914
Printed at Boston, 1891


Part 1
Introduction.


The sole object of this series of papers was, at the beginning, the
preservation in convenient form of the names of those soldiers who served in the
Indian War of 1675-1677, known as "King Philip's War"'; so called from the name of
the recognized leader of that war, whose Indian name was Metacom or Pometacom, or
Metacomet; but whom the English called Philip. He was the second son of Massasoit, who
at the settlement of the English at Plymouth and Boston seems to have been
chief sachem of all the various tribes and fragments of tribes living between the
Charles River and Narragansett Bay, and including that part of Rhode Island east of the
Bay, and also the Cape Cod tribes. The rule of Massasoit was probably rather
indefinite both as to limits of territory and extent of authority over the subordinate
chiefs. While Massasoit seems to have been the acknowledged head of the tribes within the
limits above named, the league between the chiefs of the tribes was evidently very
loose, and held mostly for convenience in defence, and perhaps for the settlement of
difficulties between individual tribes. The territory of this Sachem was bounded upon
the west by the Nipmucks and the Narragansets. But a very great porportion of this had
been sold by the Sachems before the opening of the war. Massasoit had several children,
three of whom are known to us by the names: Wamsutta and Metacom, who came to
Plymouth about 1656 and in their own request received English names from the Governor, who "christened" them, "Alexander" and "Philip." A sister of these was the wife of Tuspaquin,
chief of the Namaskets; she was called by the English "Amie." Mention is made of
another son and also a daughter, but I have not proper authority for their names.  Alexander
married a Sachem's daughter, or widow, of the Pocasset tribe, and after his death, soon
following Massasoit's, 1661 or 1662, she returned to her people and ruled there with influence and ability until the war; when her second husband, Petananuet, Petonowowett, or "Peter Nunnuit" (as he is sometimes called), took sides with the English, she, possibly
reluctantly, joined the fortunes of Philip, who had married her sister Wootonekanuske, and had great influence with her.

Massassoit had always maintained a cordial and firm friendship with the
English; and it would seem that Alexander also was somewhat of his father's nature and
disposition. The moment, however which saw Philip raised to the place of power, gave
signal of a far different course of conduct on the part of the Wampanoag Sachem. The
limits of his father's olden territory had been greatly reduced before he came to
power. The English had purchased and otherwise absorbed a large proportion of their lands.
Philip kept on selling and surrendering, till at last, as early as 1670-1, he began to
feel the pressure of civilization upon their hunting and fishing grounds as well as
cornfields. The Court at Plymouth itself had interfered and forbidden the transfer of
certain parts of the Wampanoag territories, and thus doubtless saved the Indians in
various tribes a home. Pokanoket, the hereditary home, was thus saved to Philip's
people; and here he lived at the time of the opening of the war. This place was called by
the English "Mount Hope," and it is now embraced in the town of Bristol, Rhode
Island.

But now having given some account of the principal character in the
war, we may state briefly the method of collecting the material in these papers, and the
purpose of this present chapter.

The method adopted in arranging the soldier's names needs explanation.
The material which served as the basis of the work, and indeed first suggested the
undertaking, was found in three manuscript volumes, containing the accounts of John Hull, who was the Treasurer of the Colony at the time of the war. These volumes are devoted to the accounts pertaining to the war, and consist of a Journal and two Ledgers. The Journal was opened June 24, 1675, and originally contained over five hundred pages, as the Ledger
shows, but now has only four hundred and sixty-one complete.

There was evidently a later Journal and also a Ledger, now missing,
which belonged to the set. The third book is later, and contains the closing accounts of
the war. These old books were preserved in private hands for a century and a half,
until discovered by one who appreciated their value for genealogy and history, and
secured them for those purposes. In searching these books for the name of one who served
in the Indian war, the present writer discovered the importance of the accounts in
the matter of the Indian War of 1675. Every soldier who served in that war is credited
with military service, and the name of the officer under whom he served is given in the
credit. The date at which payment is made is given in the "Cash" account, but the time
and place of service is not designated; nor is the residence nor any further
information about the soldier given. Some of the soldiers served at different times and under
different officers.  The best method therefore of arranging the men in companies was found
to be that of following the names of the officers as they occur in the credits. The
names were thus gathered from the Journal and placed in companies with their officers.
Then the fortunes of each company were followed as carefully as possible throughout the
several campaigns of the war. But it was found that a great amount of unpublished
material is still preserved in our State Archives, County and Town Records and elsewhere;
and this, in the light of the great number of names identified in these credits as
soldiers, becomes available and interesting as history.

Additional material has been gathered and incorporated here from all
sources, whenever it would add to the sum of knowledge concerning the war. The officers
and soldiers, many of them, served in several, some in all the different campaigns; and
thus in following their fortunes, it was necessary to go over the same events many times,
so as to marshal the various companies in order in the military operations.

It will be seen that by this method of arrangement, a great amount of
important material has been massed together conveniently for the study of history, while
the story of the war has not been followed by consecutive events, but according to the
experience of individual officers and companies.  It is proposed in this introductory
chapter to give a brief account of the war, following the events in order as nearly as
possible. It will not be necessary to discuss the causes leading up to the war. It is
enough to say here, that the English had assumed the government of the country, and
followed their course of settlement with small regard to the rights of the natives.

In some of the plantations, the settlers purchased their lands of the
Indians, as a matter of precaution; partly that they might have that show of title in
case any other claim should be set up in opposition to theirs, and partly to
conciliate the savages, whose hostility they feared, and whose friendship was profitable in the way of trade, in furs and other products of the hunt. The Indians were always at
disadvantages with the English, in all the arts of civilized life. The English paid no
heed to Indian laws or customs or traditions; and ruthlessly imposed their own laws,
customs and religious ideas, with no apparent thought of their intolerance and injustice.
They made treaties with the savages in the same terms which they would have used had they been dealing with a civilized nation. They made out deeds, in language which only the
learned framers themselves could understand. In brief, the Pilgrims and Puritans mostly
looked upon the Indians as heathen, whose "inheritance" God meant to give to his
people, asof old he dealt with Israel and their heathen. There were some, however, who,
with Reverend John Eliot, believed that the Indians had immortal souls, and that they were
given to God's people to educate and save. But there was nothing which the rulers of
the Indians resented more persistently, nor complained of more frequently, than the
attempts of the Christians to convert their people. Indirectly one of these converted
Indians was the immediate cause of the opening of hostilities. There were many
grievances of which the Indians complained; but they had not the foresight to see the
inevitable result of the constantly increasing power of the English, in their acquisition of
land, and multiplying of settlements. It was only when they felt the pressure of actual
privation or persecution, that they began to think of opposition or revenge. Their
chiefs had been summoned frequently before the English courts to answer for some breach of
law by their subjects; several times the English had demanded that whole tribes should give up their arms because of the fault of one or a few. The Indians lived mostly by hunting and
fishing, and at the time of the war used fire-arms almost wholly. They had learned their
use and bought the arms of the English, nearly always at exorbitant prices. They were
expert in the use of their guns, and held them as the most precious of their possessions.

The order to give these over to the English, with their stock of ammunition, was regarded
by them as robbery, as indeed in most cases it was, as they seldom regained their arms
when once given up. We can now see that from their standpoint there were given grievances
enough to drive them to rebellion. But our forefathers seem to have been unable to see
any but their own side. But now to the story.

John Sassamon (Mr. Hubbard says Sausaman) was the son of a Wampanoag
Indian who with his wife and family lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts. They had been
taught by Rev. Mr. Eliot and professed the Christian faith. The son, John, was the pupil of Mr. Eliot from his early youth, and was made a teacher among the Christian Indians at Natick, Massachusetts. Mr. Hubbard says that "upon some misdemeanor" there, he went to the Wampanoags, where he became the secretary and interpreter of the chief, to whom he was a most valuable assistant and trusted adviser. He was soon prevailed upon by Mr. Eliot to return to Natick, where he became a preacher, while still preserving friendly relations with
Philip and his tribe. In 1672-3 he was at Nanasket as preacher among the Indians, whose chief was Tuspaquin, whose daughter Sassamon had married. While here he discovered that a plot was in progress, extending among many tribes, to exterminate or drive away the English settlers from the country.

This plot Sassamon disclosed to the authorities at Plymouth, and afterwards the story was told to the Massachusetts authorities; and Philip was summoned to answer to the charge.
At the examination, where nothing positive could be proved against Philip, he found by
the evidence that Sassamon had betrayed him, and he immediately condemned him to death in his council. The sentence was carried out January 29, 1674-5, while Sassamon was fishing
through the ice upon Assawomset Pond. His executioners were brought to punishment and it
was discovered that the deed was done by Philip's order. The trial was in March, 1675,
and the principal actor, Tobias, and his accomplice, Mattashunannamoo, were executed as
murderers, June 8, 1675; while Tobias's son, who was present but took no part in the crime,
was reprieved for one month and then shot.  After the executions of the two in June, Philip
threw off all disguise as to his plan, and pushed his preparations as diligently as possi-
ble. The plan had been to complete preparations and include all the tribes in New England,
sot that a simultaneous assault could be made upon all the settlements
at once. This plan was spoiled, and probably the settlements saved from destruction, by
the impatience of the leader's vengeance. While Philip's preparations went forward, the
authorities thought best not to make any immediate military demonstations further than the
placing of a guard by the various settlements to prevent a surprise. They thought Philip would soon tire of holding his men in arms and training, so that they could get him in their
power. But his company increased and the younger warriors began to demand some open act of hostility.

At last they began not only to insult the English settlers in the nearest settlements, by
their words of insolence and threats, but to shoot their cattle and pluner their homes.
The Indians increased greatly in numbers, from the neighboring tribes, many "strange
Indians" appearing among them, and most of their women and children being sent away to
the Narragansett country. At Swansey they appeared in considerable numbers, and used all
their ways of provocation to induce some act of resistence from the settlers; and at
last, on June 24th, one man was so enraged at the shooting of his cattle and the attempt
to rifle his house, that he shot at an Indian, wounding him. Upon this the Indians began
open and indiscriminate hostility, and on that day eight or nine of the English at Swansy
were killed and others wounded. Two men were sent for a surgeon, but were waylaid and slain, and their bodies left upon the road. Messengers sent from the English authorities to treat with Philip and prevent an outbreak, came upon the bodies of the men slain in the highway, and speedily turned back. The colonies awoke to the fact that an Indian war was upon them, but supposed that a few companies sent down to Swansy would at once
overawe the savages and reduce them to submission. A speedy muster was made, both at
Plymouth and Boston, and on the afternoon of June 26th, five companies were mustering or on the march from the two colonies. The details of the account of the war will be found in the body of the preceding chapters. Here only a brief outline of current events can be given. The first company of infantry from Boston was made up from the regular military companies of the town.

A company of cavalry, or "troopers," was gathered from the regular organization in three
counties. A third company, of "volunteers," was raised about the town and vicinity, from
all sorts of adventurers, sea-faring men and strangers, with a number of prisoners who had
been convicted of piracy and condemned to death, but were now released to engage in fighting the Indians.

Capt. Daniel Henchman commanded the first company. Capt Thomas Prentice the troopers and Capt. Samuel Mosely, the "volunteers."  These three companies marched out of Boston on the 26th and 27th and arrived at Swansy on the 28th, having formed a junction with the Plymouth forces under Major James Cudworth and Captain Fuller.  The forces quartered about the house of Rev. John Miles, the minister at Swansy, whose place was nearest the
bridge leading over the river into Philip's dominions. Some of the troopers that evening
rode across the bridge and had a slight skirmish with the enemy. On the 29th Major Thomas
Savage arrived with another company of foot with Captain Nicholas Paige's troop.  Major
Savage took command of the Massachusetts forces; while, according to the custom in the United Colonies, the senior officer of the colony in which the forces were engaged at the time became commander-in-chief. The present seat of war being in Plymouth colony, Major Cudworth was thus the commander of the whole army.

On June 30th the troopers, supported by Mosely's company, charged across the bridge for
a mile into the woods, driving the enemy before them into the swamps, with a loss of five
or six, Ensign Perez Savage being severely wounded on the English side.  This charge so
frightened the Indians that they fled, in the night, out of their peninsula of Mount Hope,
across the channel to Pocasset, now Tiverton, Rhode Island, so that on the next day when
the whole force marched over into Mount Hope, and marched back and forth sweeping the
country with their lines, they found no enemy.  The forces were engaged several days in
scouting the neighboring country in search of the Indians, not yet knowing that the main
body were in Pocasset.

Then orders came from Boston for Major Savage's forces to march into Narragansett, to en-
force a treaty with that powerful tribe, and prevent their junction with Philip. They found
the country apparently deserted, few except the very aged being left in any of the villages.
Neither Canonchet nor any of his leading Sachems could be found. The officers, however,
spent several days completing a very ceremonious treaty with some of the old men whom they were able to bring together. Canonchet afterwards treated the whole matter with scorn as being a farce.

In the meantime the Plymouth forces passed over to Pocasset and found a body of Indians,
and had a skirmish with them. Captain Fuller was in command and Benjamin Church conducted a part of the force, which became engaged with a much larger force, and
after hard fighting were drawn off with difficulty by the tact and courage of Mr. Church,
after inflicting serious injury upon the enemy, and suffering little loss themselves.
After this the Indians retired into the swamps about Pocasset, and were held at bay until the
return of the Massachusetts forces; when all marched together for concerted action against
their enemies.



                           

KING PHILLIPS WAR - Part II



Brief History of King Philip's War by George M. Bodge
(George Madison) 1841 to 1914
Printed Privately at Boston, 1891




Part 2
p.3 to p. 4



The best method therefore of arranging the men in companies was
found to be that of following the names of the officers as they
occur in the credits.  The names were thus gathered from the
Journal and placed in companies with their officers.  Then the
fortunes of each company were followed as carefully as possible
throughout the several campaigns of the war. But it was found that
a great amount of unpublished material is still preserved in our State
Archives - County and Town Records, and elsewhere; and this,
in the light of the great number of names identified in these credits
as soldiers, becomes available and interesting as history.  Additional
material has been gathered and incorporated here from all sources,
whenever it would add to the sum of knowledge concerning the war.

The Officers and soldiers, many of the, served in several some
in all the different campaigns; and thus in following their fortunes,
it was necessary to go over the same events many times, so as to
marshal
the various companies in order in the military operations.

It will be seen that by this method of arrangement, a
great amount of important material has been massed to-
gether conveniently for the study of history, while the
story of the war has not been followed by consecutive
events, but acording to the experience of individual
officers and companies.  It is proposed in this intro-
ductory chapter to give a brief account of the war,
following events in order as nearly as possible. It will
not be necessary to discuss the causes leading up to the
war.  It is enough to say here, that the English had
assumed the government of the country, and followed
their course of settlement with small regard to the
rights of the natives.  In some of the plantations, the
settlers purchased their lands of the Indians, as a
matter of precaution; partly that they might have that
show of title in case any other claim should be set up
in opposition to theirs, and partly to conciliate the
savages, whose hostility they feared, and whose friend-
ship was profitable in the way of trade, in furs and
other products of the hunt.  The Indians were always
at disadvantage with the English, in all the arts of
civilized life.  The English paid no heed to Indian laws
customs and religious ideas, with no apparent thought
of their intolerance and injustice.  They made treaties
with the savages in the same terms which they would have
used had they been dealing with a civilized nation. They
made out deeds, in language which only the learned
framers themselves could understand.  In brief, the
Pilgrims and Puritans mostly looked upon the Indians as
heathen, whose "inheritance" God meant to give to his
people, as of old he had dealt with Israel and their
heathen.  There were some, however, who, with Rev. John
Eliot, believed that the Indians had immortal souls, and
that they were given to God's people to educate and save.

But there was nothing which the rulers of the Indians
resented more persistently, nor complained of more
frequently, than the attempts of the Christians to con-
vert their people.

p.4

Indirectly one of these converted Indians was the
immediate cause of the opening of hostilities. There
were many grievances of which the Indians complained;
but they had not the foresight to see the inevitable re-
sult of the constantly increasing power of the English,
in their acquisition of land, and multiplying of settle-
ments.  It was only when they felt the pressure of
actual privation or persecution that they began to think
of opposition or revenge.  Their chiefs had been summon-
ed frequently before the English courts to answer for
some breach of law by their subjects; several times
the English had demanded that whole tribes should give
up their arms because of the fault of one or a few.
The Indians lived mostly by hunting and fishing, and at
the time of the war used fire-arms almost wholly. They
had learned their use and bought the arms of the English
nearly always at exhorbitant prices.  They were expert
in the use of their guns, and held them as the most
precious of their possessions.  The order to give these
over to the English, with their stock of ammunitiion, was
regarded by them as robbery, as indeed in most cases it
was, as they seldom regained their arms when once given
up.  We can now see that from their standpoint there
were grievances enough to drive them to rebellion. But
our forefathers seem to have been unable to see any but
their own side.  But now to the story.

John Sassamon (Mr. Hubbard says Sausaman) was the son of
a Wampanoag Indian who with his wife and family lived in
Dorchester.  They had been taught by Mr. Eliot and pro-
fessed the Christian faith.  The son John was the pupil
of Mr. Eliot from his early youth and was made a teacher
among the Christian Indians at Natick.  Mr. Hubbard
says that "upon some misdemeanor" there, he went to the
Wampanoags where he became the secretary and interpreter
of the chief, to whom he was a most valuable assistant
and trusted adviser.  He was soon prevailed upon by Mr.
Eliot to return to Natick, where he became a preacher,
while still preserving friendly relations with Philip
and his tribe.  In 1672/3 he was at Namasket as preacher
among the Indians, whose chief was Tuspaquin, whose
daughter Sassamon had married.  While here he discovered
that a plot was in process, extending among many tribes
to exterminate or drive away the English settlers from
the country.  This plot Sassamon disclosed to the
authorities at Plymouth and afterwards the story was told
to the Massachusetts authorities; and Philip was summon-
ed to answer to the charge.

At the examination, where nothing positive could be
proved against Philip, he found by the evidence that
Sassamon had betrayed him, and he immediately condemned
him to death in his council.  The sentence was carried
out January 29, 1674/5 while Sassamon was fishing
through the ice upon Assawomeet Pond.  His executioners
were brought to punishment and it was discovered that
the deed was done by Philip's order.
 
To be continued...  Parts 3 - 9

Transcribed & submitted by Janice Farnsworth    

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