Who Was Metacom?

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Metacom, also known as Metacomet, Pometacom and King Philip, was a tribal leader of the Pokanoket tribe and the Wampanoag nation.

Metacom is most known for leading the Wampanoag and their allies in the fight against the English during King Philip’s War.

Where Did Metacom Live?

Metacom’s home village was at Mount Hope at Pokanoket in Rhode Island (near present-day Bristol.)

Philip King Of Mount Hope engraving by Paul Revere, Jr, circa 1772

Philip King Of Mount Hope engraving by Paul Revere, Jr, circa 1772

Metacom was the second son of Massassoit, who was the tribal leader that formed an alliance with the Mayflower pilgrims in nearby Plymouth Colony in 1621 and helped them through their first year in the New World.

Born sometime around 1638, Metacom had two brothers, an older brother named Wamsutta and younger brother named either Suconewhew or Takamunna, as well as two younger sisters, Amie and another sister whose name is unknown.

After Metacom came of age, he married Wootonekanuske, daughter of the Pocasset sachem Corbitant, and his brother, Wamsutta, married Corbitant’s other daughter Weetamoe.

It is believed that Metacom and Wootonekanuske had at least four children together, one son, two daughters and another child whose gender is unknown.

Why Was Metacom Called King Philip?

When Massassoit died sometime around 1660 or 1661, at approximately 81 years of age, his oldest son, Wamsutta succeeded him.

In the spring or summer of 1660, in recognition of becoming chief sachem, Wamsutta decided to change his name and asked the Plymouth leaders for an English name. As a result, they renamed him Alexander Pokanokett.

Alexander also asked the English to give his brother, Metacom, a name as well, for which they chose Philip. Although previous historians thought the English were mocking the natives with their new names, according to Philip Ranlet in his contributing chapter, titled Another Look at the Causes of King Philip’s War, of the book New England Encounters, these names were actually considered regal and honorable:

“Despite Francis Jenning’s assertion, the English were not trying to mock Metacom by naming him Philip. On the contrary, both the Indians and Plymouth’s leaders were apparently pleased with each other. Having an English name was popular among the Indians at this time. As for the colonists, they were undoubtedly honored by Alexander’s grand gesture, for they selected regal names for the two sachems who were so important to the well-being of the colony.”

In 1662, the Plymouth colonists began to suspect that the natives were planning an attack on the colony and promptly arrested Alexander. He was brought to Plymouth to stand trial in order to prove his loyalty to the crown.

While under arrest, Alexander pledged his loyalty to the English and was then released but had contracted a disease while in Plymouth and died on the way home. Rumors began to spread among the Wampanoag that he had been poisoned by the colonists.

Philips Becomes Chief:

Philip, who was just 24 years old at the time, succeeded his brother and the Wampanoag gathered together to celebrate his accession, according to Ranlet:

“Alexander’s younger brother, Philip, now became chief sachem of the Wampanoags. Many Indians flocked to Mount Hope, the tribe’s most favored area, to celebrate his accession. As John Cotton, Jr., later wrote, there was ‘great feasting and rejoycing’ among the assembled natives.’”

After Philip became the new sachem, the colonists decided to dig deeper into the rumors of an impending attack on the colony and asked Philip to come to Plymouth for a meeting.

The first time Philip is mentioned in a printed work is in Nathaniel Morton’s book, New England’s Memorial, when he discusses Philip’s meeting with the English in Plymouth in August of 1662:

“This year, upon occasion of some suspicion of some plot intended by the Indians against the English; Philip the sachem of Pocanaket, otherwise called Metacom, made his appearance at the court held at Plymouth, August 6, did earnestly desire the continuance of that amity and friendship that hath formerly been between the Governor of Plymouth and his deceased father and brother; and to that end the said Philip doth for himself and his successors desire, that they might forever remain subject to the king of England, his heirs and successors; and doth faithfully promise and engage, that he and his, will truly and exactly observe and keep inviolable, such conditions as formerly have been by his predecessors made; and particularly, that he will not at any time, needlessly or unjustly, provoke or raise war with any of the natives; nor at any time give, sell, or any way dispose of lands, (to him or them appertaining) to any strangers, or to any without our privity or appointment, but will in all things endeavor to carry peaceably and inoffensively towards the English.”

According to Ranlet, around this time Philip and Plymouth made an informal agreement. Philip wanted to stop selling land to the colonists for seven years and asked Governor Thomas Prence to discourage any potential buyers, as can be seen in the following undated letter:

“To the much honored Governor, Mr. Thomas Prince [sic], dwelling at Plimouth.
King Philip desire to let you understand that he could not come to the court, for Tom, his interpreter, has a pain in his back, that he could not travil so far, and Philip sister is very sick. Philip would intreat that favor of you, and any of the majestrats, if aney English or Engians speak of about aney land, he pray you give them no answer at all. This last summer he maid that promise with you that he would not sell no land in 7 years time, for that he would have no English trouble him before that time, he has not forgot that you promis him. He will come a sune as posseble he can speak with you, and so I rest,
your very loveing friend
dwelling at mount hope nek.”

Many historians suggest this was because Philip was weary of colonists encroaching on the native’s land but Ranlet argues it was because Philip was simply tired of the legal problems related to land sales.

According to Samuel G. Drake in his book, Biography and History of the Indians of North America, not much is known about Philip or his whereabouts for many years after he became leader of his tribe:

“For about nine years succeeding 1662, very little is recorded concerning Philip. During this time, he became more intimately acquainted with his English neighbors, learned their weakenesses and his own strength, which rather increased than diminished, until his fatal war of 1675. For, during this period, not only their additional numbers gained them power, but their arms were greatly strengthened by the English instruments of war put into their hands.”

Soon after becoming leader though, land records indicate that Philip began to sell off his people’s land to the English. It is not known why exactly, but Drake speculates it was an attempt to make money and acquire goods in order to keep up with the English settlers:

“It seems as though, for many years before the war of 1675, Pometacom, and nearly all of his people sold off their lands as fast as purchasers presented themselves. They saw the prosperity of the English, and they were just such philosophers as are easily captivated by an show of ostentation. They were forsaking their manner of life, to which the proximity of the whites was a deadly poison, and were eager to obtain such things as their neighbors possessed; these were only to be obtained by parting with their lands.”

Yet, Daniel Strook argues in his book, Pictorial History of King Philip’s War, that Philip was actually pressured to sell his land by colonists who were eager to acquire new territory for the rapidly expanding colony:

“A second cause of war was the frequent demands of the settlers for the purchase of his lands. Philip was too wise not to discover that if these continued he would not have a home in all the territories which his father had governed. From a period long before the death of Massosoit, until 1671, no year passed in which large tracts were not obtained by the settlers. At length he made a kind of informal agreement with the Plymouth authorities, to sell no more land for seven years. After this, they endeavoured to entice him before the court, hoping that they could succeed better in negotiating with him there than in his own country. Philip evaded their invitation, but afterwards he sold several portions of land. All this was calculated to cause discontent among his people, and to arouse the suspicions of the chief as to the ultimate designs of his neighbours.”

The following is a list of the land sales Philip made during this time period:

In 1662, Philip sold a six mile tract of land in the town of Wrentham, which was called Wollomonpoag at the time, to the English settlers of Dedham for the price of £24 and 10 shillings.

On June 23, 1664, Philip sold Mattapoisett to an English settler named William Brenton.

In 1665, Philip sold New Bedford, which was called Acushnet at the time, and also sold Compton, which was called Coaxet.

In November of 1666, Philip sold a tract of land, called Woollommonuppogue, in the area of Dedham for the price of £5 and 5 shillings as well as 12 yards of trucking cloth, 3 lbs of powder [ammunition] and some lead.

In 1667, Philip sold all the meadow lands from Dartmouth to Matapoisett to a colonist named Constant Southworth for £15. That same year he also sold a two-mile tract of land between two rivers called Wanascottaquet and Cawatoquissett, to a colonist named Thomas Willet for £10.

In 1668, Philip and another sachem called Tatamumaque, aka Cashewashed, sold a tract of land adjacent to Pokanoket, that is believed to be Swansea.

That same year Metacom and his uncle, Uncompawen, disputed the sale of a place called New-Meadows neck that they stated was not supposed to be included in a former deed negotiated by Ossamequin and Wamsutta. The English agreed to pay them £12 worth of goods in compensation.

Also in 1668, Philip agreed to sell a tract of land but asked that the Indians who currently lived in parts of it should be able to remain but explained that the uninhabited parts were available for sale. To demonstrate the land for sale, Philip drew an illustration of the plot of land.

Philip's illustration of his land for sale, illustration published in Biography and History of the Indians of North America by Drake circa 1836

Philip’s illustration of his land for sale, illustration published in Biography and History of the Indians of North America by Drake circa 1836

In 1669, Philip and Tatamumaque sold 500 acres in Swansey for £20. Also in 1669, Philip sold an island near Rehoboth, called Nokatay, for £10. That same year, Metacom and Tuspaquin sold a large tract of land in Middleborough for £13.

In 1671, Philip and Monjokam of Mattapoisett sold a tract of land near a placed called Acashewash in Dartmouth to a colonist named Hugh Cole for £5.

In 1672, Philip sold a 12-mile tract of land near Taunton to a colonist named William Brenton for £143. He then sold four adjoining miles of land to Constant Southworth a few days later.

Build Up to King Philip’s War:

In 1671, rumors of an impending war began to circulate. In the early months of the year, the natives were seen sharpening their tomahawks and repairing their firearms.

In March of 1671, Philip made a gesture that possibly signaled he was preparing for war when he assembled a band of armed warriors and marched to the town of Swansea in Plymouth county but did not attack.

Pometacom, alias King Philip, illustration published in Indian History, Biography and Genealogy circa 1878

Pometacom, alias King Philip, illustration published in Indian History, Biography and Genealogy circa 1878

In response, the colonists quickly summoned Philip to Taunton, Massachusetts to explain why he did this.

On April 10, 1671, Philip arrived in Taunton where the colonists questioned him in the local meetinghouse, with the colonists sitting in one half of the meetinghouse and the natives sitting in the other half.

Philip first stated that his warlike preparations were not against the English but the Narragansets. The commissioners reminded him that he was on better terms with the Narragansetts than he had ever been and then asked him why he had procured such large supplies of ammunition and provisions.

After being pressed on the matter, Philip fully confessed to plotting a war against the colonists, although he didn’t explain why.

The colonists then demanded that Philip sign a peace treaty that required the Wampanoag to surrender their arms, which he did. The treaty read:

“Taunton, April 10, 1671,
Whereas my father, my brother, and my self, have formally submitted ourselves and our people unto the kings majesty of England, and to the colony of New Plimouth, by solemn covenant under our hand; but I having of late through my indiscretion, and the naughtiness of my heart, violated and broken this covenant with my friends, by taking up arms, with evil intent against them, and that groundlessly; I being now deeply sensible of my unfaithfulness and folly, do desire at the time solemnly to renew my covenant with my ancient friends, and my fathers friends above mentioned, and do desire that this may testify to the world against me if ever I shall again fail in my faithfulness towards them (that I have now, and at all times so kind to me) or any other of the English colonies; and as a real pledge of my true intentions for the future to be faithful and friendly, I do freely engage to resign up onto the government of New Plimouth, all my English arms, to be kept by them for their security, so long as they shall see reason. For true performance of the premises, I have hereunto set my hand, together with the rest of my council.
In presence of
William Davis
William Hudson
Thomas Brattle”

Although Philip was supposed to deliver his remaining weapons to Plymouth at a later date, he failed to do so.

On June 5, 1671, Plymouth again demanded the Wampanoag’s guns as well as the guns of the Saconett Indians, who were allies of the Wampanoag.

On July 8, the Plymouth General Court even made plans for a military expedition to force the Saconetts to give up their guns, which quickly prompted the Saconetts to back down and surrender their weapons.

Shortly after, a missionary named John Eliot intervened by sending three former Indian missionaries, Anthony and William Nahaton and John Sassamon, to keep the peace between Philip and the Plymouth colonists, mostly by trying to convert Philip to Christianity, and, in addition, also asked Massachusetts Bay to arbitrate the dispute.

On August 23, 1671, Plymouth’s council of war met and accused Philip of being “insolent” after his interpreter, John Sassamon, informed them that Philip had entertained hostile Saconetts and other “strange Indians,” who were actually Narragansett sachems, which they felt were a threat to the English.

Nathaniel Morton, secretary of Plymouth colony court, sent a letter to the Massachusetts Bay Colony government explaining that they were summoning Philip to Plymouth on September 13, 1671 but explained that if he did not appear they would send military forces on the 20th to “reduce him to reason” (Hutchinson 280) and asked for Massachusetts’ advice on the matter.

The Massachusetts government sent a letter in response, dated September 8, 1671, stating that Plymouth’s treatment of Philip did not indicate he was their subject and they were therefor free to engage in hostilities with him but warned that doing so may force Philip to break all ties with the colony:

“We do not understand how far he hath subjected himself to you, but the treatment you have given him and proceedings towards him do not render him such a subject, as that, if there be not a present answering to summons, there should presently be a proceeding to hostilities; and the sword once drawn and dipped in blood may make him as independent upon you, as you are upon him.”

A messenger, James Brown of Swansea, was then sent to Mount Hope but when he arrived he found that Philip and his tribe had been drinking. Some words were exchanged and Philip knocked Brown’s hat off in anger.

King Philip, illustration published in the Pictorial History of King Philip's War, circa 1851

King Philip, illustration published in the Pictorial History of King Philip’s War, circa 1851

The following day, Philip was more courteous but was deliberately evasive on whether he would go to Plymouth because he had already been invited to meet with the Massachusetts Bay Colony government in Boston.

Philip was summoned to Boston on September 13, 1671, where he explained that he had no plans to attack Plymouth.

The Massachusetts leaders also discussed the nature of Philip’s subjection to the government of Plymouth. The court read letters between the Plymouth government and the Massachusetts government out loud to Philip.

After hearing the letters, Philip argued that he was not actually a subject of Plymouth colony and the previous agreements between the Wampanoags and the Plymouth colonists were just friendly agreements between neighbors, according to Thomas Hutchinson in his book The History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay:

“That his predecessors had been friendly with Plimouth governors, and an engagement of that nature was made by his father and renewed by his brother, and (when he took the government) by himself, but they were only agreements for amity and not for subjection any further, as he apprehends; he desired to see a copy of the engagement they speak of, and that the governor of the Massachusetts would procure it for him. He knew not that they were subjects. Praying Indians were subjects to Massachusetts and had officers and magistrates appointed, they had no such thing with them, and therefore were not subjects.”

Although Plymouth representatives were not present at this Boston meeting, according to Hutchinson, the two governments discussed how to further handle the matter through a series of letters, during which the Massachusetts court proposed that they turn the matter over to commissioners appointed by Massachusetts and the government of Connecticut.

Plymouth rejected this idea but the government of Massachusetts Bay then declared that there was insufficient cause for Plymouth to propose war against Philip.

Plymouth then consented to give Philip another week to turn over his weapons and asked that commissioners from Massachusetts and Connecticut be present at the next meeting.

On September 24, 1671, Philip and the mediators from Massachusetts and Connecticut met in Plymouth. Philip was dismayed though when the mediators quickly sided with Plymouth and deemed him at fault and ordered him to “amend his ways” if he wanted to keep the peace.

On September 29, 1671, Philip reluctantly signed another peace treaty, which declared him a subject of the colony, required him to do some service for Plymouth by hunting wolves and required him to pay a heavy fine. The treaty read:

“[1].We, Philip, and my council, and my subjects, do acknowledge ourselves subjects to his majesty the king of England, and the government of New Plymouth, and to their laws.
[2].I am willing, and do promise to pay unto the government of Plymouth, one hundred pounds in such things as I have, but I would entreat the favor that I might have three years to pay it in, forasmuch as I cannot do it at present.
[3].I do promise to send unto the governor or whom he shall appoint, five wolves’ heads, if I can get them; or as many as I can procure, until they come to five wolves yearly.
[4].If any difference fall between the English and myself, and people, then I do promise to repair to the governor of Plymouth to rectify the difference amongst us.
[5].I do promise not to make war with any, but with the governor’s approbation, of Plymouth.
[6].I do promise not to dispose of any of the lands that I have at present, but by approbation of the governor of Plymouth.
For the true performance of the premises, I, the said Philip, sachem of Pawkamaukat, do hereby bind myself, and such of my council as are present, ourselves, our heirs, our successors, faithfully. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our hands the day and year above written.
Philip, the Sachem of Paukamakut

Philip reluctantly paid the fine shortly after and then bought more weapons and ammunition with the money he had left over.

King Philip’s War Breaks Out:

In March of 1674, more disputes over land sales occurred, particularly when Philip was sued for £800 in the Plymouth courts by a Rhode Islander who had a bond from Alexander, dated 1661, which entitled him to a large amount of the native’s land.

Yet, according to Ranlet, it wasn’t Indian anxieties about future land loss that directly triggered King Philip’s War but was instead triggered by the death of John Sassamon the following winter.

On January 29, 1675, an Indian named Patuckson witnessed the murder of John Sassamon by three Wampanoags, one of whom, Tobias, was an important advisor to Philip, near present-day Lakeville, Massachusetts. The men then left Sassamon’s body in the pond to make it look like an accidental drowning.

Death of Sassamon, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philip's War, circa 1851

Death of Sassamon, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philip’s War, circa 1851

The three Wampanoag men were tried for the murder and hanged at Plymouth in June but suspicions lingered that Philip had ordered the murder because Sassamon had been providing the English with information on the natives and their activities.

In March of 1675, Philip even made an appearance at the Plymouth court to deny he had any role in Sassamon’s death.

Although it is not known if this accusation is true, Rantel believes it is unlikely:

“It is unlikely that Philip ordered Sassamon’s death. There is no evidence that any of the Wampanoags knew that Sassamon had recently given information to the English. Moreover, when Sassamon had done so before, Philip had not retaliated even though bitterly angry. Instead, Sassamon’s death was probably planned solely by Tobias and his confederates. The killing may have been motivated purely by hatred. There was, of course, much about Sassamon to detest: he was a Christian, a minister, and a loyal follower of the English. He had been close to King Philip, and this closeness had surely earned him the envy of many. His role in the events of 1671 added to such ill feelings. After that incident, Tobias and the others may have been waiting for the right time to kill Sassamon…The attempt to conceal Sassamon’s murder – an act unusual for Indians – may have been intended to protect the perpetrators not only from the English but also from the wrath of Philip.”

The murder, trial and executions inadvertently set the stage for war, according to Strock:

“This affair was the signal of war. The two parties had suspected each other so long, that all ties of friendship had been dissolved. Add to this the steady extension of the English, and consequent limitations of the Indians; the disputes about land, the death of Alexander, the mortifying ‘examinations’ to which Philip was subjected, and the increasing excitement both amongst colonists and Indians, occasioned by the rumours of war, and we may perceive that the opposing elements required but a single further act of aggression on either side to result in an explosion.”

After a few skirmishes took place at Swansea, Massachusetts in June, during which Pokanoket warriors raided, looted and burned several homes and one of the warriors was shot and killed by a colonist, Philip responded by ordering an attack on Swansea, on June 24, 1675, which became the first official battle of King Philip’s War.

In response, colonial troops marched to nearby Mount Hope, King Philip’s base of operation, in search of him and his men but found that Philip had already fled for Pocasset. The colonists saw this as a victory and celebrated, thinking the war was over.

To their dismay, they discovered the war had only just begun as Wampanoags attacked Middleborough, Mass and then Darmouth, Mass in July of 1675.

The attacks continued while troops tracked Philip down in the Pocasset swamp later that month. Philip and his troops managed to escape the swamp on rafts and fled Pocasset, Mass for Nipmuck territory.

King Philip Escaping from the Swamp on a Raft, Illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philip's War, circa 1851

King Philip Escaping from the Swamp on a Raft, Illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philip’s War, circa 1851

The battles continued throughout Massachusetts for the rest of the year while, in the meantime, Christian Indians throughout the colony were rounded up and imprisoned to prevent them from joining Philip’s forces.

In January of 1676, Philip and his warriors traveled to Mohawk territory in New York, seeking an alliance with the tribe. Philip’s efforts were thwarted though by Governor Edmund Andros’s counter offer to the Mohawks of an alliance in exchange for assistance against Philip.

The Mohawks accepted Andros’s offer, attacked Philip’s winter camp at Schagticoke and drove the Wampanoag back to New England, continuing to pursue and attack them along the way.

By the spring, the war had spread to Rhode Island and Connecticut but the natives, unable to hunt or farm due to the war effort, started to run out of food and began to starve.

The battles continued throughout Massachusetts but in July of 1676, Philip and his troops returned to the Pocasset region of Rhode Island, where the war had begun a year earlier, and hid in the local woods and swamps.

As the battles raged, English troops led by Captain Benjamin Church began sweeping Plymouth, Mass for Philip and his soldiers.

Church Going to Plymouth, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philips War, circa 1851

Church Going to Plymouth, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philips War, circa 1851

On July 20, Benjamin Church located Philip’s camp near Bridgewater, Mass and led a company of soldiers on an attack on the camp. Philip escaped but his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in the West Indies.

According to Church’s firsthand account in the book History of King Philip’s War, the natives told Church that Philip was heartbroken by the capture of his family:

“Some of the Indians now said to Captain Church, Sir, you have now made Philip ready to die, for you have made him as poor and miserable as he used to make the English; for you have now killed or taken all his relations. That they believed he would now soon have his head, and that this bout had almost broke his heart.”

How Did Metacom Die?

By the late summer of 1676, the war was drawing to a close but Philip remained at large. Then, in August of 1676, Church got a tip from an Indian deserter that Philip had returned to an old Wampanoag village, called Montaup, near Mount Hope.

Philips Visit to Mount Hope, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philips War, circa 1851

Philips Visit to Mount Hope, illustration published in Pictorial History of King Philips War, circa 1851

On August 12, Church led a company of soldiers to the area and found Philip’s small camp of warriors near the spot that later came to be known as King Philip’s seat.

While observing the activity in the camp from afar, Church’s troops opened fire after accidentally startling a lone warrior nearby, according to Church:

“One of Philips gang going forth to ease himself, when he had done, look’d round him, & Capt. Golding thought the Indian looked right at him (tho’ probably ’twas but his conceit) so fired at him, and upon his firing, the whole company that were with him fired upon the enemies shelter, before the Indians had time to rise from their sleep, and so over-shot them. But their shelter was open on that side next to the swamp, built so on purpose for the convenience of flight on occasion. They were soon in the swamp and Philip the foremost, who starting at the first gun threw his petunk and powder-horn over his head, catch’d up his gun, and ran as fast as he could scamper, without any more clothes than his small breeches and stockings, and ran directly upon two of Capt. Churches ambush; they let him come fair within shot, and the English mans gun missing fire, he bid the Indian fire away, and he did so to purpose, sent one musket bullet through his heart, and another one not above two inches from it; he fell upon his face in the mud & water with his gun under him.”

The Indian who shot Philip, John Alderman, was one of Church’s Indian soldiers. Hubbard, in his book History of the Indian Wars of New England, says Alderman was “of Sakonet” but Mather, in his book The History of King Philip’s War, described him as “the Indian who thus killed Philip, did formerly belong to the Squaq-Sachim of Pocasset (Weetamoe).”

Philip was then hanged, drawn and quartered, as was the punishment for a subject of the crown who had been accused of treason, and Church gave Philip’s head and hand to Alderman as a reward, according to Church:

“Philip having one very remarkable hand being much scarred, occasioned by the splitting of a pistol in it formerly. Capt. Church gave the head and that hand to Alderman, the Indian who shot him, to show to such gentlemen as would bestow gratuities upon him; and accordingly he got many a peny by it.”

Alderman sold Philip’s head to Plymouth authorities for 30 shillings and it was placed on a stake in Plymouth colony where it remained for 25 years.

Philip’s hand was sent to Boston for display and the four quarters of his mutilated body were strung up in four trees where they hung until they wasted away.

According to Strock, although Metacom’s reputation was damaged after the war, his popularity has since rebounded:

“Philip of Mount Hope is one of the few Indian chiefs, who are acknowledged by the white man to have been truly great. His fame increases with the lapse of years. A century and a half ago he was stigmatized by the historian and divine as a rebel, a murderer, a monster accursed of God and man. Fifty years later, the descendants of those who had quartered his lifeless remains, and sold his child into the burning slavery of the tropics, read the story of his misfortunes with sorrow, and found in it excuse for the evils he inflicted upon their fathers. Now, Philip is regarded as a hero and a patriot, to whom all our sympathies would be given, were it not that this fierce battle was waged against our own ancestors.”

Metacom Historical Sites:

King Philip’s Throne
Address: Mount Hope, Bristol, Rhode Island
This large quartz rock formation, now called King Philip’s Throne, or King Philip’s Seat, on the east side of Mount Hope, is where Philip held meetings.

Site of King Philip’s Death
Address: Misery Swamp, Bristol, Rhode Island (accessible via a trail off of Tower Street.) Stone historical marker on site.

Church, Thomas, Esq. The History of the Great Indian War of 1675 and 1676, Commonly Called Philip’s War. New York: H. Dayton, 1845.
Church, Benjamin. History of King Philip’s War. Boston: John Kimball Wiggin, 1865.
Church, Benjamin. Entertaining passages relating to Philip’s War which began in the month of June, 1675. Boston: B. Green, 1716.
Drake, James D. King Philip’s War: Civil War in New England, 1675-1676. University of Massachusetts Press, 1999.
Mather, Increase and Cotton Mather. The History of King Philip’s War. Albany: J. Musell, 1862.
Hutchinson, Thomas. History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. London: M. Richardson, 1765.
Baylies, Francis. An Historical Memoir of the Colony of New Plymouth: Part III. Being a Narrative of the Indian War in 1675 and 1676. Boston: Wiggin & Lunt, 1866.
Drake, Samuel G. Biography and History of the Indians of North America: From Its First Discovery to the Present Time. Boston: Antiquarian Institute, 1836.
Morton, Nathaniel. New-England’s Memorial: Or, A Brief Relation of the Most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, Manifested to the Planters of New-England in America. Plymouth, Mass: Allen Danforth, 1826.
Hubbard,William. History of the Indian Wars of New England. Roxbury: W. Elliot Woodward, 1865.
Strock, Daniel. Pictorial History of King Philip’s War. Boston: Horace Wentworth, 1851.
Pierce, Ebenezer W., Indian History, Biography and Genealogy: Pertaining to the Good Sachem Massasoit (North Abington, MA: Zerviah Gould Mitchell, 1878
Ranlet, Philip. “Another Look at the Causes of King Philip’s War.” New England Encounters: Indians and Euroamericans Ca. 1600-1850. Edited by Alden T. Vaughan, Northeastern University Press, 1999, pp. 136-155
“Four: Recovery and Imperial Politics 1676-1680.” Colonial Society of Massachusetts, www.colonialsociety.org/node/1865
“King Philip – Biography.” West Brookfield Historical Commission, westbrookfield.org/biographies/kingp-bio-3/
“Metacom – 1676.” Yale Indian Papers Project, yipp.yale.edu/bio/bibliography/metacom-1676
“Philip, King of Mount Hope.” Museum of Fine Arts Boston, www.mfa.org/collections/object/download/173506
“Metacomet (King Philip) Historical Marker.” State Symbols USA, statesymbolsusa.org/place/massachusetts/metacomet-king-philip
Henry, Ray. “R.I. Path Said to Follow Rise and Fall of King Philip.” Associated Press, 21 Jan. 2007, archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/21/ri_path_said_to_follow_rise_and_fall_of_king_philip/
“’King Phillip’ Metacomet.” Find A Grave, www.findagrave.com/memorial/7834408/metacomet
“In the Miery Swamp Historical Marker.” Historical Marker Database, www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=86296
Howe, George. “The Tragedy of King Philip and the Destruction of the New England Indians.” American Heritage Magazine, Vol. 10, Issue 1, Dec. 1958, www.americanheritage.com/content/tragedy-king-philip-and-destruction-new-england-indians

About Rebecca Beatrice Brooks

Rebecca Beatrice Brooks is the author and publisher of the History of Massachusetts Blog. Rebecca is a freelance journalist and history lover who got her start in journalism working for small-town newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire after she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Visit this site's About page to find out more about Rebecca.

2 thoughts on “Who Was Metacom?

  1. Kim

    Metacom was my 9th Great Grandfather, how sad when the English invade their land, brought diseases and their radical religious beliefs.

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