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King Philip (Metacomet)

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The Resume

    (1638-August 12, 1676)
    Born in Massachusetts
    Metacomet (known by his adopted English name King Philip)
    Leader of the Wampanoag people
    Second son of the Chief Massasoit
    Led the Great Narragansett War (1675-76)
    Namesake for locations throughout New England

Why he might be annoying:

    His adopted Christian name usually just confuses history students.
    He led one of the most costly wars of resistance in New England history (to the point where it is widely known as the King Philip’s War).
    For thirteen years, he kept the region’s towns and villages of colonists on edge with the fear of an Indian uprising.
    When violence eventually broke out, it claimed the lives of 600 colonists and 3,000 Indians (June 1675).
    The fighting eventually led to the Indigenous tribal alliance to disintegrate, weakening their overall resistance.
    He returned to his ancestral home at Mount Hope, where he was betrayed by an informer and killed in a final battle (his decapitated head was displayed on a pole for 25 years at Plymouth).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He became tribal head when his older brother died shortly after the death of their father in 1662.
    He attempted to assimilate and was still railroaded by the English colonists.
    He was demonized as a brutal savage that could not be controlled after he started objecting to the number of land concessions his people had to make when trading.
    He was forced to sign a new peace agreement that included the surrender of Indian guns, officially placing his tribe under English law (1671).
    He finally rebelled after three Wampanoag warriors were executed by Plymouth authorities.
    He and his men initially eluded Puritan efforts to trap them in the coastal swamps and consistently defeated the militia companies, attracting support from neighboring tribes.
    Their defeat resulted in the Wampanoag and Narragansett almost being completely exterminated by English settlers.
    After his death, his wife and nine-year-old son were captured and sold as slaves in Bermuda.
    He was memorialized by William Apess (‘Eulogy on King Philip’) and Mary Rowlandson (‘A Narrative of Captivity and Restoration’).
    The latter account claimed that he arranged for her to be released from captivity on ransom after she was kidnapped by members his tribe weeks earlier.

Credit: BoyWithTheGreenHair


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Year In Review:

    In 2023, Out of 3 Votes: 33.33% Annoying