King Philip's War 1675-1678

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 King Philip’s War began on June 24, 1675, when a band of his Wampanoag Indians, attacked several isolated homesteads near Swansea, then laid siege to the town, destroying it and killing several people, which resulted in a general uprising that spread through New England. The war lasted fourteen months and ended with the death of Metacomet (aka King Philip) the chieftain and son of Massassoit. He was killed near his home in Mount Hope, now Bristol, Rhode Island, by an Indian who was fighting as an ally of the Plymouth soldiers but not before the communities of Hadley, Deerfield, Northfield and other settlements were practically wiped out by the Indians. The war continued until a treaty was signed in April 1678.

 
The war was caused in large part because the Algonquian-speaking tribes of Indians were being squeezed out of their land by colonists who kept pressuring the Indians to buy land for new settlements. Additionally the Native Americans had suffered severe population losses due to pandemics of smallpox, spotted fever, typhoid, measles and other infectious diseases that were introduced beginning with the influx of the Europeans. A troubled peace was negotiated for several decades.
 
Watertown sent soldiers to help many of the communities and suffered several losses, but although one battle came close, Watertown was never directly attacked. Overall during the war twelve of the region’s towns were destroyed and many more damaged. 600 homes were destroyed and 600 colonists, women, and children were killed in battle or massacre. More than 3000 Native Americans died in battle of from disease. Proportionately it was one of the bloodiest and costliest wars in the history of North America with an estimated cost of 100,000 pounds. More than half of New England’s towns were attacked by Native American warriors, and many were abandoned for a time to go to larger communities out of fear of attack.
 
Sources: Wikipedia on King Philip’s War; Watertown’s Military History

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