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During the winter there was very little fighting. In the spring the Indians did not fight with any spirit. They had begun to get tired of the war. Many wished for peace. The Narragansetts who had been helping in the war had suffered a terrible defeat from the English.

The English began to understand better the Indian method of fighting. They attacked the Indians wherever they could find them. They surprised several large forces of Indians in different places. Then it began to look as if Philip and the old warriors were right and the young warriors were wrong.

 

Several sachems had been killed. The Indians had no stores of corn. The English tore up every field that the Indians planted. Finally, the Indians gave up hope. They were being starved out. During the summer of 1676AD, large numbers of them surrendered to the whites.

 

Philip was not seen from the time he swam across Narragansett Bay until in July, 1676AD, when he returned to his old home at Mount Hope. His wife and son had been captured earlier in the spring, and he knew that the cause of the Indians was lost.

 

He wanted to see his old home once more, the place where he had lived for sixty years, but which he felt he was now going to lose forever. We can see him as he returned to his home, now desolated by war, his wigwam destroyed, his cornfield trodden down, his family taken from him, his friends taken captive in the war. He felt that the war was wrong, that his young warriors had been too hasty in starting it without making proper preparations for it. He looked into the future. It seemed very dark to him.

 

The war indeed was nearly over. The Wampanoags were talking about surrendering. Philip knew that surrender meant death for him. He refused even to think of it. When one of his warriors suggested it to him he killed him on the spot.

 

The English soon learned that Philip had returned to his old home. They surrounded him. On the twelfth day of August, 1676AD, he was shot in an ambuscade by the brother of the Indian he had killed for suggesting that he surrender.

 

And now, see how barbarous the English settlers could be. They cut off his hands and quartered his body, leaving it to decay on four trees. They carried his head to Plymouth, and placed it on the end of a pole. Then they appointed a public day of thanksgiving.

Philip’s wife and children were taken to the Bermudas and sold as slaves, in common with the other Indians captured in the war. Thus the Wampanoag tribe of Indians came to an end.

 

Philip was unjustly blamed by the Plymouth people for starting the war. They thought that he was in league with several other tribes in New England and New York, and that he intended to drive out the English if he could. That was why they fought so desperately, and at the end of the war removed the remnants of the tribe from New England. It is true that the Indians would have been obliged to move in time. Philip undoubtedly saw that, but he believed that peace was best and he urged it on his followers. The English did not know this, and the result was that Philip was held responsible for a war which he had opposed from the outset.

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This ends the story of King Philip.

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From: LEGENDS AND STORIES FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD, NANTUCKET AND BLOCK ISLAND

 

23 stories and legends from the most famous part of America’s East Coast

 

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King Philip as Grand Sachem

King Philip as Grand Sachem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

 

 

 

Philip thought the matter over. He felt that the English had done the Indians great injustice.

 

In the first place, the land had originally belonged to the Indians. It was not of great value to them, for they used it mainly for hunting purposes. So they had very willingly parted with a few acres to the English in return for some trinkets of very little value—such as a jack-knife, or a few glass beads, or little bells, or a blanket.

 

Then the English had forbidden the Indian to sell his land to any white man. He was allowed to sell only to the colonial government. This was done in order to protect him from white men who wanted to cheat him; but Philip only saw that it prevented his giving away something of little value to himself, and getting something he wanted in return.

 

Before the English came, the woods were full of game and the streams were full of fish. Now Philip noticed that the game was going from the woods and the fish from the rivers. He felt that the Indians were becoming poorer and the English were getting richer.

Only the poorer lands were owned by the Indians now. All the best were in the hands of the white men.

 

Philip was also tired of the airs of superiority assumed by the whites. They looked upon the Indians as fit only for servants and slaves. He thought that his people were as good as the whites. He felt that the bonds of love and sympathy between the two races had been broken.

 

In spite of his many complaints and requests, the English had failed to punish unprincipled white men who had done wrong to the Indians.

 

Finally, those Indians who had been converted to Christianity had left their old tribes and their former modes of life. This had weakened the power of the Indians, and Philip began to think that the English were Christianizing the Indians simply for the purpose of getting control of their lands.

 

Philip felt that the question was too deep a one for him to solve. He called the sachems of the Wampanoags together, and talked the matter over with them. Several meetings were held, and every member expressed himself on the subject very freely.

 

The question then arose, what should they do? It very soon became evident that two opposite opinions were held.

 

It was not the custom of the Indians to vote on any questions that were discussed at their meetings. They talked the matter over and then adopted the plan that most of them thought was best. But at this time they were unable to decide what to do in order to get back that which they had lost, and how to prevent losing any more. And so they kept on talking over plans.

 

Fifty-five years of peace and friendship with the English had resulted in giving the white men all the land of any value, while the Wampanoags were decreasing in numbers and each year were finding it more and more difficult to live.

 

The young warriors urged immediate action. They wanted war, and wanted it then, and desired to keep it up until the English should be driven out of the country.

Philip was opposed to this. He knew how strong the English were, and that it would be impossible to drive them out. He saw that the time had gone by when the English could be expelled from the country. He threw his influence with the older warriors, and for a while succeeded in holding the younger men in check. He felt that the Indians could never be successful in a war with the English when the tribe owned only thirty guns and had no provisions laid aside to carry them through the war.

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From: LEGENDS AND STORIES OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD, NANTUCKET AND BLOCK ISLAND

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/legends-and-stories-from-marthas-vineyard-nantucket-and-block-island_p31019862.htm

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THE MAY-FLOWER COMPACT

 

MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET

INTRODUCTION

LOVE AND TREASON

THE HEADLESS SKELETON OF SWAMPTOWN

THE CROW AND CAT OF HOPKINSHILL

THE OLD STONE MILL

THE ORIGIN OF A NAME

MICAH ROOD APPLES

A DINNER AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

THE NEW HAVEN STORM SHIP

THE WINDAM FROGS

THE LAMB OF SACRIFICE

MOODUS NOISES

HADDAM ENCHANTMENTS

 

BLOCK ISLAND

INTRODUCTION

THE BUCCANEER

ROBERT LOCKWOOD’S FATE

LOVE AND RUM

THE WHOLE HISTORY OF GRANDFATHER’S CHAIR

THE LOYALISTS OF MASSACHUSETTS

PUNISHMENT FOR WEARING LONG HAIR IN NEW ENGLAND

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS

THE SCHOOLMASTER’S SOLILOQUY

THE STORY OF KING PHILIP

Cover - Legends and Stories from Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island

Cover – Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island