Map of New England in 1675 showing the extent of English settlement and the territories of Algonquian nations.
Map of King Philip’s War.
Frontispiece from the English edition of Bartlome de las Casas’ “In Defense of the Indians.” A valuable propaganda piece decrying Spanish barbarity – and by extension lauding English humaneness.
“Come Over and Help Us”: The official seal of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
John Eliot, the architect of Algonquian religious and cultural conversion. Algonquian ways were “unfixed, confused, and ungoverned, uncivilized and unsubdued to labor and order.”
Late 19th / early 20th century postcard of a monument in Newton, MA, supposedly on the site of Eliot’s first sermon.
The centerpiece of Eliot’s “Indian Library:” the Bible translated into the Massachusetts language.
The price of independence: The Narragansett sachem Miantonomi was executed by the brother of the Mohegan sachem Uncas in 1643, on the orders of colonial officials.
Roger Williams: dissenter, diplomat, and maintainer of peace between Rhode Island and the Narragansetts. He lived to see forty years of peace end in 1676.
Closeup of the firing mechanism on a flintlock musket. Native peoples used flintlocks almost exclusively, while the militia still partly relied on obsolete matchlocks.
Algonquian war club, allegedly belonging to King Philip. Artifacts like these were prized by colonists in the war’s aftermath.
A colonial home: the Goodale house, built in 1668.
Interior of the Goodale house.
Excerpt from “The Manual Exercise of the Musketeer.” Manuals like these were used to train the colonial militia. With dozens of separate motions to reload a musket, and emphasizing volume of fire over accuracy, they did nothing to prepare the militia for the reality of wilderness warfare.
The chessboard of war I: The Battle of Kircholm, 1605. A typical 17th-century battle was fought between professional armies in a large, open field, where commanders could easily monitor the engagement and give orders.
The chessboard of war II: The Battle of White Mountain, 1620. “The present maxims of war are – Never fight without a manifest advantage, And always encamp so as not to be forced to it.”
Mary Rowlandson, wife of the minister of Lancaster, MA. As with most participants in King Philip’s War, we have no contemporary images or descriptions of what she looked like. In this Revolutionary-era print, she becomes a yeoman farmer, ready to defend hearth and home.
The raid: Nipmucs, Narragansetts, and Wampanoags attack Sudbury in April 1676.
The ambush I: Bloody Brook, where most of Captain Thomas Lathrop’s company was annihilated.
The ambush II: A company of militia is cut off during the Sudbury fight.
Adopting the enemy’s tactics: militia under Benjamin Church fight in open order from behind cover in a skirmish at Tiverton, RI.
Militia try to force their way into the Narragansett fort during the Great Swamp Fight in December, 1675. Close-quarters fighting, friendly fire, and freezing weather made this the bloodiest battle of the war.
Present-day monument commemorating the Great Swamp Fight. As with many battles in King Philip’s War, the exact site of the Narragansett fort is uncertain.
Turner’s Falls, MA. Near this location, militia under Captain William Turner massacred an Algonquian camp, and were massacred in turn by a party of warriors.
Bejamin Church, whose mostly-Algonquian command hunted down Philip’s Wampanoags in August 1676. Church’s literary persona would become the prototype for American frontier heroes like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.
Depiction of the death of Philip in an 1883 issue of Harper’s Magazine. “he fell upon his face in the mud, with his gun under him.”
Increase Mather, the Boston minister who saw the war as a sign of God’s anger. “Hearken to the voice of God in his late and present dispensations, as ever they desire to escape another judgment seven times greater than anything which as yet hath been.”
Philip was resurrected as a “Noble Savage” figure in the 1829 play “The Curse of Metamora.” He was played by Edwin Forrest, the most famous actor in America at the time.