Front Matter Our Country Long Ago The Barbarous Indians The Mounds Where the Northmen Went The Northmen in America Queer Ideas Prince Henry the Navigator Youth of Columbus Columbus and the Queen "Land! Land!" Columbus and the Savages Home Again Columbus Ill-treated Death of Columbus How America Got its Name The Fountain of Youth "The Father of Waters" The French in Canada French and Spanish Quarrels The Sky City Around the World Nothing but Smoke Smith's Adventures The Jamestown Men Smith Wounded Pocahontas Visits England Hudson and the Indians The Mayflower Plymouth Rock The First Thanksgiving Snake Skin and Bullets The Beginning of Boston Stories of Two Ministers Williams and the Indians The Quakers The King-Killers King Phillip's War The Beginning of New York Penn and the Indians The Catholics in Maryland The Old Dominion Bacon's Rebellion A Journey Inland The Carolina Pirates Charter Oak Salem Witches Down the Mississippi La Salle's Adventures Indians on the Warpath Two Wars with the French Washington's Boyhood Washington's Journey Washington's First Battle Stories of Franklin Braddock's Defeat Wolfe at Quebec England and her Colonies The Stamp Tax The Anger of the Colonies The Boston Tea Party The Minutemen The Battle of Lexington Bunker Hill The Boston Boys The British leave Boston Declaration of Independence A Lady's Way of Helping Christmas Eve The Fight at Bennington Burgoyne's Surrender Winter at Valley Forge The Quaker Woman Putnam's Adventures Indian Cruelty Boone in Kentucky Famous Sea Fights The "Swamp Fox" The Poor Soldiers The Spy A Traitor's Death Two Unselfish Women Surrender of Cornwallis British Flag hauled down Washington's Farewell

Story of the Thirteen Colonies - Helene Guerber

King Philip's War

At Alexander's death, Philip became chief of his tribe; and thinking the English had poisoned Alexander, he began to plot revenge. After brooding over his wrongs for several years, Philip was accused of planning to attack the colonists. The governor of Plymouth sent word to Philip to come and explain his conduct, but, we are told, the Indian haughtily said to the messenger: "Your governor is but a subject of King Charles of England. I shall not treat with a subject. I shall only treat with the king, my brother. When he comes, I am ready."

An Indian attack


Still, Philip did come, and promised to keep the peace. But a few years later, he was about to fall upon the colonists unexpectedly, when a praying Indian warned them of their danger. This Indian was murdered by three of Philip's friends, who were found guilty and put to death for the crime. Not long after this, the Indians attacked the colonists at Swansea, as they were walking home from church, and killed all those who could not escape in time to the blockhouse.

As had been agreed beforehand, an alarm was sent right away to Plymouth and Boston, where signal fires were kindled on what is still known as Beacon Hill. An army of colonists hastily obeyed this summons, and set out to attack Philip. But the latter was too quick for them, and managed to escape from his camp at Mount Hope, with about seven hundred Indians.

Small villages and outlying farmhouses were now in constant danger; for the savages, gliding along as noiselessly as snakes, pounced upon the people by day or by night. They forced their way into the houses, killed and scalped the men, carried women and children off into captivity, and left nothing but heaps of smoking ruins behind them.

In the course of this terrible war, several women were carried off with all their children. One child—a tiny babe—annoyed one of the savages by crying, so he killed it in the poor mother's arms. The unhappy woman, too ill to walk as fast as the Indians wished, was also slain; but the rest of her children were sold into captivity. In time, all were rescued, except one little girl, who later married an Indian, and never saw her family again until she was a grandmother.

In the course of King Philip's War, which lasted from 1675 till 1678, forty out of ninety English towns suffered greatly, and thirteen were burned to the ground. Although there were no great battles,—except a swamp fight, in which about one thousand Indians were killed, there were many small engagements, one of the fiercest being that of Bloody Brook, near Deerfield. It seems that, owing to an alarm, the village was deserted, but nearly one hundred men were sent there to save the crops. On their way back, they carelessly laid their guns in a cart, and scattered to eat grapes. The Indians, lurking in the forest in great numbers, took advantage of this to fall upon them unawares, and seizing their weapons, killed all but a few of them.

The Indians treated all their captives cruelly, and often made them suffer horrible tortures. Terrible stories are told of this time, when many died, and but few captives escaped. Once, the savages suddenly broke into a house, and a servant hastily thrust a little child under a big kettle to hide it from them. The little one kept so very quiet that the Indians did not know it was there, and later on it was found unharmed. We are also told that a woman once drove a party of Indians away by flinging ladlefuls of boiling soap at them, which made them flee, shrieking with pain. Another band of Indians, creeping into a house by way of the chimney, were killed on the hearth, one after another, by a mother who thus bravely defended her little ones.

Once, while the people of Hadley were at church, some Indians came sneaking into the village; but they were seen by the king-killer Goffe, who happened to be hiding just then in the minister's house. Rushing out, that white-haired old man gave the alarm, and led the colonists so boldly that the Indians were driven away. But as soon as the danger was over, Goffe again disappeared, and was never seen in public again, although he is said to have died at Hadley a few years later, and to have been buried in the minister's cellar.

All these secret attacks and massacres roused the anger of the colonists, who finally got the better of their savage foes. Philip's wife and son fell into their hands, and we are told that when the Indian chief heard that his child had been sent to the West Indies, to be sold as a slave, he bitterly cried: "My heart breaks! I am ready to die."

Shortly after, the camp where he and his tribe were rapidly starving to death was surrounded by Captain Church's little army. Philip fled, hoping yet to escape; but a bullet from an Indian's gun struck him, and "he fell upon his face in the mud and water, with his gun under him." When his body was found thus, his head was cut off, and set up on a pole in Plymouth, where it was kept for about twenty years. To reward Church for his services to the colony, the settlers gave him Philip's wampum belt, which has always been carefully kept as a great curiosity; and the sword which he handled in King Philip's War can still be seen in the rooms of the Massachusetts Historical Society.