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Massasoit was the chief of the Wampanoag People when the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Also called Ousamequin, which translates to ‘Yellow Feather,’ he signed a treaty with the new settlers that marked their peaceful relations for 40 years.
See the fact file below for more information on the Massasoit or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Massasoit worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY AND PERSONAL LIFE
- Born in 1590, in Montaup, present day Bristol, Rhode Island, Massasoit was the inter tribal chief of Wampanoag Indians. Also known as the grand sachem, he ruled Wampanoag Indians who lived in the coastal regions of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
- Originally, Montaup was a village of the Pokanoket people, who were later known as the Wampanoag.
- Prior to the arrival of the pilgrims, Massasoit was the leader of New England’s southern region spanning the territories of the Nipmuck, Quaboag, and Nashaway Algonquin people.
- He had children, namely: Wamsutta, Pometecomet, Metacomet, Sonkanuchoo. By Massasoit’s death, his children Wamsutta and Pometecomet adopted the English names of Alexander and Philip, as they went back to Plymouth.
- His eldest son Wamsutta, succeeded as sachem of the Pokanokets upon his death, followed by Metacom in 1662.
- Prior to the arrival of the pilgrims, the Wampanoag suffered from plague brought by Europeans in 1616 which resulted in heavy population loss. About two-thirds of the Wampanoag people died.
ARRIVAL OF THE PILGRIMS
- On March 22, 1621, Massasoit signed a treaty with the pilgrims through the invitation of Squanto, the last surviving Indian in Patuxet.
- After the meeting at the top of the hill on the 16th, Edward Winslow gave knives and a copper and jewel chain to Massasoit as gifts.
- The negotiation was held at the house of William Bradford with Governor John Carver.
- The pilgrims were Europeans, specifically English who sailed aboard the Mayflower and intended to settle at Plymouth, in New England.
- They settled in Patuxet, an abandoned Wampanoag village years ago due to the outbreak of a plague.
- Prior to the arrival of the pilgrims, Indian territories were under the crisis of depopulation and Indian slave trade, which caused instability among tribes.
- With intentions of peace and trade, Massasoit, along with other tribes, forged an alliance with the European settlers. Among the great contributions of Massasoit and his tribe was the technique of planting, fishing, and cooking that they shared with struggling settlers.
- Amongst the result of the alliance made by Massasoit and the colonists was the assurance that the Wampanoags would remain neutral during the Pequot War in 1636.
- In several instances, the pilgrims visited Pokaneket, a village where Massasoit lived, which reaffirmed the peace treaty.
- After a hard winter, the pilgrims had their first harvest in September/October 1621. To give thanks, they conducted a three-day harvest feast participated in by both the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. The Wampanoags, led by Massasoit, brought five deer.
- In March 1623, Edward Winslow visited Massasoit after hearing the news of the latter’s illness. After being treated by an English physician, Massasoit recovered and lived for several more years.
LATER LIFE AND DEATH
- Driven by acquisition of more lands, the alliance was put under pressure. In 1649, Massasoit sold about 14 miles square of land to Myles Standish.
- Amidst increasing tension on European expansion, Massasoit kept his good relations with the Europeans. He secured trade goods and protection of his tribe from the Narragansetts, their life-long enemy.
- However, some viewed Massasoit as too friendly to the colonists. They linked his fortunes to the English.
- Until his death in 1661, Massasoit remained friends with the English.
- He was succeeded by his eldest son, Wamsutta who died a year after.
- Metacom, another of Massasoit’s sons succeeded. By 1675, he led a war called King Philip’s War that aimed to win back the land his father had granted to the settlers. Also called Metacom’s War, it became one of the bloodiest encounters between the colonists of New England and Native Americans.
- A number of statues were erected to honor Massasoit, including those at the Utah State Capitol building, Brigham Young University, and the Springville Museum of Art.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Massasoit across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Massasoit worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Massasoit who was the chief of the Wampanoag People when the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. Also called Ousamequin, which translates to ‘Yellow Feather,’ he signed a treaty with the new settlers that marked their peaceful relations for 40 years.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Massasoit Facts
- Who’s Massasoit?
- One Plymouth
- Famous Indians
- First Harvest Feast
- Massasoit and the Pilgrims
- Taking Sides
- The Wampanoags
- Puzzle Pieces
- Picture of a Chief
- Compare and Contrast
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Link will appear as Massasoit Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 13, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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