Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
Metacomet, also known as Metacom, or King Philip, was a sachem (intertribal leader) of the Wampanoag nation, who led one of the most costly bloodsheds in New England history – King Philip’s War. The second son of Massasoit, Metacomet was among the most influential native Americans in the early years of the colonies.
See the fact file below for more information on the Metacomet or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Metacomet worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Born in Massachusetts in 1638, Metacomet was the second son of the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit Ousamequin, a tribal leader who maintained peace and harmony with the English colonizers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island for many years.
- His elder brother, Wamsutta (also called Alexander Pokanoket), inherited the Pokanoket Wampanoag sachemship upon their father’s death in 1661.
- He also had a younger brother, named either Suconewhew or Takamunna, and two younger siblings, Amie and another sister whose name is unrecognized.
- Metacomet married Wootonekanuske, daughter of the Pocasset sachem Corbitant, sister of Wamsutta’s wife Weetamoo.
FROM METACOM TO KING PHILIP
- After succeeding their father’s rule in 1661, Wamsutta chose to change his name in recognition of his inheritance of the Wampanoag sachemship. The Plymouth court named him Alexander Pokanoket.
- Wamsutta also requested the Plymouth leaders to give his brother a name as well, for which they picked Philip.
- Previous historians assumed the English were mocking the Indians with their new names; however, these labels were actually regarded as imperial and noble.
- The Plymouth colonists’ suspicion of the Indian natives’ attack on their colony led to Alexander’s arrest in 1662. He was asked to stand trial in Plymouth in order to convince the public and the court that he was loyal to the crown.
- Alexander was released after he vowed his loyalty to the English. During his arrest in Plymouth, he acquired a disease, became ill, and died on his way home. Rumor has it that he was poisoned by the English, triggering the Wampanoag tribe, causing one of the most costly battles in history – King Philip’s War.
KING PHILIP’S SACHEMSHIP
- Metacomet was only 24 years old when he succeeded his brother. According to Ranlet, many Indians went to Mount Hope, their tribe’s prefered spot, to commemorate his coming to power by holding great feasting and rejoicing.
- As the new chief, Philip was interrogated by the English about the rumored attacks on their colony, and was asked to go to Plymouth for a confrontation.
- On August 6, 1662, Metacomet made his appearance at the Plymouth court and pledged to continue to value the cordial relationship between Wampanoag and Plymouth. He also vowed his loyalty to the king of England.
- Metacomet made an informal agreement with Plymouth; he asked Governor Thomas Prence to stop selling lands to any potential buyers for seven years.
- Many historians believe this was because Metacomet was tired of colonists trespassing on their land but Ranlet insisted it was because Metacomet just did not want problems related to land sales anymore.
- In Samuel G. Drake’s book Biography and History of the Indians of North America, Metacomet became more aware of the English colonists’ weaknesses, making this his leverage. During these times, his tribes’ number increased and they got used to handling the English’s weapons. Years before his war of 1675, land records showed that Metacomet sold his tribes’ land to the English for unknown reasons, but Drake assumes it was his way of trying to make money and collect goods in order to move at the same pace as the English colonists.
- In contrary with Drake’s assumption, Daniel Stroock mentioned in his book Pictorial History of King Philip’s War, that colonists insisted Metacomet sell his land in order for the English to expand their colony.
KING PHILIP’S WAR
- On January 29, 1675, John Sassamon, a Massachusett Indian who served as an interpreter for the English, was murdered by three Wampanoags, one of whom was Metacomet’s advisor.
- The crime was seen by another native named Patuckson. Sassamon’s body was left in the pond, making it seem like the victim accidentally drowned.
- In June, the three suspects were hanged at Plymouth; however, Metacomet was suspected as the crime’s mastermind since Sassamon had been updating the English with information about the Indians.
- Three months earlier, Metacomet even went to the Plymouth court to clear his name in Sassamon’s death.
- Ranlet believes that Metacomet had nothing to do with Sassamon’s murder. There was no evidence found that the Indians knew the victim was giving information about their activities to the English. His death was plotted solely by the three suspects, perhaps stimulated by hatred alone. Moreover, Ranlet assumes that the attempt to hide Sassamon’s murder was intended to protect the culprits from the English and from Metacomet’s extreme anger.
- June 24, 1675 commenced the first battle of King Philip’s War.
- Metacomet ordered an attack on Swansea after the death of one of the Pokanoket warriors, who was shot and killed by an English colonist.
- This enraged the colonists so they marched to Mount Hope, Metacomet’s headquarters, in search of him and his men; however, they found out that he had already escaped. The English assumed their victory, concluding the war had ended.
- They thought wrong – the war had just started as the Indians ambushed Middleborough, Mass, and Dartmouth in July 1675.
- Colonial troops searched for Metacomet in the Pocasset swamp, but he and his team escaped the area on rafts.
- Christian Indians were imprisoned to stop them from joining Metacomet’s forces as the war lasted throughout Massachusetts.
- In January 1676, Metacomet sought help from the Mohawks in New York, asking for alliance, but the latter had already accepted Governor Edmund Andros’ offer in exchange for the English’s assistance.
- The Mohawks attacked Metacomet’s camp at Schaghticoke and made the Wampanoag go back to New England. As the bloodshed spread to Rhode Island and Connecticut, natives started to famish as they were unable to hunt or farm.
- In July of that year, Metacomet and his troops went back to Pocasset and hid in the woods and swamps.
- On July 20, 1676, Captain Church spotted and attacked Metacomet’s hideout near Bridgewater. The sachem managed to escape but left his wife and son captured by the colonists, who were later sold as slaves in the West Indies. This broke Metacomet’s heart as they had taken everything from him, especially his family.
- In August 1676, an Indian deserter mentioned to Captain Church that Metacomet had fled to Montaup, an old Wampanoag village close to Mount Hope.
- On August 12, one of Church’s men accidentally shot an Indian native, as they were observing Metacomet’s camp from afar. Metacomet witnessed this, got his gun, and ran directly upon the English. A bullet was fired through his heart, and one not above two inches from it.
- Metacomet fell in the swamp with his gun under him.
- Metacomet was shot by John Alderman, Church’s Indian soldier. His mutilated body was hanged, drawn, and quartered, since he was accused of treason. As a reward, Church gave Metacomet’s head and hand to Alderman.
- Alderman auctioned his head to Plymouth leaders for 30 shillings and it was placed on a stake where it stayed for 25 years. Meanwhile, his hand was displayed in Boston, and the quarters of his body were tied in four trees until they rotted.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Metacomet across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Metacomet worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Metacomet, also known as Metacom, or King Philip, who was a sachem (intertribal leader) of the Wampanoag nation, who led one of the most costly bloodsheds in New England history – King Philip’s War. The second son of Massasoit, Metacomet was among the most influential native Americans in the early years of the colonies.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Metacomet Facts
- Who was Metacomet?
- Tribe Leaders
- Is this Metacomet?
- Lands for Sale
- King Philip’s War
- A Year Of Bloodsheds
- Two Sides Of the Story
- A Sachem’s Death
- Colonial Consequence
- Metacomet’s Reputation
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Metacomet Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 20, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.