Monday, February 12, 2007

The Black Swamp of Chepachet: Part 9

King Philip's War & the Great Swamp.

King Philips' War was a traumatic colonial event that is virtually forgotten today. It rarely shows up in history texts, even. About 20 June 1675 along the southern border of the Plymouth Colony bands of Pokanoket-Wampanoag Nativesleft now-Warren, Rhode Islandto raid farms. In a year, 680 settlers (out of 52,000) {twise the % of the Civil War and 7 times that of WWII} were killed. Probably 3,000 of the 20,000 Natives were killed in the war. {10 times the English losses}.

The area south of Pawtuxett was virtually evacualted, and 72 houses in Providence were destroyed.

King Philip was the adopted name of the chief (sachem) and reluctant leader of the conflict which not only reshaped Rhode Island, but also deeply influenced the Salem paranoia leading to the witch trials.

In the month of December 1675, an intersetion of a Narangasett warrior band with Nipmuc and Wampanoag allies passed Providence, and set up fortifications and supplies in now-South Kingston at "the Great Swamp". On 19 December 1675, 1150 Mohawk and English attacked and routed the Narrangasett, who regrouped and scoured Rhode Island and elsewhere with a guerilla fury until the war finally exhausted itself.

Unfortunately, there seems no connection to Lovecraft, nor is this swamp the Dark Swamp of Chepachet.

King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict, Eric B Schultz and Michael J Tougias, Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT 1999.

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