Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ancestors in Conflict: The Pequot War to the Middle East

I thought I'd take a look at military conflict affecting our ancestors for a week or so. If one of my direct or collateral ancestors saw service in a given war, I'll highlight them as I go.

Pequot War: The events leading to the Pequot War began in the early 1630s & came to a head in 1637. The conflict involved the Pequot tribe & the Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth & Saybrook colonies of New England, along with their Narragansett & Mohegan allies. Some 700 Pequots were killed or captured. Hundreds of the Pequots were sold into slavery in the West Indies.

One of the events that ignited the war was the killing of trader John Pequot warriors near Block Island. Oldham was the brother-in-law of Jonathan Brewster, son of William Brewster [Mayflower].

Interesting link:

King Philip's War: Although the Wampanoags had been on good terms with the Plymouth settlers since 1620, Sachem [chief] Philip [Metacomet] did not trust them. In 1674, Sassamon, a Christian convert, informed the settlers that Philip was planning a raid. Sassamon was found dead and Metacomet's warriors were suspected of murdering him. Three warriors were taken prisoner and hanged.

Several New England towns were burned, including Providence, RI. The Narragansetts allied with Philip. Philip was killed at the Battle of Assowamsett Swamp in 1676.

John Low was among the volunteers killed by Narragansetts near Rehoboth, Mass. [now Cumberland, RI] in 1676. William Arnold took refuge at the home of his son Stephen in 1675 to avoid Indian raids, & died there at age 88.

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