Indian Wars



War with Native Americans and New Englanders was avoided until 1637, when
the Pequot War resulted in the virtual extermination of the Pequot Indians. In 1636,
John Endecott led an expedition against the Pequot which helped provoke the Pequot
War of 1637. The full cause of this war is somewhat vague, as were many Native
American/Settler wars. The resulted outcome may have originated through violations
of land treaties or other implied understandings with the other. The Pequot War was
New Englandís first major war. Numerous series of raids, killings, and retaliations were
acted out by both sides. In May, 1637, Connecticut declared war on the Pequot
Indians. The colonist soon launched an attack with the assistance of the Mohegan and
the Narragansett. A Pequot village near Mystic River was pillaged and set aflame.
Hundreds of villagers died including many women and children. Those who did not
escape were captured and slaughtered or scattered throughout New England and sold
as slaves. These actions nearly wiped out all the Pequot.
King Philipís War occurred when the Wampanoag Indians led by their chief
Philip, revolted against the people of New England colonies. The cause of the revolt
included the increased demand of Wampanoag land wanted by the colonists. The war
lasted between 1675-78. Bristol and Providence were two of the more involved cities.
Bristol was the site of many battles during the war and was damaged. Much of
Providence was burned following the destruction of a nearby Native American village.
The war ended with the defeat and death of King Philip. Many Wampanoag Indians
along with allied Native American tribes were executed or sold into slavery. The war
ruined many Native American tribes in the southern New England region and ended
resistance to any further land demands.
Fort Stanwix was originally built in 1758 by the British to secure an important
portage on the Mohawk River. In 1768 it was the site of the signing of the Treaty of
Fort Stanwix. The treaty stated that Iroquois Indians granted lands east of the Ohio
River to the British. In August 1777, the American fort withstood a 3 week attack by
British invasion from Canada.
Wyoming Valley was a beautiful fertile valley northeast of Pennsylvania. The
valley was claimed by both Connecticut and Pennsylvania in colonial times, but was
inhabited by Native Americans. It was purchased from the Indians by the Susquehanna
Company of Connecticut in 1763. The company sent out a number of settlers in 1754.
Pennsylvania bought land from the natives in 1768 and sent out settlers in 1769.
Some settlers were expelled at the start of the American Revolution because they were
Tories and therefore sympathetic to the British. In 1778, the Tories, along with British
and Native American allies, returned and invaded the valley. The settlers tried to take
refuge in Forty Fort, but were soon overwhelmed by the aggressors. The fort was
surrendered after two-thirds of the settlers were captured or killed. Most prisoners
were tortured and killed.