King Philip’s War

Part One: King Philip’s War

The following passage is a letter conveying to the British government how the Colonists were accommodating “King Philip” – Metacom, the leader of the Wampanoag people. Source: John Easton, “A Relation of the Indian War” in A Narrative of the Causes which Led to Philip’s Indian War. (1858), pp. 5-15. Reduced and edited by Lesley Skousen, PhD.

  • “Philip charged it to be dishonesty for us to put off the hearing of his just complaints, so we consented to listen. He said they had been the first in doing good to the English, and the English the first in doing wrong. He constrained other Indians from wronging the English, and gave the English corn and land.
  • But the King’s brother (Massasoit) came miserably to die by the English. Indians testified that when their King sold land, the English would say that it was more than they agreed to in price. The English then took away more land than the Indians could spare.
  • The English made them drunk and then cheated them in bargains. Another grievance: the English Cattle and horses still increased, so that the Indians could not keep their corn from being spoiled. We had cause to think in that had been tendered it would have been accepted. We endeavored that however they should lay down the War, for the English were too strong for them. The Indians replied that the English should do to them as they had done when the Indians were too strong for the English.”


  • Write 150 or more words describing the Indians’ complaints.
  • What did King Philip (also known as Metacom, King of the Wampanoag people) mean when he suggested that the English should do to the Indians as the Indians had done for the English when they had been the stronger party?

Part Two: Short-answer essay (150-200 words)

  • How does environment affect how a person lives? Select two colonial regions and describe how the environment shaped that economy, society, or political decision. Use only the lectures and the textbook for your answer.

Part Three: Short-answer essay (150-200 words)

  • How did labor differ in the different colonial regions? Choose three colonies and discuss what kinds of labor, skills, or occupations dominated each one. Use only the lectures and the textbook for your answer.

Part Four: Short-answer essay (150-200 words)

  • How did religion shape Colonial American culture? Using the lectures and the textbook, select one example of a religious event in Colonial history and examine how that event shaped Colonial American culture.

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