The first Pilgrims came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in Plymouth in 1620. They lost nearly half of their number to sickness and starvation in the first winter. The Pokanoket people (an indigenous people of the Wampanoag Tribe) felt sympathy for the Pilgrims’ and helped them, showing them how to and what to plant in the New World. Although they were the native people mythicized in the first Thanksgiving feast, they, in fact, broke no bread with the English settlers.

Fifty-five years later, they’d go to war with the English and attack over half the towns in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Pokanoket would get progressively more upset with the influx of English settlers in the ensuing years, that they’d go to war with them.

At the cessation of hostilities, the Pokanoket people would refuse to sign the Treat of Casco in 1678. The first shots were fired in King Phillip’s War on this day in June 1675.

The Wampanoag chief, Metacomet had adopted an English name, Phillip because his father had been on good relations with the English since the Mayflower days. But tensions had been steadily rising as the native Americans were being steadily pushed out of their ancestral lands.

But things began to unravel quickly. Metacomet had succeeded his older brother Wamsutta, also known as Alexander by the English. Wamsutta had sold part of Wampanoag land in what is now Rhode Island to Roger Williams. The colonists in Plymouth were outraged and passed a law forbidding any trading with the Wampanoag and briefly arrested Wamsutta. However, the Wampanoag lived outside of the English colony and therefore, they exerted no rights over them.

In 1671, the latest treaty with the English, signed at Taunton, forced the Metacomet and the Wampanoag to give up their guns.

Metacomet/Phillip referred to as King Phillip by the English, as they considered the Native American chiefs as kings, couldn’t restrain his people much longer and began to conspire with Algonquin tribes to the west against the English at Plymouth.

The English dragged Metacomet before a Plymouth tribunal and although having no proof, threatened the Wampanoag with the loss of their lands and guns if they found any further evidence of conspiring against them. The Wampanoag interpreter John Sassamon was a convert to Christianity. He was an early graduate of Harvard and it was he who told the English governor of the plot with the Algonquin.