The Pequot War (1637-1638)

Pequot War

The first of the many wars between whites and Indians was fought in 1637 betweenthe Pequots and New England settlers. The Pequots were a warlike tribe centered along the Thames River in southeastern Connecticut. By 1630, under their chief, Sassacus, they had pushed west to the Connecticut R. There they had numerous quarrels with colonists, culminating in the murder by the Pequots of a trader, John Oldham, on July 20, 1636.

On Aug. 24 Gov. John Endicott of Massachusetts Bay Colony organized a military force to punish the Indians, and on May 26, 1637, the first battle of the Pequot War took place when the New Englanders, under John Mason and John Underhill, attacked the Pequot stronghold near present-day New Haven, Conn. The Indian forts were burned and about 500 men, women, and children were killed. The survivors fled in sall groups. One group, led by Sassacus, was caught near presentday Fairfield, Conn., on July 28, and nearly all were killed or captured. The captives were made slaves by the colonists or were sold in the West Indies. Sassacus and the few who escaped with him were put to death by Mohawk Indians. The few remaining Pequots were scattered among other southern New England tribes.

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