We Shall Remain
12 February 2015
Indian Hardship and the King Philip’s War Almost 400 years later, we still know almost nothing about the original Thanksgiving Celebration that has become so commonplace in American Society today. Records show that it probably occurred in the late summer of 1621, almost a year after the Wampanoag Indians first made contact with the English Pilgrims. However, what we do know from this event is the rapid expansion and deterioration that followed which lead to the eventual demise of Indian Culture, not 50 years after the English had arrived.
This devastation did not always seem imminent, as seen in the first few years when the settlers came ashore. By the end of the first winter, 45 men, women, and children, almost half of the 102 new settlers, died by starvation or exposure. At first, the Wampanoag had the upper hand on the foreigners, and acted out of kindness so they could survive in their new environment. By the spring of 1621, both parties signed a treaty to protect and live along side one another, and Massassoit, even gave the settlers Patuxet (Plymouth) in which they could live and prosper. This prosperity eventually lead to even more settlers coming into the land, bringing with them their radical Puritan beliefs and “a boundless sense of mission.” By the Spring of 1630, the original population of 300 grew to over a thousand, and multiplied quickly over the next 5 years. The Wampanoag, now hugely outnumbered, see their circumstance flipped, as it was just 10 years earlier. Those who see them solely as an obstacle have replaced the original colonists, who could have attested to the dependence and mutual respect once shared between them. Among those who escalated the tension further, was Gov. Josiah Winslow, who, coinciding with many factors, made war virtually impossible to avoid. In 1671, with tensions already on the rise, the Gov. forced Philip (Massassoit’s son and heir) and his fellow Indians to