August 12 is the anniversary of the death of the Wampanoag sachem Metacom, also known as Metacomet or King Philip,the name given to him by the English. His death in 1676 essentially ended King Philip’s War, a violent and bloody conflict between the Wampanoag and English colonists. While most of the fighting took place in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, people from Connecticut took part in the many of the battles and had an important influence on the outcome of the war.
The underlying cause of the war was the colonists unrelenting desire for more and more land, but the immediate cause for its outbreak was the trial and execution of three of Metacom’s men by the colonists. Metacom and his men began attacking and destroying English settlements and kidnapping and killing English settlers. For a while, it looked like the colonists might have to abandon the frontier and withdraw into a handful of fortified seaside towns.